In West Virginia, early childhood education can refer to prekindergarten through fourth grade. Teachers at this level need to have a unique set of skills to work with young children just learning about school structure. Continue reading if you'd like to learn how to become an early childhood teacher in West Virginia.
Requirements for West Virginia Early Childhood Teachers
|Average Salary for Early Childhood Teachers in West Virginia (2017)*|| $31,460 (Preschool)
|Required Degree||Bachelor's Degree|
|Required Field||Early Childhood Education|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6; Early Childhood Education and Teaching Reading: Elementary Education; Pre-Kindergarten Education|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Education
Successful completion of a bachelor's degree and an educator preparation program (EPP) is required if you want to teach young children in West Virginia. An approved, accredited program in early childhood education will have an EPP built in. An EPP is important for the education program because it covers the educational theories and instructional practices that help in the classroom environment. It also puts you into a real classroom under the tutelage of a certified professional teacher. Your classes may consist of childhood development, language acquisition, early childhood program, play and creativity, exceptional children, and multicultural influences.
Step 2: Complete Exam Requirements
There are several Praxis exams that must be passed in order to be certified as an early education teacher. For early childhood education, the first exam is Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT): Grades K-6. This exam includes 70 multiple-choice questions and four constructed-response questions that must be finished in two hours. You need to get a score of 160 or higher to pass.
You will then take the Praxis content-knowledge exams. For early childhood education, there are a couple options. There is a Pre-Kindergarten Education test that you can take if you plan to work in preschools or kindergartens. There are 100 multiple-choice questions on five areas of teaching and child development that you must complete in two hours. To pass, you must score 155 or higher.
If you want to work anywhere from kindergarten through fourth grade, you'll need to take both the Teaching Reading: Elementary Education exam and the Early Childhood Education exam. The former includes 90 multiple-choice and three constructed-response questions. You'll have 150 minutes to earn a score of 162. The Early Childhood Education exam, also called the Education of Young Children exam, consists of 120 multiple-choice questions and three constructed-response questions. This exam looks at six different areas:
- Childhood development
- Observation, documentations, and assessment
- Developmentally appropriate practices
- Professionalism, family, and community
- Content pedagogy
- Knowledge of teaching
You need a score of 160 or higher for this exam.
Step 3: Get Fingerprinted
In West Virginia prospective teachers are required to pass a background check. In order to do this, you must sign up for an appointment with LiveScan to have your fingerprints scanned electronically. These will then be used by the FBI and state police to check your background. You will first need to submit a notarized form consenting to the background check with your application.
West Virginia Early Education Teacher Certification Resources
If you are trying to study for your Praxis exams, you may be looking for some guidance. The following resources can help you prepare for your exams.