Preschool teacher hopefuls must complete a series of steps to become certified to teach in Louisiana. These steps include earning an approved bachelor's degree an passing several exams before applying for an official teaching certificate.
Information on Becoming a Louisiana Preschool Teacher
|Average Salary for Louisiana Preschool Teachers (2018)||$32,290*|
|Degree Field||Early childhood education|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis I CORE Academic Skills for Educators; Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Early Childhood; Praxis II content area exam|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step One: Completing Education Requirements
Preschool teaching candidates will need to obtain a bachelor's degree while completing a teacher preparation program through a regionally accredited and state-approved university. These programs help ensure candidates receive an education that properly prepares them for teaching in their subject area and grade level. Candidates must select a certification area to focus on during their education. For those wishing to teach at the preschool level, early childhood education or related areas of focus are recommended. During these preparation programs, students need to complete professional education courses, 180 hours of documented fieldwork, as well as documented student teaching, internships, or residencies outside of their general undergraduate coursework.
Step Two: Passing Certification Exams
The next step is to pass the certification exams. The first exam is the Praxis I CORE Academic Skills for Educators exam. This exam measures certification candidates' general proficiency through a reading subtest, a writing subtest, and a mathematics subtest. Acceptable ACT or SAT scores can be used in lieu of needing to pass the Praxis I exam. An ACT score of at least 22 or an SAT score of at least 1100 can be documented in the application instead of Praxis I test scores.
The Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Early Childhood exam is the next test aspiring preschool teachers need to pass. This exam measures candidates' proficiency in the following content categories: Students as Learners; Instructional Process; Assessment; Professional Development, Leadership, and Community; and Analysis of Instructional Scenarios.
Finally, aspiring preschool teachers have a few options for fulfilling the content area testing requirement. Candidates seeking certification for birth to kindergarten must take the Early Childhood Education, Education of Young Children, or Pre-Kindergarten Education content test.
Those seeking early childhood certification for grades preK-3 will need to take the Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects exam, which includes subtests on language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Step Three: Application and Certification
After candidates have completed the first two steps, drafting an official application is the next step toward certification. The application can be completed and submitted online through the Teach Louisiana online portal. Once approved, teachers are issued a Level 1 teaching certificate. This certificate is valid for three years of teaching and can thereafter be upgraded to a Level 2 certificate after completing the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program and acquiring three years of experience.