How to Become a Preschool Teacher in Vermont

An ECE Vermont Degree & Career Guide

Your Early Childhood Teacher Requirements and Career Guide

The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance has launched its legislative agenda for 2019. The group aims to support young children on a variety of fronts, including housing, schooling, and increased family engagement. Specifically, the group is asking the Vermont legislature for increased affordable housing, support for Early Childhood professionals, and paid family leave.

While some in politics decry these expenditures as unearned entitlements, economists understand how valuable it is to invest in Early Childhood Education and development. University of Chicago economist, and Nobel prize winner, James Heckman's research has shown the true value of such expenditures. He's demonstrated that communities stand to regain up to 10% percent on their investment in low-income children between the ages of birth-five years.

Adding to this momentum, the 2018 federal legislature has passed over $5 billion worth of block grants to preschool education and development. With such renewed investment, young children are in better shape than ever.

Steps to Becoming an Early Childhood Teacher in Vermont

Vermont's requirements for teaching credentials are not so different from other states. Essentially, you will need to attend an accredited, state-approved teacher-preparation program, pass a subject-specific test, and provide proof of your good character. Your teacher-preparation program should include a student teaching experience on top of the standard classroom curriculum. You'll also need to have your program recommend you to the state with a letter that attests to your suitability for the profession.

Vermont is a rather small state, so they are also open to accepting teachers from other states. They engage in educator reciprocity with every state in the United States except for New York, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. You might still need to satisfy your new home state with minor details so that you gain full credentials.

Step 1. Earn Your Degree

Your bachelor's degree is the first, and most profound, step towards becoming an Early Childhood Educator in Vermont. Your teacher-preparation program should be fully accredited and approved by the Vermont Agency of Education. During your time in school, you will take many classroom courses, but your capstone achievement will be your student teaching experience. That is where you will receive on-the-job training under the tutelage of a mentor teacher. Other courses you'll take can include, but are not limited to:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Human Development
  • Exceptional Children
  • Classroom Management

Step 2. Pass Your Exams

At some time around your graduation you should take the appropriate PRAXIS exams. The main standard for all teachers is the CORE Academic skills for Educators: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. If you wish to teach children between birth–third grade, you should take the exam titled, Early Childhood Education. That test is comprised of five parts:

  • Language and Literacy – 30%
  • Mathematics – 25%
  • Social Studies – 14%
  • Science – 14%
  • Health and Physical Education; Creative and Performing Arts – 17%

If, on the other hand, you wish to teach in an Elementary School classroom, you'll need to take another test that covers the fundamental areas of academic life. After all, Elementary students generally remain with the same teacher, in the same classroom all day, every day. Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects (PRAXIS test 5001) is a composite test comprised of:

Sub-testsTest Length (minutes)Number of Questions
5002 Reading and Language Arts9080
5003 Mathematics6550
5004 Social Studies6060
5005 Science6055

By electing test code 5001, you can take all tests on the same day. However, if you wish to take individual tests you can register for them using their particular codes.

Step 3. Standards and Qualifications

To complete your application, you must include a criminal background check, official transcripts from every post-secondary institution you've attended, and have your teacher-preparation program send a recommendation letter affirming that you can proceed into the profession. Your background check will be with Vermont law enforcement as well as the FBI.

If you have infractions on your background check, you will want to account for those in writing. State the nature of the offense and what you have done to rectify that with the courts. If you have any court documents that attest to your payment of fines, etc. you can include copies.

Potential Credentials, Requirements, and Certifications Needed in Vermont

Provisional Vermont License:
If you have a bachelor's degree but it’s not from a teacher-preparation program and you want to teach, you may be able to teach with a provisional credential. You must first be seriously considered for the job, then your prospective principal must apply on your behalf. Once you are approved, you can move forward to complete the necessary, properly accredited, education courses and attain a proper teaching credential.

Accredited Early Childhood Educator Teacher Preparation Programs

  • Northern Vermont University

    Degrees Offered:

    • Curriculum and Instruction; Master’s
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances; Master’s & Post-grad Certificate
    • Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented; Master’s
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • Special Education and Teaching: Master’s

    Accreditation By:

    • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
    • State of Vermont – Agency of Education
  • Champlain College

    Degrees Offered:

    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching: Master's
    • Educational Administration and Supervision; Post-grad Certificate
    • Eleme ntary Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s

    Accreditation By:

    • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
    • State of Vermont – Agency of Education
  • Saint Michael's College Vermont

    Degrees Offered:

    • Elementary Education and Teaching: Bachelor's

    Accreditation By:

    • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
    • State of Vermont – Agency of Education

Specialization Additional Certifications

Special Education :
This is a very broad and deep field that strives to understand and educate children with conditions that range from dyslexia to profound mental disabilities. If you are called to this specific area of Early Childhood Education, seek out a program that offers a specialized bachelor's degree in the field, or that has a master's program in Special Education.

