How to Become an Early Childhood Education Teacher in New Hampshire

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What is Early Childhood Education?

The Claremont, NH Early Childhood Program was recently featured in a RAND Corporation report that praised the program's efficacy with disadvantaged children. They highlighted program features such as in-home visits and its facilities. The report notes that the program is facing budgetary difficulties.

Though the Claremont program is able to find money through private and public grants, the state does not fund preschool programs. However, the state does mandate education for kids aged 3-4 who have special developmental needs. This puts New Hampshire Early Childhood Education in a pinch.

Programs like Claremont's may soon see a financial boom, however. In 2018, Congress approved over 5 billion dollars in block grants for Early Childhood Education. If Claremont, and other New Hampshire towns, are able to tap into this wealth, overall quality in preschool will rise, while expanding and even raising teacher pay. Since preschool is an excellent investment that yields a 7-10% return, a federal cash infusion will surely pay off for the community over the long-term.

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Steps to Become an Early Childhood Education Teacher in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Early Childhood Educators all begin their pathway to the classroom with a four-year, bachelor's degree. Your degree should be from an accredited, state-approved teacher-preparation program and should include a student teaching experience. You should also pass a state-mandated test that corresponds to your desired subject area.

Teaching is a difficult, thankless job that doesn't always pay particularly well. Why, then, do college graduates flock to the profession year after year? The key reason is that they are following a calling, they have a passion for teaching children. Teachers find that they want to spend their careers giving to others rather than cashing a paycheck. In fact, they do receive very precious, intangible payments that no bank will take on deposit.

When you find yourself in a classroom and you make a contact with that one special child, often the one you didn't expect, all of the grading and staff meetings will be worth it. The primary reason for teaching is for the love of it.

Step 1. Earn Your Degree

Once you've heard the calling to become an educator, you should find a state-approved, accredited education program that meets your specific needs. Since your program is state-approved, your advisors and instructors will guide you to the appropriate courses so that you don't get off track. Your program should also be able to help you land a student teaching position at a nearby elementary or Pre-K school. This will be vital to earning licensure from the state. If you’ve joined a state-approved program, you should have no worries. They will walk you through all the requirements for certification, culminating in an early childhood bachelor’s degree and licensure to teach in the state.

Step 2. Pass Your Exams

New Hampshire, like many states, requires that you reinforce your degree with a passing score on a Praxis II examination. All teachers must take the ‘Core Academic Skills for Educators’ exam including sections in reading, writing, and mathematics. For Early Childhood Education, New Hampshire requires the exam, ‘Education of Young Children’.

This exam reviews your knowledge of the subject area with a rubric that covers the following areas:

  • Childhood Development and Learning – 17%
  • Observation, Documentation, and Assessment – 13%
  • Developmentally Appropriate Practices – 13%
  • Professionalism, Family, and Community – 13%
  • Content Pedagogy and Knowledge – 24%
  • Knowledge of Teaching – 20%

If you decide to move up into Elementary Education, you'll take the Praxis examination titled, ‘Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects’. This exam will ensure that you are competent in each subject area covered in your inclusive classroom. The test is broken into four parts. You may take all four at once, and return to take individual portions if you need to improve your score in one particular area.

The test breakdown is:

  • Reading and Language Arts – 80 questions, 90 minutes
  • Mathematics – 50 questions, 65 minutes
  • Social Studies – 60 questions, 60 minutes
  • Science – 55 questions, 60 minutes

Step 3. Attain Licensure

To complete your application for state licensure, you will need to have your academic department send a letter of recommendation that asserts your fitness as an educator. You should also have your official transcripts sent to the state offices as well as a state and federal background check. This will include fingerprinting.

If you have any old infractions on your record, including serious traffic infractions such as a DUI, you need to account for those. You will need to write an account of what happened and the status of your case. That means you’ll need to let them know that you have paid all fines, worked off your probation, or otherwise balanced your account with society.

Popular Career Choices:

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher

Special Education Additional Certifications

  • Special Education
    You can work in this area with the required Praxis II test scores and coursework. There are many master's programs in New Hampshire that will provide you with the academic knowledge you need. Further, an advanced degree will improve your paychecks.
  • Teaching Gifted and Talented:
    Even the most intelligent and talented children need special accommodations. You will need similar training and qualifications to your colleagues in SPED, but you won't have to create IEP documents.
  • Reading:
    Teaching reading involves more than silent time with books. To attain this certification, or endorsement, you'll learn how to assess a reader's approach to text and help them improve comprehension.
  • Deaf and Hearing Disabilities:
    This is a subset of SPED. In this occupation, you may have to teach students ESL and lip-reading. You will make a huge difference in the life of a hearing-impaired student who may feel left out of the hearing world. It will be necessary to create IEP documents for these students, but it will be worth it to see them thrive.
  • Blind and Visually Impaired:
    Blind and visually impaired students need as much or more attention to help them navigate the educational system. With a special SPED endorsement in this area, you can help students learn to read Braille and use various accommodations for their special condition.

Accredited Early Childhood Educator Teacher Preparation Programs

Attending an accredited Early Childhood Educator Preparation program in New Hampshire is vital to your ultimate success in the classroom. The public-school system insists that your education be accredited and state-approved before they bestow teaching credentials.

