All 67 of Florida's public school districts hire teachers of kindergarteners. Florida offers a Prekindergarten/Primary PK-3 certification for those interested in working with young children and an Elementary Education K-6 certification for kindergarten through sixth grade.
Florida Teacher Salary Information and Requirements
|Average Salary for Kindergarten Teachers in Florida (2016)*||$46,410|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education|
|Testing Requirements||FTCE Exams: General Knowledge, Professional Education, and either Prekindergarten/Primary PK-3 or Elementary Education K-6|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree
The first step for any student striving to become a kindergarten teacher is to graduate with a bachelor's degree from an approved, accredited teacher preparation program in early childhood or elementary education. These programs are designed to give students an in-depth base of information upon which to build through student teaching. All programs vary slightly in content, but most will include some classes like:
- Child Growth and Development: focuses on social, physical, intellectual, and emotional development in children 0-8
- Child Psychology: an in-depth look at cognitive and behavioral development
- Classroom Management: provides strategies for teachers to use in the classroom
Students will complete student teaching internships prior to graduation in order to strengthen their background in the classroom. Many programs also require a minimum GPA of 2.5 for graduation.
Step 2: Take All Required Tests
Once all educational requirements have been fulfilled, students will need to take all of the appropriate Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCEs). The first required exam is the General Knowledge test, made up of four subtests: the essay, English language skills, reading, and mathematics. The test costs $130 altogether and is made up of both the written response section and the multiple-choice sections - 40 multiple-choice reading questions, 40 multiple-choice English language questions, and 45 multiple-choice math questions. Students will need to score at least a 200 on each multiple-choice subtest and an 8 or higher on the essay. Teachers will also need to take the Professional Education exam, which tests one's pedagogical knowledge. This exam is $150 and is made up of 120 multiple-choice questions. Test-takers will need to score at least a 200.
The last FTCE required relates to the prospective teacher's specific area of study: those who studied early childhood education would take the Prekindergarten/Primary PK-3 exam, while those who studied elementary education would take the Elementary Education K-6 exam.
- The Prekindergarten/Primary test consists of 4 subtests: developmental knowledge (60 multiple-choice questions), language arts and reading (60 multiple-choice questions), mathematics (50 multiple choice questions), and science (50 multiple choice questions). All subtests together cost $200 and each requires at least a score of 200.
- The Elementary Education test also consists of 4 subtests: language arts and reading (60 multiple-choice questions), social science (55 multiple-choice questions), science (55 multiple-choice questions) and mathematics (50 multiple-choice questions). The combined test of all 4 subtests costs $200; a passing score of 200 is required per subtest.
Step 3: Complete the Certification Application
Finally, teachers will be ready to complete the certification process. First, they will need to submit all applicable forms (transcripts, form CG-10 found on the DOE's website) and the processing fee ($75 per subject) to the Department of Education. When the application has been approved, teachers will receive their official Statement of Eligibility, declaring that they are ready to be hired by a Florida school district and also stating any other requirements they have yet to fulfill. Then, students need to find a job within Florida and get fingerprinted. Once the fingerprint records have been approved, teachers will receive their Initial Certification from the state of Florida.
Study Resources for Future Florida Teachers
Eager to start preparing for the FTCE exams? There are plenty of resources online - take a look at the study guides and practice problems below.