Elements of Teacher Track
So what does it take to become a teacher?
The pathway to teacher licensure depends on multiple factors, including the classes you’ve already taken and what area you want to teach. In general, a teacher licensure track has four parts:
- Content Area Classes:
These are classes in the area that you want to teach, and are usually a pre-requisite for admission into a teacher preparation program. For example, if you want to be a history teacher, you might need to take classes in world history, Virginia history, etc. These pre-requisite classes have to be approved by the content area advisor. You have to be within nine credits of completing your content area classes before you will be able to begin a teacher preparation program.
- Teacher Preparation Program:
These are classes that teach you how to teach. You’ll learn things like methods of teaching and how to teach literacy. Teacher preparation programs may be concentrations, certificates, or master’s programs. Different types of teaching licenses (like elementary or high school math) require different types of teacher preparation programs. Usually, you have to apply to and be accepted to a teacher preparation program separately from your content area program.
All students in teacher preparation programs spend one semester to one year in a teaching internship. Students are mentored by experienced teachers as they engage in classroom teaching.
- Virginia Teaching License:
When you have successfully completed a teacher preparation program, you can submit an application for a teaching license. You’ll apply through the Educator Preparation Office at Mason, who will send your application to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Assuming you meet any additional requirements, VDOE will grant you a teaching license. *
*George Mason University will verify completion of the requirements of a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of a Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student's responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, a social security number is required for licensure.