Here are a few New Hampshire schools that will provide you with the necessary academic background:

  • Antioch University New England

    Degrees Offered:

    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Post-grad Certificate
    • Education, General; Master’s & Post-grad Certificate
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism; Post-grad Certificate
    • Educational Leadership and Administration; Master’s & Post-grad Certificate
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Master’s & Post-grad Certificate

    Accreditation By:

    • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Degrees Offered:

    • Curriculum and Instruction; Master’s
    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities; Post-grad Certificate
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • Reading Teacher Education; Master’s
    • Special Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • ESL Teaching; Master’s

    Accreditation By:

    • New England Commission of Higher Education
    • Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)
  • University of New Hampshire

    Degrees Offered:

    • Administration of Special Education; Post-grad Certificate
    • School Counseling and Guidance; Master’s
    • Curriculum and Instruction; Post-grad Certificate
    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Master’s
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Master’s
    • Special Education and Teaching; Master’s

    Accreditation By:

    • New England Commission of Higher Education
    • Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)
  • Keene State College

    Degrees Offered:

    • School Counseling and Guidance; Master’s & Post-grad Certificate
    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s
    • Educational Leadership and Administration; Master’s & Post-grad Certificate
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s
    • Special Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s

    Accreditation By:

    • New England Commission of Higher Education
    • The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Institutions for Early Childhood Teaching Employment Opportunities

  • Public schools:
    Professional teachers generally aim to teach in the public schools. This career track most often ensures stability, good pay, and protections under certain teacher organizations. The licensing standards are strenuous, but if your goal is to improve the lives of youngsters, then that will be a pleasure. The state also provides for pay raises that coincide with your experience, educational level, and additions to your license.
  • Private childcare:
    This is an alternative teaching position that can offer many opportunities. You can gain experience teaching children one-on-one and under various circumstances. Your job might include duties such as driving kids to activities or other childcare duties on top of your pedagogical work.
  • Private schools:
    While your environment might feel much like that of a public school, private schools frequently offer more freedom in the classroom. In this environment, you can often design more cutting-edge curriculum, are freed of much of the bureaucracy that public teachers are burdened with, and you won't need to keep up with state licensure. However, your odds of landing a private school teaching job will improve when you complete a state-approved teacher-prep program and pass the Praxis II content test that corresponds to your specialty area.
  • Head Start programs:
    This program has roots in the 1960's, when it was found that low-income students were in dire need of preschool support. Since then, Head Start has worked wonders to strengthen communities. That is, it's been shown that investment in preschool pays significant dividends, yielding a return as much as 10%.
  • Community-based programs:
    The most informal approach to Early Childhood Education are Community-based Programs. This can involve such things as programs for children at the local library, coaching sports, or providing arts/theater programs for little ones. If you let preschoolers guide your hand, they are capable of amazing things.
  • Faith-based programs:
    If your religious beliefs are very important to you, and you feel that it's vital to your professional life, a faith-based program is for you. You can often find Early Childhood Education opportunities through your local synagogue, temple, or church. There are also stand-alone schools that embrace religious traditions.
  • Military programs:
    If you are interested in seeing the world, you might consider teaching on military bases. You don't need to be a soldier, but you do need state licensure. Once you have the proper credentials, you can teach in bases all over the United States, and abroad. That can mean assignments in, California, North Carolina, Hawaii, or Japan – among many, many others.
  • Curriculum Administrator:
    You'll need a minimum of five years’ worth of classroom experience plus a master's degree for this. Your graduate degree should either be in Curriculum and Instruction or an M.ED. Your experience in the classroom will inform your work as you help to create optimal outcomes for your students.
  • Principal Instructional Leader:
    After five or more years in the classroom, you might wish to move up into administration. You will need a master's degree in Educational Leadership or Education (M.ED.) You will need to have the skills of a manager but the knowledge of an educator, making for a potent and effective mix.

Careers and Salaries for Graduates

  • Preschool Teacher:
    Though many might consider preschool nothing more than babysitting, professionals in the field would beg to differ. Toddlers and the rest of the preschool crowd are capable of learning and are all in need of caring adults who will help nurture their developing minds and bodies. Since Congress has approved 5 billion dollars in block grants for Early Childhood Education and Development, the push is on to improve our approach to early education.
  • Elementary School Teacher:
    Once you are credentialed to teach Elementary School, your job prospects open up to teach a variety of age groups. Though teachers tend to have age-group preferences, they all say they love the kids equally, and appreciate the flexible nature of their licenses.
  • Professor of Education:
    If you love theories of education and the research that goes into improving how we approach learning and pedagogy, this might be the career path for you. You'll need a doctoral degree to truly thrive in the post-secondary world, but once you land that final, tenure-track position you will have a rich experience molding the teachers of tomorrow.
  • School Principal:
    With a few years of teaching under your belt, you might desire to move up to a position that approaches education from a more macro position. Most states require a master's degree and satisfactory Praxis II scores for this license. You'll enjoy guiding a school to new heights of excellence with improved teacher morale and curriculum.
  • Special Education Teacher:
    SPED covers a vast array of topics. You can be certified in teaching deaf/hearing impaired students, learning disabled, or those with more profound difficulties. SPED teachers are universally tasked with creating a detailed Individual Education Plan for each student. These documents are notoriously difficult, but they dramatically improve student outcomes, which is your goal.
  • ESL Teacher:
    When families come to this country, they often don't have any English-language s kills. If you are intrigued with linguistics and language acquisition, this certification will be fantastic for you.
  • School Psychologist:
    With a master's degree, you can dive into a school and help its students overcome the difficulties that come with growing up. You might help students resolve various conflicts with parents, teachers, and peers. If an education is designed to address the whole student, then your position is vital to success.
Occupation Entry-Level Mid-Career Late-Career
Preschool Teacher $22,600 $31,400 $31,400
Elementary School Teacher $34,400 $40,000 $58,800
Professor of Education $84,000 $104,700 $134,600
Special Education Teacher $41,200 $46,300 $58,000
ESL Teacher $39,000 $41,800 $50,900
School Psychologist $54,200 $61,000 $73,100

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