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How to Become a Teacher in Colorado: Requirements & Certificate

Jan 02, 2019

The state of Colorado has various testing requirements for its teacher candidates, as well as specific educational requirements, and we detail those here.

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Colorado early childhood teachers are licensed to teach kindergarten to grade three, elementary teachers work with kindergarten through sixth grade, and secondary teachers educate those in grades seven through 12. To become an educator in Colorado, you'll need to decide which level you wish to teach and then take the necessary university courses and pass the required exams to become certified.

Colorado Teacher Certification Requirements

Average Salary for Colorado Teachers (2016)* $30,170 (Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education);
$49,330 (Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education);
$51,360 (Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education);
$51,800 (Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education);
$53,640 (Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Childhood Development; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; or Secondary Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Education of Young Children;
Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects;
Praxis Secondary Education subject knowledge exams

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step One: Complete Your Teacher Education

Colorado teachers can earn certification in early childhood education, elementary education, or secondary education, but they must first complete a teacher education program at a university. Those who earn a degree in early childhood education will be exposed to topics like child development and children's literature. To complete a degree in elementary education, candidates may take courses in mathematics for elementary teachers, elementary literacy, and elementary science teaching. Secondary education teachers will have classes in their specific field, such as pedagogy of science, history teaching methods, and theory of teaching English. Some Colorado universities require a minimum GPA of 2.8 to 3.0 in all major courses. This is a prerequisite for entering into a student teaching experience in which future teachers are placed into classrooms with practiced teachers.

Step Two: Pass the Required Exam

To teach preschool, candidates need to pass the Praxis Education of Young Children with a score of 160. This exam can take 150 minutes and includes 120 multiple-choice questions and three short-answer questions. It tests the examinees' knowledge of childhood development, assessment, family and community relations, and teaching methods.

Elementary education teachers will take the Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects exam and score a 155 to a 159 on the four subtests. These include reading and language arts, math, social studies, and science. It can take over four hours to take. The questions are multiple-choice and range from 50 to 80 questions per subtest. From speaking and algebra to United States history and physical science, this test covers a range of information.

Secondary teachers are required to take a Praxis content knowledge exam that covers their chosen subject. Agriculture, social studies, English, and math are all possible subject knowledge tests.

Step Three: Criminal Record Check

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation requires teacher candidates to submit their fingerprints for a background check. The FBI will also complete a background check.

Links to Materials for Colorado Teacher Candidates

Colorado requires its teachers to complete various exams for certification, and here are links to materials to help you prepare for them.

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