Becoming a Kindergarten Teacher in New Jersey

If you're considering a career in teaching kindergarten, New Jersey has a unique set of requirements before you start making lesson plans. Check out the necessary degree, teacher preparation, and exam requirements to become a kindergarten teacher. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career information for Kindergarten Teachers in New Jersey

Kindergarten teachers in New Jersey will begin their career by earning a bachelor's degree in elementary education. A basic skills assessment and a Praxis exam covering young students are required before you can earn the right to teach on your own.

Education/Experience RequiredBachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education and teacher education program
Exams RequiredBasic skills assessment; Praxis Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education
Certificate ValidityCertificate of Eligibility, Advanced Standing, issued after completion of teacher education program (no extension required). Provisional certificate is valid for two years
Certificate ExtensionStandard Certificate issued after completing two years of teaching through the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP)
Average New Jersey Salary (2018)$67,400 for kindergarten teachers
National Job Growth (2016-2026)8% for kindergarten teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Along with educating students, kindergarten teachers help students learn how to socialize with each other. You will watch each student in your class as they communicate and monitor how they are progressing in their socialization skills. Unlike later grades, kindergarten students typically learn all of their subjects in the same classroom, so you will expose them to many different academic topics throughout the day. Your lesson plans will help give you a template for what to teach throughout the year. Outside of the classroom, you will supervise them during lunch breaks and outside activities. Kindergarten is one of the first places where students will learn about rules, which you can establish and enforce.

Education and Training Requirements

To teach at kindergarten level, you can select one of two different majors when choosing a degree program. Kindergarten falls under a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education or a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Early childhood majors are qualified to teach preschool through third grade, while those studying elementary education can teach kindergarten through sixth grade. Both programs offer a second major as part of the entire degree; you might have your second major chosen for you in arts and sciences, or you can find your own choice from several different subjects, such as biology or sociology. Your degree includes a student teaching experience to prepare you for the classroom environment.

Exam Requirements

Earning your first teaching credential for New Jersey requires a basic skills assessment. If you haven't taken the SAT or ACT, you can take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test. This comes in three sections: one for reading, one for math, and one for writing. The other Praxis exam you can take is based on your degree. There are tests in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects. The elementary test is longer, with four different subsections (social studies, science, reading and language arts, and math) required for a passing score.

Certification Requirements

Once you have completed your degree program, passed your exams, and finished your student teaching, you can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS). This will allow you to seek full-time employment at a school in New Jersey. After you get hired, you can enter the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP). During this time, your performance is evaluated by the education department. If your results are satisfactory, the state will recommend you for a Standard Certificate, which is good for the duration of your career as a teacher.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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