Don’t Let MTELs Keep You From Becoming a Teacher


At Wheelock College, we work to ensure that all students in our education degree programs are prepared to pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs). Passing these rigorous tests is a requirement to become a classroom teacher in the state.

“The MTEL Test is not something that’s a tangent to a person’s academic program—we think of these two things as intricate and linked,” says Paul Hastings, Wheelock Associate Dean of Student Success. For example, all students at Wheelock are required to take the Communications and Literacy MTEL before beginning their student teaching assignment. They then have to pass two other sections of the state exam before completing their teacher education coursework or earning their education degree.

Preparing for MTELs

Wheelock offers free MTEL prep courses in both the spring and the fall—open to all of our undergraduate and graduate students in early childhood education, elementary education, special education, and language and literacy programs. The prep courses cover both the actual material covered by the tests and tips on how to approach taking the MTELs.

“We’re committed to helping our students prepare the best they can so they’ll be successful,” says Academic Project Coordinator Emily St. Martin. “Students who take our prep courses have a better understanding and a better appreciation of expectations going in….So, make your plan, stick to it, and get them out of the way.”

Don’t Wait

Professionals who have passed their MTELs said that being strategic about when you take the tests can help cut down on stress and greatly improve your odds of success. “Take them early and often,” says Mare Parker-O’Toole, assistant director of Wheelock’s Early Center for Learning and Innovation. “If you wait until the last minute, then you lose opportunities.”

Wheelock Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs Mitchell Sakofs advises finding out the schedule of the various MTEL subject tests so that you can take each exam shortly after you complete the course in that subject. “Don’t wait a year or two so that content kind of fades into your memory,” Sakofs says. “There’s no value added in procrastinating. Don’t let one exam get in the way of a lifetime of service as a teacher.”

Learn more about the MTELs and sign up for a preparation class today.