How to Become a Preschool or Kindergarten Teacher in Pennsylvania

Read about what the state of Pennsylvania advises future teachers to do in order to become certified. Get more information on the educational requirements, testing requirements, and required documents to become a preschool or kindergarten teacher in the state.

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In the state of Pennsylvania, ongoing assessments are important in the early childhood education curriculum. All future preschool and kindergarten teachers can learn the applicable techniques to assess their students and uphold the state's Early Learning Standards by getting licensed.

Pennsylvania Teacher Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Early Childhood Teachers in Pennsylvania (2017)* $28,650 (Preschool), $56,090 (Kindergarten)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Early Childhood Education
Testing Requirements Basic Skills Test (SAT, ACT, or PECT)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Becoming a licensed preschool or kindergarten teacher in Pennsylvania means getting a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and completing an approved, accredited teacher preparation program. There are universities throughout the state that offer these programs to students in addition to student-teaching experiences. All of these programs will focus on slightly different things, but most will highlight courses like:

  • Human Development and Learning
  • Differentiated Instruction to Inclusive Settings
  • Instructional Technology in Education
  • The Arts in PK-4 Education

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 All Required Tests

All future early education teachers need to take a basic skills test, and there are several options available that meet this requirement. The first option is the ACT. If a student has scored a composite score of at least 51 on the test with passing scores of 22 on the reading section, 8 on the writing section, and 21 on the math section, these scores can be used for the basic skills test requirement. The SAT can also fulfill the basic skills test requirement. Students will need a passing composite score of 1500 with a critical reading score of 500, a math score of 500, and a writing score of 500.

Teachers can opt to take the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests instead. Teachers will need to take the PreK-4 assessment, which is $131 and offered on the computer. This exam has three modules. The first is 45 minutes long and made up of 36 multiple-choice questions, the second is 75 minutes long and made up of 45 multiple-choice questions, and the third is 90 minutes long made up of 45 multiple-choice questions. The exam contains questions specifically pertaining to the education of young children.

Step 3: Complete the Certification Application Online

Teachers will then begin the online application process. Transcripts and test scores will be required in addition to the $200 application fee. Teachers will need to pay another $100 for any added endorsement areas they include. Teachers must pass three background checks: the Department of Human Services Child Abuse History Clearance, the Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Records Check, and the Federal Criminal History Record Information. When all of these steps are finished, teachers will be qualified for their license.

Resources for Future Pennsylvania Teachers

Preparing for the basic skills portion of the application process doesn't need to be stressful. Check out the study guides below for tips on the SAT, ACT, and PECT.

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