Requirements to Become an Elementary School Teacher in New York

Discover how to become a certified elementary school teacher in the state of New York. Learn about the educational and exam requirements involved, the types of certificates offered, and renewal information. Schools offering Elementary Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information for Elementary School Teachers in New York

Elementary school teachers in New York take part in the intellectual and social development of students from grades 1 to 6. Applicants for this role will require various educational training in the field of childhood or elementary education, resulting in an initial teaching certificate in the field.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
DASA Training
Exam Requirements Educating All Students Test (EAS)
Content Specialty Test (CST)
edTPA in elementary education
Fingerprint clearance
Certification Renewal Period 5 years
Credits Required for Renewal 100 CLTE hours (professional certificate)
Average Annual Salary (2018)* $83,010 (for elementary teachers in New York)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 7% (elementary school teachers, nationwide)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

To become an elementary school teacher in New York, one must acquire a teaching certificate in the field of childhood education (grades 1-6). The minimum educational requirement for this is a bachelor's degree with the completion of a state-approved education program in childhood education. Such programs are available as both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and are designed to equip students with the skills to interact with, observe, and engage elementary students in learning basic school subjects such as math, science, social studies, and literacy. Graduates will also develop a well-rounded understanding of child development and behavior.

New York also requires prospective teachers to attend workshops in school bullying, discrimination, and harrassment for the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).

Exam Requirements

Apart from undergoing fingerprint clearance, elementary school teachers must pass three exams: the Educating All Students Test (EAS), a Content Specialty Test (CST), and an edTPA in elementary education.

The EAS test is a computer-based assessment designed to measure your readiness as a teacher for schools across the state. You will be assessed on your performance and knowledge in effective teaching practices, strategies, and methods in a classroom environment, along with your ability to foster positive relationships and communication.

Applicants will also need to pass the Multiple-Subject: Teachers of Childhood (Grade 1-6) CST (computer-based) and the edTPA in elementary education (a portfolio-based assessment). These tests measure your ability to teach literacy, mathematics, and arts and science subjects at an elementary school level.

Transitioning from an Initial Certificate to a Professional Certificate

Those just starting out as a teacher in New York will typically begin with an initial certificate - also referred to as the 'entry-level' certificate for teachers. To progress into a professional certificate (also referred to as an advanced-level credential), one must have completed 3 years of paid, full-time teaching experience in childhood education.This also includes one initial year of 'mentored experience' from certified teachers or faculty from their school.

Renewing Your Professional Certificate

Both an initial and professional certificate are valid for 5 years. Holders of professional certificates must submit the appropriate application for renewal, along with the completion of 100 hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader (CLTE) hours if they practice 90 days or more in a single school district. Acceptable CLTE hours can be completed in NYSED-approved sponsors that offer courses or workshops in the area of childhood or elementary education. Such activities are designed to improve one's teaching performance and leadership skills in the classroom.

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