How to Become a Teacher in Mississippi
By choosing a career as a teacher, you can positively affect the lives of so many students. Teaching is a job that will prove to be highly rewarding to you and the children you will teach. The following steps will help you be on your way toward becoming a teacher in Mississippi.
Choose What You Want to Teach
First you should decide what you would like to teach. There are several levels and subjects to choose from. For example, would you like to teach fundamental skills to elementary school children? Do you have a specialty area, such as Language Arts or Math? Deciding this will help you stay on the right path toward becoming a teacher as some steps are dependent on that decision. The Mississippi Department of Education has information about students and teachers, which could help you make your decision.
Complete Your Education Requirements for Teaching in Mississippi
If you want to become a professional educator in Mississippi, you must have a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and complete a teacher education program. Completion of these two minimum requirements will lead you toward a Mississippi state teaching license.
If you do not have a Bachelor's Degree yet, make sure to ask a college advisor if your school offers a joint or blended program. If so, that is great news. A blended program will allow you to combine all of the work needed for a Bachelor's Degree and teacher preparation program. Blended programs are ideal for candidates who know from early on that they want to teach.
Complete a Teacher Preparation Program
As mentioned above, in order to teach in Mississippi, you must complete a teacher education program.
Teacher education programs in Mississippi generally consist of two elements: curricula and fieldwork. Curricula refers to the college level classes you will need to take as part of the program. These classes usually include a focus on pedagogy (the actual practice of teaching), subject-based teaching methods, differentiated instructional strategies, technology integration, and more. Fieldwork often includes classroom observations, internships, student teaching, or a combination of all three depending on your college or university. Student teaching requires candidates to work closely with an experienced mentor teacher in order to plan and implement lessons. In addition, student teachers are often required to write reflections and lesson plans. Often times, candidates are even required to put together a culminating portfolio.
In order to assure a quality education for yourself, the teacher preparation program should be accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation, also known as CAEP. Former accrediting agencies were National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).
If you have a Bachelor's degree already, you can take part in a post-baccalaureate or alternative teacher preparation program. Your college or university might even offer a joint Master's Degree program as well.
Alternative Teacher Certification in Mississippi
There are other routes you can take to becoming a teacher in Mississippi. There are four approved Alternate Route Programs that lead to teacher certification.
Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers (MAPQT)
The Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers (MAPQT) is for candidates with a Bachelor's Degree from a field outside of education. Candidates must also have a minimum of 2.5 overall or 2.75 major GPA, pass the Praxis I (PPST) or Core Academic Skills for Educators test, as well as the Praxis II in the candidate's specialty area.
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) route requires applicants to hold a Bachelor's Degree (non-education) from an accredited college or university. In addition, applicants must pass the Praxis CORE (Core Academic Skills for Educators) test as well as the Praxis II (Specialty Area Test).
Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI)
Teach Mississippi Institute (TMI) is an alternative to the traditional teacher preparation route for candidates who seek to become licensed to teach in Mississippi. This route can lead to a Mississippi teacher's license in a variety of subject areas.
American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE)
American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) is approved by the Mississippi Department of Education as a route to full teacher licensure. For this route, candidates need to hold a Bachelor's Degree and a dedication to the field of education.
Keep in mind that alternate route candidates are also required to pass one of the approved Praxis II subject area tests for the chosen alternate route program. See the Mississippi Educator Licensure, Alternate Route Programs website to find approved alternate route subject areas and more information on components of each program.
Pass the Required Tests for Mississippi
The next step to becoming a teacher in Mississippi is passing the required exams.
The Mississippi Department of Education requires all prospective teachers to pass and complete a Basic Skills exam, which could be fulfilled by taking the Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators Test. This is a test on reading, writing, and math skills.
It is also required to take the subject area competence exam, which can be fulfilled by taking the Praxis II. This test will measure a candidate's knowledge in the area they wish to become licensed in. It is very important for the Praxis II to be taken in the area in which certification is desired. The Praxis II exam incorporates multiple choice questions and constructed response essay questions.
