About This Masters Degree
Teacher Preparation Programs in English
The Warner School’s teacher preparation program in English prepares individuals for entry-level positions and advanced teacher certification. Graduates of our program become thoughtful and reflective English teachers who have the knowledge and skills to effectively teach in secondary classrooms.
Language, literacy, and the ways of communicating are timeless so there will always be a demand for quality English educators. At Warner, we are committed to preparing knowledgeable, open-minded, and creative English teachers who are aware of the shifting landscape of English language arts, committed to high standards of teaching and learning, and who can become agents for change in schools. They become teachers who value their students, and who view students' differences, experiences, and ideas as resources for learning in the classroom. Through coursework and field experiences our graduate students learn how to engage adolescents and enable them to study the English language, literature, and multiple literacies while also making rich connections to their world around them.
Today’s English language arts classrooms are about so much more than conventional reading and writing. English is not just a set of skills taught to children in the classroom; it is a set of social practices that children use to “read the world,” in school, at home, and in their communities. They approach teaching the English language, literature, and literacy with a critical social analysis of the diverse communities in which our students live. They recognize their students as individuals who bring rich histories, interests, and passions to the classroom and learn to provide opportunities for students to read and write about issues that intrigue or concern them.
As we live in a diverse and increasingly globalized world, the ways of communicating have become more and more complex. Our graduates develop strategies for designing instruction to prepare their students for success in this complex world—an important task facing U.S. education. Our faculty and graduate students integrate technological and media literacy as both tools and social practices. Graduates learn to effectively draw upon a variety of media to enhance English Language Arts instruction in the classroom while also encouraging students to express their own ideas and identities. And, their students become problem solvers and effective communicators who are proficient in English and master the appropriate learning and thinking skills, communications skills, and technology skills needed to excel in our 21st century landscape.
In an era of standardized testing and accountability, it’s important to understand these realities, how they impact instruction, and how teachers can react to the demands while meeting the needs of every student. Our program prepares teachers to exceed Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts. Additionally, our graduates create a sense of community and foster strong language and literacy skills for all students, including those learning the English language.
The program is committed to issues of diversity and equity. Throughout the program, graduate students construct classroom environments that promote social justice. They have the courage and conviction to lead struggles for social justice, in-depth knowledge of English language arts, and the skills and understanding needed to help students from every background develop to their potential. They develop sensitivity for what is appropriate for the age/grade level they teach and for the children, families, and communities in which they teach. And, they lead efforts to advocate for full inclusion for students with disabilities in general education classrooms as part of their efforts to reform schools.
New York State Teaching Certifications
To teach English in secondary schools in New York State, you need to obtain NYS Initial Teaching Certification in Adolescence Education (grades 7-12) as a specialist in English. Professional Certification and a master’s degree are also eventually required. Our Warner English teacher preparation program will provide you with all the coursework needed to apply for both NYS certifications as part of a master’s degree. Provided you have the necessary content background, our program also allows you to pursue more than one certification at the same time and with minimal additional credits.
Prerequisites for entry-level teachers teaching English include a bachelor’s degree with a major in a liberal art or science, one course in a language other than English (or equivalent), and 30 credits of coursework (at either the undergraduate or graduate level) in English language arts. If you have questions as to whether you have the prerequisites to enter the program, please contact the Admissions Office. Please check the detailed program of study for the program you are considering for specific prerequisites and other requirements for certification.
We expect students entering our teacher preparation programs to have already fulfilled these prerequisites. If this is not the case, you may still be allowed to enter our programs at the discretion of your advisor; you will, however, have to take the needed coursework before the end of the program in order to be recommended for certification to the New York State Education Department. Some subject matter courses taken at the graduate level can be used as electives in a master's program, provided that they are taken at the graduate level and have been approved by your advisor as part of your program of study.
No doubt you had a teacher who took a genuine interest, who really opened your eyes to the possibilities. You can become that teacher: The one who creates a classroom where spirits soar and success is the expectation.
At Warner, you’ll grow into a thoughtful practitioner with a deep understanding of your subject and the best way to teach it. You
will develop an approach that is grounded in current research and authentic practices, that promotes social justice and supports students’ growth and development.
And you’ll do it quicker. A teaching degree from the Warner School can be completed in just 15 months. (Most take two years.) Classes begin in May, right after graduation, and run through the following August. And since New York has some of the toughest certifications around, you can take what you’ve learned just about anywhere.
Prerequisites for entry-level teachers teaching English include a bachelor’s degree with a major in a liberal art or science, one course in a language other than English (or equivalent), and 30 credits of coursework (at either the undergraduate or graduate level) in English language arts. See https://www.warner.rochester.edu/admissions/