The state of Louisiana certifies teachers to instruct kindergartners around the state. With 70 school districts, there are many opportunities to pursue a career in early education. The following steps will cover what it takes to become a Louisiana kindergarten teacher.
Louisiana Teacher Salary Information and Requirements
|Average Salary for Elementary Teachers in Louisiana (2017)*||$49,220 (Kindergarten), $49,970 (Special Education - Kindergarten)|
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Early Childhood Education|
|Testing Requirements||Test of basic skills, Praxis PLT Early Childhood, Praxis Elementary Education|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree
All future kindergarten teachers in the state of Louisiana are required to graduate from an approved, accredited teacher preparation program with a degree in early childhood education. There are several approved programs for students to choose from, and Louisiana's Department of Education keeps an updated list on its website. Regardless of the program a student enrolls in, the student will be expected to complete a student teaching internship prior to graduation. The programs of study will be slightly different depending on the school a student attends, but all will likely offer classes on:
- Children's literature
- Classroom management
- Child psychology and development
- Diversity and multicultural education
Step 2: Take All Required Tests
Before a student is ready to apply for certification, he or she must take all required tests. In the state of Louisiana, a test of basic skills is required and this can be fulfilled by the ACT (a composite score of 22 or higher) or the SAT (a combined score of 1030). This requirement can also be met with the Praxis Core exams. The Core exam is made up of 3 tests: reading (which requires a 156 or higher), writing (which requires a score of 162 or higher), and math (which requires a score of 150).
Future kindergarten teachers will also need to take the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT): Early Childhood exam, which requires a score of 157. The Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects exam will also need to be completed. This is made up of a reading and language arts subtest (a 157 or higher is required), mathematics subtest (requiring at least a 157), social studies subtest (a 155 or higher is required), and science subtest (a minimum score of 159 is needed).
Step 3: Complete the Certification Application
Finally, teachers are ready to apply for their Level 1 Professional Certificate. This certificate requires at least a 2.5 GPA in addition to transcripts from the state-approved teacher preparation program. Prospective teachers need to be able to provide all scoring information from Praxis and the SAT or ACT. They will also need to be recommended by their university and pay a $50 processing fee (as of April 2018) in order to be awarded with certification. When all of these requirements are met, students are eligible to receive their Level 1 Professional Certificate, which is valid for three years and can be renewed once.
Study Resources for Future Louisiana Teachers
Planning on getting a head start on studying? There are lots of online resources for any Praxis exams in your future. Take a look at the guides and sample questions below.