Requirements to Become a Teacher in Arkansas
So, you want to become a teacher in Arkansas, bordering 6 other states and defined by the Mississippi River to the east, endearingly coined by residents as the ‘Natural State’? Need some help getting a push in the right direction? Well congratulations, you landed here and that’s a good start. Let’s begin by looking at the overview of the teaching industry in Arkansas. As of last year there were approximately 454,500 students in the state. Arkansas has 1,116 public schools, broken down into 569 elementary, 200 middle, and 347 high schools. Teachers in Arkansas had an average salary of $41,705 in 2009-2010 (according to bls.gov), with incrementally higher salaries going to those with higher qualifications. Arkansas has a great teacher training program, in the first one to three years of teaching new teachers are assigned an on-site trained mentor to help develop their educational skills as well as provide feedback to the powers that be informing them of your progress as a teacher. Now, let’s take a look at the requirements to obtain a teaching certification.
Initial Teaching License:
- Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution.
- Pass the Praxis I and II, as well as the Praxis III performance assessment after you and your mentor decide you are ready.
- Pass the Pre Professional Skills Test (PPST) to satisfy the basic skills test requirement.
- Complete the Application for Certification.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Some schools and districts may have additional requirements.
Standard Teaching License:
- After one to three years of teaching with guidance from your mentor, you must take the Praxis III performance assessment, once passed you receive a Standard Teaching License which must be renewed every 5 years.
Applying for Teacher Accreditation
After satisfying these requirements, you must then submit the packet for your Arkansas Teaching Certification and pay any required fees, as well as go in for fingerprinting by a state agency.
Once you have fulfilled these requirements and submitted the appropriate paperwork, you should look into receiving national board teacher certification, since as of 2005 you can receive a $5,000 bonus for having one. Board Certification does cost $2,500 to apply for, but in addition to receiving the $5,000 bonus the majority of certified teachers receive a higher salary. The teaching license first received is valid for a period of one to three years, after which you must apply for a standard license, which is then valid for five years.