Apply for your Mississippi Teacher Certification
The following must be turned in to apply for teaching in the state of Mississippi:
- Non-refundable application fee
- Completed application form
- Official college transcript(s) that show your degree credits and completion of a teacher preparation program
- Passing status on all required exams
- If applicable, official out of state teaching license/certificate
- Clear fingerprints and background check
Mississippi Department of Education
P.O. Box 771
Jackson, MS 39205-0771
Phone: (601) 359-3513
Find a Teaching Job in Mississippi
Once your application processes, you will be ready to go off and find a great teaching job in the state of Mississippi!
The state of Mississippi has a need for qualified, passionate teachers. The state is experiencing critical shortages of teachers both in subject areas like special education, math, sciences, and foreign languages, as well as in certain geographic regions around the state.
Teaching in a Public School
The Mississippi Department of Education has established a teacher job board in order to connect Mississippi school districts with a pool of certified prospective teachers. Educators can submit information into the official database to be viewed by potential candidates at teach.k12.ms.us. Candidates are also welcome to access each district's website to obtain an application for employment.
Once hired, teachers can become members of a state professional association, namely the Mississippi Association of Educators (MEA), the state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), or the Mississippi Association of Educators (NEA). Membership in one or several of these associations helps give teachers an advocate for labour or legal issues that may arise, as well as providing them with professional development opportunities throughout their career.
Upon retirement from the public school system, teachers are eligible for retirement benefits through the Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS of MS).
Teaching in a Private School
Teachers who don't wish to become part of the state's public system are encouraged to apply to any of the state's 255 private schools, which serve over 50,000 students. Teacher's are advised that compensation and professional opportunities may vary from what the state can offer. However, often times it may be easier to climb the career ladder in a private school.
Teacher Shortage in Mississippi by Subjects or Discipline (2014-2015)
The following list of teacher shortage areas in Mississippi has been obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) list for the 2014-2015 school year
- Foreign Language
- Special Education
Number of Public School Teachers By Grade
The table below lists the number of public school teachers in Mississippi by grade level during the 2012-2013 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Pre-kindergarten & Preschool Teachers||395|
|Middle & High School Teachers||13,187|
|Ungraded Class Teachers||4,026|
Data obtained from the State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data 2013
Number of Private School Teachers By Grade
There are more than 200 private schools with an estimated 3,600 private school teachers in Mississippi. The table below details the number of teachers by grade level during the 2011-2012 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Elementary School Teachers||648|
|Middle & High School Teachers||226|
|Combined K-12 School Teachers||2,721|
Data obtained from the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2012
Continue Your Education and Professional Development
Upon receiving a teaching license, teachers begin their career-long accumulation of professional development undertakings in order to both expand and improve their professional practice in the classroom. In addition to helping teachers implement learning strategies that boost student success, professional development aids teachers in being able to achieve professional standards of excellence, salary goals, and career goals. It is important for stakeholders at every level - state, district, school, and classroom - to ensure that the professional development opportunities are of high quality and relevant to the teachers and students.
High quality professional developments have clear goals and objectives in addition to a self-assessment component. A good PD will also have concrete methods to integrate strategies and concepts into classroom teaching.
Professional Development in Mississippi
In the state of Mississippi, the Department of Education facilitates some professional development opportunities for teachers. They also allow for other professional organizations, like Mississippi Professional Educators (MPE), to establish and partner with resources and offerings from around the state. In addition to the state's resources and other professional organizations, teachers are encouraged to source workshops and conferences from organizations such as: Center for Mathematics & Science Education (CMSE), GEAR UP Mississippi, and North Mississippi Education Consortium (NMEC).
Employment and Teacher Salary in Mississippi
The Mississippi Department of Education is hiring certified and dynamic preschool, elementary, and secondary teachers throughout the state's 152 school districts. Like other states, teachers who can fill a shortage role may be given preferred hiring status. In Mississippi, this includes subjects such as foreign languages, sciences, and special education. Teacher candidates are advised that salaries start at $31,184, and that larger districts such as Desoto County, Jackson, and Rankin County may have additional hiring needs.
Salary Range$35,030 - $55,550
Elementary school teachers have a salary range between $35,030 to $55,550 a year in Mississippi. There are around fourteen thousand employed elementary school teachers. Read about what it takes to become an elementary school teacher.
