Becoming a Kindergarten & Elementary Teacher in Ohio

Jan 02, 2019

Students interested in instructing kindergarten or elementary school children can get a license to teach both areas. If the necessary requirements are met, anyone can receive their initial license called the Resident Educator License.

An Early Childhood license in the state of Ohio prepares teachers to instruct preschool through third grade. Anyone interested in becoming certified to instruct children after the third grade must pursue an Elementary Education license.

Ohio Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Ohio (2017)* $56,400 (Kindergarten), $59,950 (Elementary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Early Childhood Education
Testing Requirements OAE: Assessment of Professional Knowledge - Early Childhood, Early Childhood Education, and Foundations of Reading

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

In the state of Ohio, a bachelor's degree in the most applicable content area is required in order to become a teacher. This degree should be from an approved, accredited teacher preparation program. There are several programs in the state that fit this description. Teachers hoping to instruct PK-3 will need to take general education courses and pedagogy-related courses. Some courses that might be required include:

  • Sociocultural Studies in Education: an introduction to the social foundations of education that gives context for the education system
  • Psychology of the Exceptional Learner: an exploration of how different minds work and how behaviors are developed
  • Introduction to Child Development: discussion of the patterns of behavior and development of young children
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education: an overview of the role of an educator in early childhood education

Students will also complete a student-teaching aspect of their degree.

Step 2: Take Required OAE Exams

When the degree program is complete, prospective teachers will move on to Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) testing. PK-3 licensure requires the Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Early Childhood exam, the Early Childhood Education exam, and the Foundations of Reading exam. The Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Early Childhood exam has 100 multiple-choice questions with one written case study assignment and one work product written assignment. This is a three-hour exam that costs $105. A score of 220 or higher is required to pass.

The Early Childhood Education exam is also required. This is a 150 multiple-choice exam over three hours. This test also costs $105 and requires a score of at lest 220.

The Foundations of Reading exam is the last required exam and is 100 multiple-choice questions long with two written assignments. Teachers have four hours for the test, which costs $139 and requires a passing score of at least 220.

Step 3: Turn in the Online Certification Application

When all three OAEs have been taken, teachers can start completing the application by setting up an online account. The online system guides applicants through all required steps, prompting them to upload all required materials including transcripts, test scores, and any additional documents. A $160 fee for the Resident Educator License is required, as well as a background check. This license is valid for four years.

Study Resource for Future Ohio PK-3 Teachers

There are resources available for prospective teachers studying for the OAE exams. Check out the guide below to get a head start on preparation and to practice sample problems.

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