Preschools understand that one of the biggest concerns for parents is trusting the capability of their children’s caretakers. At HAFHA we know how important this is and ensure that all of our teachers and aids are educated and trained to handle every situation that may arise. Just like becoming a middle school or high school teacher, there are steps that need to be taken in order to qualify as a certified early childhood teacher. Knowing these steps can put a lot of parent’s minds at ease, so here’s a brief overview:
Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree
Didn’t think your preschool teacher had a four-year degree? They absolutely do! In order to become a preschool teacher in New Jersey, teachers in the making are required to complete a bachelor’s degree in either the liberal arts or the liberal sciences. And that’s not all. During college, they also must complete a teacher preparation program. This preparation program includes 13 credits of particular classes geared toward teaching ages preschool through grade 3. Some type of biology class must also be taken to meet New Jersey’s requirement for physiology and hygiene knowledge. The teacher preparation program also includes practical, hands on experience. Every teacher-to-be is required to student teach for at least one semester of college, as well as other shadowing of preschool teachers.
Passing the Preschool Examination
Following completion of an undergraduate degree, potential preschool teachers then have to pass the New Jersey Praxis exams. These exams will test the student’s knowledge of the subjects they will intend to teach based on their specific age group. Thus, there are Praxis exams for middle school and high school teachers as well. They even break down into specific subjects. Preschool teachers must pass the Praxis test known as Early Childhood: Content Knowledge.
Applying for a Teaching Certificate
Becoming a preschool teacher in New Jersey is no easy task, and that should be even more reassurance for parents in the state that their children are in fact in good, experienced hands. The state ensures that all teachers are fully qualified to educate your children, to communicate with your children, and to handle any emergencies that could potentially arise.
After completing the necessary education and examination requirements, potential teachers then have to begin a period of provisional teaching. This is all to ensure that a teacher is completely ready once they take on their own classroom. Once the provisional teaching period has reached its end, a teacher can be recommended for certification and thus apply for the Certification of Eligibility.
Upgrading Your Teaching Certificate
While you have your provisional certificate, a long-term teacher will mentor you for 30 weeks and you will have to evaluated many times throughout this time. A provisional certificate can last up to two years, but you can apply for a standard certificate before this time. In fact, the school system should let you know you can apply, once the 30 weeks of mentoring has been completed. Standard certificates is permanent, however teachers are required to meet certain standards of continuing education throughout the span of one’s career. New ideas are always developing and teachers and preschool supervisors are expected by the state to stay well informed.
The state of New Jersey sets these rules and regulations to ensure that your children is in the best of care. So parents, when you drop your kids off at preschool some morning soon, rest assured that they are in good hands with people who care and people who have taken extended time to get to where they are now. For any questions about our teaching staff or enrollment processes, give us a call today at HAFHA for more information.