How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher in Iowa

A kindergarten classroom is the first truly structured academic environment children in the United States will encounter. Kindergarten teachers must complete various education and testing steps before they can be awarded initial teacher licensure in Iowa.

Kindergarten teachers have the privilege of being a child's first mentor in structured education. Teachers at this age level must be able to demonstrate the necessary patience and professionalism to enable their young students to develop in their new learning environment. In order to qualify as a kindergarten teacher in Iowa, candidates must obtain a teacher license and the relevant endorsement.

Kindergarten Teacher Certification Requirements in Iowa

Average Salary for Kindergarten Teachers in Iowa (2017)* $51,140
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Elementary education
Testing Requirements Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching: K-6 (code: 5622) and Praxis II Elementary Education: Content Knowledge test (code: 5018), or edTPA

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Degree

Teacher candidates in Iowa must first obtain a bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university and complete an approved Iowa elementary education teacher preparation program. Candidates typically take these programs concurrently and will takes courses in general and elementary education. They must complete at least 18 semester hours of coursework in the following:

  • Child development and learning
  • Building family and community relationships
  • Assessment in early childhood
  • Developmentally effective approaches
  • Content knowledge (including math, literacy, science, the arts, and/or social studies)
  • Collaboration and professionalism
  • Field experiences
  • Historical, philosophical, and social foundations of early childhood education

The field experiences should include observation and practice in a number of early childhood settings.

Step 2: Pass All Required Testing

Kindergarten teacher candidates, as with all teacher candidates, must pass pedagogy and content area testing. These tests are usually sat towards the end of the teacher preparation program.

Kindergarten teacher candidates must pass the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching: K-6 (code: 5622, pass score - 167) to satisfy the pedagogy testing requirement. Alternatively, they can take the PPAT assessment (pass score - 32)

Next, candidates must pass the Praxis II Elementary Education: Content Knowledge test (code: 5018, pass score - 152)

As an alternative to completing the Praxis II tests described above, candidates can complete the edTPA in Teacher Elementary Classroom K-6 (code: 102). The appropriate assessments are as follows:

  • Teacher Elementary Classroom K-6
    • Elementary Literacy (pass score - 41)
    • Elementary Math (pass score - 41)
    • Elementary Education (literacy and math task) (pass score - 49)

Step 3: Apply for an Initial Iowa Teacher License with Endorsement

When candidates have successfully completed the education and testing steps, they can apply for an initial Iowa teacher license by submitting an online application using the Iowa Board of Educational Examiner's (BOEE) Applitrack system.

To apply for the kindergarten (K-6) endorsement, candidates must first:

  • Obtain verification from their Iowa institution that the preparation program requirements for the endorsement were met.
  • Obtain verification from their Iowa institution that minimum state requirements for the endorsement have been satisfied in lieu of the institution's approved program.
  • Obtain verification from their state approved institution that Iowa minimum endorsement requirements were met.
  • Apply to the BOEE to review college/university transcripts to determine if the Iowa endorsement requirements have been met.

Once the relevant verification has been obtained, candidates can apply for the K-6 endorsement using the Applitrack system.

Iowa Kindergarten Teacher Certification Resources

Prospective kindergarten teachers in Iowa should click on the following links to access our teacher licensing exam study materials.


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