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How to Become an Kindergarten & Elementary School Teacher in Montana

Individuals with a passion for instructing young children may want to work as a kindergarten or elementary school teacher. Keep reading to discover how to become one in Montana.

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Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must have a wide range of skills. They are responsible for instructing students in K-8 in subjects like reading, writing, mathematics, and social studies. Montana teaching candidates will need to pursue a bachelor's degree and meet a few certification requirements.

Certification Requirements for Montana Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Average Salary for Teachers in Montana (2016)* $46,690 (Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education)
$49,010 (Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Elementary Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Elementary Education examination

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Step 1: Complete Teacher Training Program

Candidates who wish to teach kindergarten or elementary school have the option of meeting the educational requirement through an approved teacher training program. They will earn a bachelor's degree after completing a teacher training program. Montana has nine certified educator programs throughout the state.

Candidates will need to pursue a degree in elementary education to work as a kindergarten or elementary school teacher. This degree will qualify them to teach students in kindergarten up to eighth grade.

Classes for a degree in elementary education can include art for elementary students, incorporating technology into the classroom, how to manage a classroom, and teaching core subjects like reading and social studies. Candidates may complete training in first aid and CPR and will also need to complete a student teaching rotation.

Step 2: Take Praxis Examination

Candidates pursuing a career as a kindergarten or an elementary school teacher in Montana will need to take the Praxis elementary education examination (Grades K-8). The test focuses on content knowledge and requires a passing score of 163. Candidates will have two and a half hours to answer 140 questions, which range from selected-response questions to numeric-entry ones.

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Step 3: Criminal Background Check Process

The Montana Office of Public Instruction requires potential teachers to undergo a criminal background check by submitting a fingerprint card. Candidates will need to get their fingerprints rolled at either a local police station or through a private agency. They will need to mail the fingerprint card to the Montana Department of Justice, along with a processing fee of $27.25.

Candidates will need to undergo a second criminal background check through their school district. The Office of Public Instruction does not share the results of candidates' original background check with their employers.

Step 4: Obtain Teaching License

The last step in the Montana teacher certification process is to obtain a teaching license. All candidates, regardless of grade level or subject area, will need to take ''An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana'', which is a free online course.

After completing the above course, candidates will need to prepare their application for the Class 2 Standard Educator license. They can complete an electronic or hard copy application, but must send several supporting documents by mail to the Office of Public Instruction:

  • Praxis examination scores and college transcripts (alternatively, the institution can send it electronically to cert@mt.gov)
  • Certificate showing they completed the free online course
  • University Recommendation Form
  • Montana Educator Oath Notarized Form

Certification Resources for Montana Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Candidates will need to pass the Praxis Elementary Education test to earn their teaching license. They may want to use this study aid to improve their chance of passing the test.

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