Arkansas: Teacher Credentialing in Arkansas

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Arkansas teacher certification is a process. If you hope to become a teacher in Arkansas, you will need to work through a set of qualifications that the state board of education has put in place. These licensing and certification requirements can change over time and therefore individuals should ensure that they have the latest information available to them. In the state of Arkansas, those who wish to become a teacher will need to meet specific coursework requirements, teacher preparation requirements, and testing requirements before you can apply through the Board of Education for your teacher's certification.

Prerequisite Coursework

The first step in the process is to obtain the necessary prerequisite coursework from an accredited school. If you are not sure if your school is accredited, contact the Arkansas Board of Education to inquire about this. The coursework to become a teacher does not require any specific undergraduate requirements, although other states do commonly require these. You will need to obtain a bachelor's degree in an educational degree program through an accredited school.

Preparation Requirements

In the next step to becoming an Arkansas teacher, students will need to obtain two additional things. First, they will need to obtain instruction on foundational knowledge and skills to becoming a teacher. You will also need to obtain any necessary training for specific art and science teaching, should you plan to explore those avenues. In addition, you will then need to research, design, and later implement the learning experiences. These curricula will change from one school to the next.

After you have completed this curriculum preparation, the next step is to obtain the necessary fieldwork experience. This is done through student teaching. Students will first observe teachers within the classroom and work with them to develop lesson plans. Then, the student teachers will perform at least a semester's worth of student teaching, where they work under the guidance of a teacher to teach a classroom of students. This internship allows the student teacher to deal with the job on a first-time basis under guidance.

Teacher Certification

Once all of the coursework is complete and the necessary fieldwork is done, the next step in the process is to obtain your certification. To do this, you will need to pass one or more tests. A Basic Skills Test, called the Pre Professional Skills Test is required of all teachers. You will then need to sit for the Praxis II Subject Test in your specific specialized area of study, if you have one. You must successfully pass these tests in order to file an application for your certification.

Because teaching is an important job, it is necessary to have all necessary training. To become an Arkansas teacher, individuals will need to maintain that education as well through continuing education study. There are special requirements for recertification, should you allow your certification to lapse between renewing it. You are considered a tenured teacher once you have three years of teaching under your belt. The Arkansas Board of Education maintains and distributes these exams and certifications.

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