Elementary School Teachers
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Elementary School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2021)
Salary Range$40,050 - $73,910
English teachers have a salary range between $40,050 to $73,910 a year in Mississippi, with over 580 employed in the state. See details on how to become an english teacher.
English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor)
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1123)
Salary Range$35,550 - $57,790
As a high school teacher in Mississippi you can expect to make between $35,550 - $57,790. There are around ten thousand employed high school teachers. Take the next step and learn to how to become a high school teacher.
High School Teachers
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for High School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2031)
Salary Range$41,000 - $81,530
In Mississippi, a history teacher's salary may range from $41,000 to $81,530. There are around 240 employed history teachers. Get more information about becoming a history teacher.
History Teachers (College Professor)
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for History Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1125)
Salary Range$34,180 - $57,850
Kindergarten teachers in Mississippi, can earn between $34,180 to $57,850 a year. There are around a thousand employed kindergarten teachers. Read about what it takes to become a kindergarten teacher.
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Kindergarten Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2012)
Salary Range$34,180 - $74,440
As a math teacher in Mississippi you can expect to make between $34,180 - $74,440. Mississippi is home to about thirty four thousand math teachers. See our guide on how to become a math teacher.
Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor)
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1022)
Salary Range$24,820 - $82,540
P.e. teachers have a salary range between $24,820 to $82,540 a year in Mississippi. Mississippi is home to about a thousand p.e. teachers. See our guide on how to become a p.e. teacher.
Coaches and Scouts
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Coaches and Scouts (SOC Code: 27-2022)
Salary Range$18,320 - $38,490
In Mississippi, a preschool teacher's salary may range from $18,320 to $38,490, with over 2,560 employed in the state. See details on how to become a preschool teacher.
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Preschool Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2011)
Salary Range$32,100 - $93,550
As a school administrator in Mississippi you can expect to make between $32,100 - $93,550. Mississippi is home to about two thousand school administrators. Take the next step and learn to how to become a school administrator.
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program (SOC Code: 11-9031)
Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School (SOC Code: 11-9032)
Salary Range$39,050 - $68,270
School counselors in Mississippi, can earn between $39,050 to $68,270 a year, with over 1,870 employed in the state. See our guide on how to become a school counselor.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors (SOC Code: 21-1012)
Salary Range$34,440 - $60,590
School librarians have a salary range between $34,440 to $60,590 a year in Mississippi. Mississippi is home to about a thousand school librarians. Read about what it takes to become a school librarian.
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Librarians (SOC Code: 25-4021)
Salary Range$36,250 - $59,470
In Mississippi, a special education teacher's salary may range from $36,250 to $59,470. Mississippi is home to about two thousand special education teachers. Interested in becoming a special education teacher?
Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School)
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School) (SOC Code: 25-2052)
Special Education Teachers (Middle School)
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Middle School) (SOC Code: 25-2053)
Special Education Teachers (High School)
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (High School) (SOC Code: 25-2054)
Salary Range$16,530 - $19,560
In Mississippi, a substitute teacher's salary may range from $16,530 to $19,560. Mississippi is home to about four thousand substitute teachers. Read about what it takes to become a substitute teacher.
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Substitute Teachers (SOC Code: 25-3098)
Salary Range$16,810 - $23,090
In Mississippi, a teaching assistant's salary may range from $16,810 to $23,090. There are around eleven thousand employed teaching assistants. Interested in becoming a teaching assistant?
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Teacher Assistants (SOC Code: 25-9041)
Top School Districts Supporting Teachers in Mississippi
Teachers work hard every day and the more support they have the better they can succeed at inspiring our future. This is why Teacher.org has ranked school districts in Mississippi that excel in supporting teachers inside and outside of the classroom. 102 school districts in Mississippi were analyzed with the top 30 school districts being featured below. The school districts were scored on several factors which represent how well a school district supports their teachers.
For more information on school district rankings, see our methodology page: http://www.teacher.org/school-district-ranking-methodology.
Continued List of School Districts in Mississippi
Data obtained from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey