Preschool and elementary education teachers start children off on their educational journeys. It is vital that these educators are well-trained and equipped to provide our nation's youngest citizens with the tools they need. These teachers will need to become certified in multiple subjects in order to provide a well-rounded educational experience.
Arkansas Preschool or Kindergarten Teacher Requirements
|Average Salary for Teachers in Arkansas (2016)*||$31,700 (Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education); $45,850 (Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Education, with a specialization in science|
|Testing Requirements||PRAXIS CASE: Reading (5712), Writing (5722), and Mathematics (5732) and the appropriate Praxis examinations for their grade level|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Step 1: Fulfill Educational Requirements
Candidates who want to teach preschool or elementary school will need a bachelor's degree and also complete a teacher training program. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education that will qualify them to teach preschool age children through fourth grade. Coursework for this type of degree will include the foundations of elementary education, building learning environments, and integrated literacy and language.
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Step 2: Pass Certification Examinations
The next step for early education teaching candidates is to pass their state certification tests. All candidates will need to pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE) test, which is an online examination that tests proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. Candidates can take one test at a time or all at once with the Core Academic Skills for Educators: Combined Test (5751). Candidates will need to earn the following passing scores: 156 in reading; 162 in writing; and 150 in mathematics.
Teaching candidates will then need to pass Praxis examinations for their grade-specific area. Praxis offers the following tests in early childhood education.
Preschool teaching candidates will need to take one of the following examinations:
- B-K and P-4 Teacher Preparation Candidates Only: Principles of Learning and Teaching - Early Childhood Education (5621): Passing score is 157
- Age 3-4 Endorsement: Education of Young Children (5024): Passing score is 160
Elementary Education (K-6) teaching candidates will need to take four Praxis tests:
- Mathematics Subtest (5003): Passing score is 157
- Reading and Language Arts Subtest (5002): Passing score is 157
- Science Subtest (5005): Passing score is 159
- Social Studies Subtest (5004): Passing score is 155
Alternatively, candidates can choose to take all of the elementary education tests at once via the Multiple Subjects Test (5001). They will still need to earn all of the above passing scores on each subtest.
Elementary teaching candidates will also need to take the Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6 (5622) and earn a passing score of 160.
Preschool and elementary teaching candidates will also need to submit to background checks via the Child Maltreatment Central Registry, the state of Arkansas, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Step 3: Obtain Teaching Credentials
Candidates will then qualify for their initial teaching license, which will last three years. The next step is the provisional professional teaching license, also good for three years. Candidates must complete twenty-four hours of training during the first year of the provisional teaching license. This license also mandates that candidates undergo an evaluation for each year of the license. The final license for candidates to earn is the standard, five-year educator one.
Certification Resources for Arkansas Preschool and Elementary School Teachers
Individuals interested in teaching preschool or elementary school may find the below study aids helpful in preparing for their state certification examinations.