Essential Information for Becoming a Kindergarten Teacher Online
There are several steps you must complete before you can teach at the kindergarten level, including earning a bachelor's degree, which can be done online, and obtaining a state teacher certification or license, which often cannot be done online. Also, it's important that you develop the necessary interpersonal, critical-thinking, and communication skills that it takes to be a successful kindergarten teacher. The chart below illustrates the essentials of the kindergarten teacher profession, including required skills, future job growth projection, and salary information.
|Required Skills||Communication, resourcefulness, patience|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)*||3%|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$57,980|
Source *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps to Becoming a Kindergarten Teacher Online
Although some of the steps to becoming a kindergarten teacher can be done online, be aware that even online steps may consist of various real-world requirements, such as gaining real experience as a student-teacher or completing an internship in a classroom setting.
Step 1: Earn an Online Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree
There are two educational pathways for becoming a kindergarten teacher. First, if you enter college already knowing you want to be a kindergarten teacher, then you should ideally earn an online bachelor's degree in education with an elementary education or K-6 focus. Some states may also require that you major in a specific content area as well. Although online bachelor's programs in education or teaching typically consist of classes you complete in an online setting, these online programs also have real-world requirements, such as student teaching experiences or field placements that cannot be done online.
Step 2: Earn an Online Master's Degree or Complete an Alternative Teacher Prep Program
The second pathway to becoming a kindergarten teacher is for those who have already earned a bachelor's degree in a non-educational field, such as history, English, or science, and who want to begin a new career as a kindergarten teacher. To do this, you need to earn either an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree, which will prepare you for initial teacher certification, or complete an online alternative teacher preparation program, which could lead to a certificate or a master's degree, depending on the program. Like online bachelor's degree programs in education, these online programs could also require real-world teaching internship or other experiences.
Step 2: Obtain State Teacher Certification or License
Next, after you have the right educational credentials, you need to obtain teacher certification or licensure in kindergarten or the K-6 grade level. This is a process that varies by state, so it's usually best to check with your state's educational board for specific requirements. However, some common requirements could include holding a bachelor's degree, completing a student teaching program, passing a background check, and preparing for a teaching certification exam in the subject in which you will teach. Usually, this step cannot be completed online.
Step 3: Continuing Education or Earn a Master's Degree (In Some States)
After you receive certification as a kindergarten teacher, some states require that you complete continuing education in the form of professional development courses. Other states may require that you also obtain a master's degree, which can also be done online after you become a kindergarten teacher.