How to Become a Preschool or Kindergarten Teacher in Wisconsin

If you want to learn how to become a certified preschool and kindergarten teacher in Wisconsin, read the steps below. Find out what educational requirements are necessary, what tests to take, and how to complete the application process.

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Becoming certified in early childhood education can allow students to teach preschool or kindergarten, but any student wishing to be certified for both preschool and kindergarten can also pursue an Early Education license. Many preparation programs in the state prepare teachers for preschool through the third grade.

Wisconsin Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Wisconsin (2017)* $26,440 (Preschool), $56,420 (Kindergarten)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Early Childhood Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge, Wisconsin NES Foundations of Reading, edTPA

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

The first step for all future preschool and kindergarten educators in Wisconsin is to pursue a degree in early childhood education from an approved college or university. Students should also enroll in an approved, accredited teacher preparation program in order to get a solid foundation of pedagogical principles. There are several Early Childhood Education programs in Wisconsin, and while all of them are slightly different, most will require classes like:

  • Impacts of Technology on Learning
  • General Psychology
  • Early Childhood Education: Understanding Mental Health in the Early Years
  • Observation and Assessment for Effective Curriculum Planning

All teachers will also complete field experience to get a better grasp on what day-to-day life in the early childhood classroom is like.

Step 2: Sign Up for and Take All Required Tests

Next, all future early childhood educator teachers need to prove their competencies in early childhood education principles. This can be done in one of three ways: through Praxis exams, through a content portfolio (if mandated by the educator preparation program), or a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Each educator preparation program will use one of these ways, so teachers need to make sure to check with an advisor. If a candidate must complete Praxis testing, they will need to take the Elementary Education: Content Knowledge exam. A score of 157 or higher is needed for this test, and it must be taken over 150 minutes. There are 140 multiple-choice and numeric-entry questions covering reading and language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.

Next, teachers will take the Foundations of Reading exam, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 written assignments. This exam is 4 hours long, and candidates must score at least a 240 on this $139 test. Finally, teachers will take the edTPA. This test is $300 and covers educational principles about planning, instruction, and assessments. This test examines teachers' abilities during their student-teaching experiences.

Step 3: Turn in the Certification Application

After all testing has been finished, teachers in Wisconsin can start the certification process for the Initial Early Childhood license. Applicants can use the online application that's available through Wisconsin's Department of Education. When the correct application is selected, the application fee of $125 will be added. Next, teachers will complete a background check with a Conduct and Competency questionnaire, and they will get fingerprinted. When all of these steps are finished, teachers will be licensed.

Testing Resources for Future Wisconsin Teachers

Prepare for Praxis and NES testing with the resources below. Get a head start on studying with these guides and practice problems.

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