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Become a Kindergarten Teacher in California

Kindergarten teachers in the state of California must meet a number of requirements before they are able to start their teaching careers. Learn about those requirements and other important job statistics.

Information On Becoming a Kindergarten Teacher in California

Kindergarten teachers typically work with students around the ago of five to help them learn and communicate basic knowledge that they will need as they move up through elementary school. In order to become a kindergarten teacher in the state of California, there are certain requirements that will need to be met.

Education/Experience Required A Minimum of a Bachelor's Degree, Certification/License to Teach
Exams Required Basic Skills (various options)
License Validity Period 5 Years (Level I, non-renewable)
Mean Salary in CA (2018) $69,690 (kindergarten teachers)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (kindergarten teachers, nationally)*

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

Job Description

Kindergarten teachers are responsible for a number of different activities in the school setting, like enforcing rules, creating lesson plans, talking with the parents of students, grading work, and tracking student progress. These educators usually teach a variety of different subjects, from reading and writing to science. Kindergarten teachers will also need to work with students to help them comprehend and use the information that they learn over the course of the class. These teachers may also need to attend parent conferences or open house events held by the school that employs them.

Education Requirements

Those who want to work towards becoming a kindergarten teacher in the state of California will need to earn a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited university or college. A higher degree may not be necessary, but can broaden the spectrum of available jobs later down the line. Students must complete a Commission-approved elementary subject-matter program and get proof that the program was completed. A college course made up of two semester units in the topic of provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution is also required by the State of California.

Students must successfully complete a teacher preparation program and meet all the individual requirements for the program. These programs often include courses in education foundations, diversity, and teaching children with special needs. In addition, aspiring educators can expect to take teaching methods courses in areas such as math, language arts, science, and social studies. Many programs require supervised fieldwork experiences and a student teaching internship.

Exam Requirements

Those who seek teacher certification in California must meet the basic skills requirement. For kindergarten teachers, this might be done by passing one of the following: CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test), CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers), CSU (California State University Early Assessment Program/Placement Exams), College Board SAT or the ACT.

The Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) is required for California teachers, unless they have completed a teacher preparation program that includes student teaching.

Certification Advancement

The five-year Level I (Preliminary) certification is typically not renewable. Teachers are expected to fulfill the requirements during that time for moving to the Level II certification. In certain situations, teacher may file an appeal for an extension.