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How to Become a Preschool or Kindergarten Teacher in Idaho

Discover how to get initial teaching certification in the state of Idaho. Read about the required coursework, testing, and application process needed to become a preschool or kindergarten teacher.

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The state of Idaho offers several types of certification for those interested in teaching preschool or kindergarten. There is a Standard Elementary certificate available for those looking to teach kindergarten, a Standard Exceptional Child certificate for those looking to teach special education kindergarten, and then an Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education blended certificate appropriate for birth through 3rd grade.

Idaho Teacher Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Early Childhood Teachers in Idaho (2016)* $23,200 (Preschool), $40,750 (Preschool - Special Education), $49,410 (Kindergarten), $45,340 (Kindergarten - Special Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Early Childhood Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Elementary Education series; Special Education - Preschool/Early Childhood, Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications, Early Childhood Education

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree

The first step for future preschool or kindergarten teachers in Idaho is to complete an accredited teacher preparation program at one of the several approved schools in the state. Students will pursue a bachelors in early childhood education or special education and will participate in student teaching prior to graduation, in order to develop necessary skills before entering their own classroom. Every program of study will vary, and some will focus on both education and child development. All courses of study will likely include classes like:

  • Teaching culturally diverse learners
  • Human nutrition
  • Introduction to childhood education
  • Children, families, and community

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: Take Required Tests

The state of Idaho requires all teachers of grades K-8 to take the Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects test. This test includes subtests in reading and language arts (a score of at least 157 is required), mathematics (a score of at least 157 is required), social studies (a score of at least 155 is required), and science (a score of at least 159 is required). On-screen calculators are provided for the mathematics and science subtests. Altogether, these subtests take 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete.

Those interested in teaching special education at the kindergarten level, will also need to take the Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications exam.

If a teacher hopes to teach preschool special education, they will need to take the Praxis Early Childhood Education and Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood exams.

Step 3: Complete the Certification Application

Once all courses and testing is complete, teachers can begin the certification process. Those who completed their educator program in-state, can apply directly for the Initial Certificate. They will need to compile and mail an application packet that includes form B1, which can be found on Idaho's Department of Education website, official transcripts, Praxis scores, and an Idaho Education Credential Form providing institutional recommendation. A $75 check or money order should also be included for the application fee as well as a completed fingerprint card. Once all of these documents are complete, teachers will receive their certificate, which is valid for 5 years in the state of Idaho.

Any applicants who received their degree from an out-of-state teacher preparation program in the last two years will be eligible for the Interim Certificate in Idaho, which is valid for three years. Application packets should include the same materials except the institutional recommendation.

Study Resources for Future Idaho Teachers

Future preschool or kindergarten teachers can get started studying for Praxis exams anytime with online resources. Check out the study guides and practice questions available at the links below.

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