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Become a Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher in Connecticut

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers in Connecticut must hold an initial certificate in one of five separate endorsement areas. Read for an overview of the certification pathways available and applicable requirements.

Overview for Connecticut Kindergarten or Elementary School Teachers

All kindergarten and elementary school teachers in the state of Connecticut must hold a valid initial certificate in one of five separate endorsement areas for grades kindergarten through 6th. Unless you have two years of prior teaching experience, all initial certificate candidates must complete a state-approved teacher preparation program in order to begin the process. The table below summarizes relevant data for kindergarten and elementary school teachers in Connecticut.

Education Bachelor's degree required
Examinations Depends on endorsement area, generally Pearson, Praxis II, and edTPA assessment
Certification Initial Educator Certificate in an appropriate endorsement for PreK-6th
Certification Renewal Period 3 years
Average Salary in Connecticut (2018)* Kindergarten: $77,220
Elementary: $75,480
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* Kindergarten and Elementary: 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Certification Endorsement Areas for Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers?

Before beginning your progress toward certification, it is important to review the endorsement areas available for elementary and kindergarten school teachers (as those will limit the grades and education methods you will be eligible to teach in). For grades PreK through 6th, Connecticut has endorsement areas for; Elementary (grades 1 thru 6), Montessori Elementary (grades 1 thru 6), Montessori (birth thru kindergarten), and Integrated Early Childhood/Special Education for birth through kindergarten or kindergarten through grade 3. Montessori refers to a different education method which the state of Connecticut certifies separately.

How Do I Begin the Certification Process?

If you do not have teaching experience, you will need to have completed both a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a state-approved teacher preparation program. Some Connecticut teacher preparation programs are included as components of a full bachelor's degree, while others are designed for those who had already completed a bachelor's degree before beginning the certification process. In order to be eligible for certification, your cumulative grade point average cannot be below 2.75 in either your bachelor's degree or teacher preparation courses.

Candidates with at least two years of teaching experience can skip teacher preparation through a separate fast-track certification process.

What Examinations Should I Prepare For?

Candidates seeking a certification in any endorsement area covering Pre-K through grade 3 must complete both the Pearson Early Childhood Test and the Pearson Foundations for Reading Test. Candidates seeking certifications covering grades 1 through 6 must complete the ETS Praxis II Elementary Education Test and the Pearson Foundations for Reading Test. In addition to these examinations, all certification candidates must complete the edTPA assessment, which involves a portfolio review and the evaluation of live teaching sessions. Visit the Pearson, ETS, or edTPA assessment websites for study guides, examination locations, relevant dates, and registration information.

How Do I Advance to the Next Step If I Meet All the Requirements?

Once you have completed all education and examination requirements, you should confirm with your teacher preparation program that you are ready to move on to the formal application process. Though first-time candidates are required to submit their application on paper, you can still create an account on the Connecticut Educator Certification System (C.E.C.S.) in order to pay relevant fees and check the status of your application. Once you have created your account, the portal will provide you with relevant instructions on what to include and where to send test scores, official transcripts and your main application packet.