Arkansas Preschool and Kindergarten Teacher Requirements

Preschool and kindergarten teachers work with younger students as they first make their way into the world of schooling. Learn about the specific requirements for becoming a preschool or kindergarten teacher in the state of Arkansas. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information on Becoming a Preschool and Kindergarten Teacher in Arkansas

Preschool teachers usually work with students under the age of five years old, whereas kindergarten teachers typically work with students aged five or six. Before becoming a teacher in the state of Arkansas, there are a number of different requirements that first need to be met by applicants.

Education/Experience Required A Minimum of a Bachelor's Degree, Certification/License
Exams Required Praxis Exams, edTPA, Foundations of Reading Assessment
Certification Renewal Period 5 Years
Mean Salary for Arkansas Teachers (2018) Preschool - $33,150, Kindergarten - $46,180*
Estimated National Job Growth (2016-2026) Preschool - 10%, Kindergarten - 7%*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

Both preschool and kindergarten teachers work with younger students to teach them the basic knowledge and material that they will need to advance in elementary school. Preschool teachers typically work with students to teach them fundamentals like numbers, letters, shapes, colors, and motor skills. Kindergarten teachers work with students and teach them basic subjects like reading, math, and science. Both of these teachers will be responsible for other tasks as well, such as creating lesson plans, grading assignments, tracking student progress, and supervising students.

Education Requirements

Before someone can become a teacher in Arkansas, candidates must first earn a minimum of a bachelor's degree, though a higher degree may provide more opportunities later. Those who are wishing to become preschool and kindergarten teachers should pursue a degree in a related field, such as elementary education or early childhood development. Those who do not have a bachelor's degree, or one that is not related to teaching, can still become teachers by going back to school for a bachelor's degree or completing an educator preparation program.

Exam Requirements

The next step for becoming a teacher in the state of Arkansas is to pass the three required exams. The first is the Praxis exams that are administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and these tests gauge a candidate's general knowledge as well as subject-specific knowledge. Next is the edTPA, which is a performance-based exam that is used to determine if a potential teacher is ready for her first teaching job. Lastly, there is the Foundations of Reading Assessment. This test is for those wishing to teach elementary education (grades K-6) in the state of Arkansas.

What's Next?

After taking and passing the three exams listed above, and completing the necessary educational requirements, it is time for candidates to apply for their initial teacher's licenses. A paper application can be requested by contacting the Office of Educator Licensure. A check or money order for the application fee will need to be sent in along with the application and all requested material. Some of the documents needed for the application include official college transcripts, along with proof of passing test scores. For more information about what is needed to apply, applicants can visit the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

License Renewal

In order to continue teaching in the state of Arkansas, teachers will need to renew their licenses. To do so, teachers will need to complete a background check, along with having their fingerprints taken. In addition to this, the renewal application will need to be completed, and a $75 application fee will need to be paid at the time of application.

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