Kindergarten Teacher Requirements in Texas

Kindergarten teachers are the educators who will set the foundation for a child's education. This article provides information on how to become a kindergarten teacher in the state of Texas, including exam and certification requirements. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Becoming a Kindergarten Teacher in Texas

Educating kindergarten students is a responsibility that requires knowledgeable educators trained to understand the learning needs of young children. The Texas Education Association (TEA) sets the standard for obtaining a teaching certification in the state of Texas. A kindergarten teacher must develop a child's mind and encourage enthusiasm for learning. The requirements needed ensures that a kindergarten teaching certificate holder is qualified and prepared to teach young students while supporting their learning needs.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's Degree
Exam Requirements TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility EC-12 (160) and TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam (291)
Certification Renewal Period 5 Years
CPE Credits Required for Renewal 150 CPE
Average Salary $54,780 (as of May 2018)
Estimated Job Growth 7% (2016 to 2026)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education and Preparation

The minimum requirement to be a certified Texas teacher is to have a bachelor's degree. Universities now offer Early Childhood Education degrees that will provide the bachelor's degree needed for certification, as well as fulfill the requirement of an Educator Preparation Program (EPP), which is another requirement to receive certification. If the candidate holds a bachelor's degree that does not include an EPP, the candidate will need to seek a TEA approved alternative certification program that will fulfill the EPP requirement. Visit the TEA's website for a list of Early Childhood Education programs and Alternative Certification programs approved by the TEA.

Exam

A candidate seeking certification to teach kindergarten must pass the TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility EC-12 (160) and the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 Exam (291). Core subjects include art, physical education, English language arts and reading, music, health, science, mathematics, social studies, and theatre. Pre-admission to test is required by the testing vendor that administers TExES exams. The exam is taken on a computer, allows for 5 hours to complete, requires a passing score of at least 240, and costs $116.

Apply for Certification

Once you have met the requirements of the bachelor's degree, completed an EPP, and successfully fulfilled the exam requirements, the candidate will apply to the state of Texas for certification. To submit an application for certification the candidate must visit the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS). The candidate will set up a Texas Education Agency Login account in order to have access to their Educator Certification Account on the ECOS. This process requires access to a computer that has internet explorer as a web browser as other browsers will not be compatible with ECOS or TEAL systems.

Fingerprinting

Getting fingerprinted is the final step and is done for the safety of the children. This process fulfills the need for a thorough background check. The candidate's fingerprint will provide access to information on their criminal history. The TEA will review the background history of the candidate and determines if they are clear to work as a teacher in the state of Texas. The TEA website provides an online help desk to assist with fingerprinting. Once this requirement is fulfilled, the candidate will be certified to teach kindergarten in the state of Texas.

Renewal

A kindergarten teaching certification requires renewal every five years and the certificate holder must have 150 continuing professional education (CPE) hours to qualify for renewal. CPE hours are obtained by attending workshops, trainings, and attending conferences approved by the TEA, or by completing a master's degree. If CPE hours are earned through undergraduate or graduate course work, a transcript will suffice as documentation. There is a one-time renewal fee of $22 to renew a teaching certification, although additional fees may apply under special circumstances. To receive more information on obtaining or renewing a kindergarten teaching certification visit the TEA website.

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