How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher in Alaska

Alaska offers a unique opportunity to teach individuals from native cultures, as well as others, in small classrooms, and we explore the necessary steps to become a kindergarten teacher there, as well as the salary these teachers earn.

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In Alaska, teacher licensing is processed by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (EED). Teaching in this state may include familiar urban experiences, but there are also opportunities to teach in highly rural areas known as 'the Bush' with communities of less than 6,000 people. Additionally, this state offers a potential student loan forgiveness for those who teach in impoverished areas. See what's required to become a kindergarten teacher in Alaska below.

Alaska Kindergarten Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Kindergarten Teachers in Alaska (2016)* $73,190 (excludes special education kindergarten teachers)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Elementary education
Testing Requirements Basic competency exam (BCE) and Praxis subject area exam

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Acquire the Necessary Degree

Those seeking a kindergarten teaching position in Alaska have to graduate from an accredited school with at least a bachelor's degree in elementary education. During their time as undergraduates, aspiring teachers typically take classes in mathematics for elementary teachers, assessing elementary students, family and community, creating inclusive classrooms, and integrating technology into the curriculum. There is also an emphasis on Alaskan state history and teaching students from the native culture in Alaska.

Courses in Alaska studies and Alaska multiculturalism are also required by the EED, but these are typically taken no later than two years after receiving the initial teaching certificate. At the end of their education, applicants should request a recommendation from a professor in their teacher preparation program, since this is also required for the application process.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
  • Teaching, Adults
  • Teaching, Elementary
  • Teaching, High School
  • Teaching, Junior High
  • Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
  • Teaching, Waldorf and Steiner Education
  • Teaching, Young Children

Step 2: Complete and Pass All State Exams

In Alaska, individuals new to teaching and seeking an initial teacher certification have to offer their official college transcripts during the application process, as well as paying the $200 certificate fee. They will undergo background checks processed by both the Department of Public Safety and FBI, which may cost $60. Applicants also have to pass a basic competency exam (BCE), and they have numerous options for completing it, including the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators or the competency exams from other states, like California's CBEST. Applicants must also pass a content area exam. For those interested in kindergarten teaching, which falls under elementary education, these content tests can include:

  • Elementary Education, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment (a score of 153 is required)
  • Elementary Education, Content Knowledge (163 is the required score for this exam)
  • Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects (you must pass all the specific subject area subtests)

The additional tests in specific subject areas include:

  • Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects Reading & LA subtest (a score of 157 is required to pass)
  • Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects Mathematics subtest (receive a 157 to pass this exam)
  • Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects Social Studies subtest (155 is the passing score)
  • Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects Science subtest (a passing score is 159)

It takes a further two years of classroom teaching experience and completing the courses in Alaska studies and Alaskan multiculturalism to earn a professional teacher certificate, which costs another $200 to receive. Classes in Alaska studies can include those on Alaskan Natives, the history of Alaska, or the government of Alaska, to name a few. Similarly, those in Alaska multiculturalism can include culturally responsive teaching and comparative education.

Resources for Teacher Certification in Alaska

The following link provides information on the Praxis Multiple Subjects test, as well as tips to help you study for it.

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