Hearing Impaired, Deaf :
For this certification you will have to learn a new language: American Sign Language. Then you may have to teach your students ASL, while helping them navigate a world that is muffled at best, silent at worst. That might entail lip-reading or learning to decipher other visual cues.

Blind, Visually Impaired :
To be certified to teach blind or visually impaired students, you will likely need to know how to read and write braille. Since your students are likely to come from families who are sighted, you may need to help them find resources to help work with their special child.

Gifted and Talented :
Even the smartest kids need extra accommodations to keep them on-track, engaged, and interested in school. Unrecognized talent can result in a child who is bored, restless, and problematic for themselves and others.

Reading :
If you are intrigued by how we learn to read, comprehend, and even write materials then this is a great option for you. Some teachers achieve a master's degree in this special area and lead classrooms devoted to improving reading skills.

Vermont Preschool Teacher Careers Options

Public schools :
Perhaps the most common career option for Vermont preschool teachers, public schools have much to offer. For one thing, there are public schools all over the state. Then, if you become certified in Vermont's public-school system, you can likely transfer out-of-state with minimal trouble.

Private childcare :
Families are often too busy to do it all. Thus, they hire a private childcare professional to help with their children. If you are educated in Early Childhood Education, you will find that parents want you to help their kids get ahead in academic subjects before they even enter preschool.

Private schools :
Though the environment might look much like that in public schools, a private school teaching job will allow you more freedom in how and what you teach. You can be more creative and be less encumbered by standardized tests. Private schools may pay less, but you'll find a lot to recommend your job.

Head Start programs :
It was only in the mid-1960's that we decided to help out low-income children with a preschool program that was affordable and effective. Indeed, we now know that providing Early Childhood Education for low-income students yields fantastic dividends. You might not need a Vermont teaching credential to work for Head Start, but it will certainly help.

Community-based programs :
You can make a huge impact on a youngster's life in a community-based program. You might introduce them to visual art, music education, dance, or sports. You won't need special credentials to work in a community-based program, but passion and experience will count for so much.

Faith-based programs :
If you want to help raise children in a specific religious tradition, a faith-based Early Childhood program is for you. To find opportunities, seek out your local mosque, synagogue, temple, or church to see if they have a preschool on premises. There are also private faith-based schools that stand alone.

Military programs :
When you celebrate achieving your Vermont credentials, you can send an application in to teach on a military base. The U.S. military has bases worldwide and our soldiers' children need Early Childhood professionals just as much as any civilian. If you love children, but also love travel, this might be the perfect match for you.

Early Childhood Education Teaching Salaries in Vermont

Preschool Teacher :
PreK teachers are increasingly in demand. In 2018, the federal legislature voted to infuse Early Childhood Education with $5 billion dollars in block grants for preschool and development. If ECE is your passion, now is your chance to take advantage of this grant program and show the community the true value of preschool.

Elementary School Teacher :
To teach Elementary school, you'll need to have a working command of science, mathematics, social studies, and language arts. You'll teach all of those in an all-inclusive classroom. This credential will enable you to teach multiple grade levels, which can make for a varied, and exciting career path.

Professor of Education :
Some students enter a teacher-preparation program with the intention of teaching Early Childhood Education, but they change their minds. Rather, they decide to teach ECE, but to college students who are headed to the classroom. Along the way to your PhD, you might delve into educational research and change the way we view preschoolers forever.

School Principal : If you want to impact students from a macro point of view, working as an Elementary School Principal is the way to go. You'll need several years’ worth of experience in the classroom, a master's degree, and satisfactory PRAXIS II scores, but you'll never love a job more.

Special Education Teacher :
This specialty area tends to pay a bit more than standard teachers. However, there's a good reason for this. Not only is a SPED classroom particularly challenging, but SPED teachers must develop a detailed document every term, for every child. These documents, Individual Education Plans require special expertise.

ESL Teacher :
Vermont has more and more families arriving from other countries. Their children need to learn how to survive in our English-dominated culture. You can help them learn our preferred language. In fact, you will help their entire family, as the children often teach their parents the language, or act as translators.

School Psychologist :
Every school needs to have a School Psychologist. If you are drawn to help students navigate their early developmental years, you can attain a master's degree and get to work. Your job might entail uncovering unpleasant facts about families, or you might have students who simply need to learn coping skills for getting along with their peers.

OccupationEntry-LevelMid-CareerLate-Career
Preschool Teacher$29,600$30,500$31,100
Elementary School Teacher$39,500$44,300$57,200
Professor of Education$60,200$70,400$99,000
School Principal$73,500$79,100$86,400
Special Education Teacher$41,200$46,300$58,000
ESL Teacher$39,500$44,300$57,200
School Psychologist$54,200$61,000$73,300

Videos To Help You Find The Right Career Choices

  • Preschool Shark Math Lesson

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7n7yX5fmRc

  • Early Childhood Educators

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNy7wzPo6C8

  • Careers in Early Childhood Education

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1bUO3YFyPo

  • Early Childhood Education Program

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCpObBmLZjQ

  • Life as a Kindergarten Teacher

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBiL04gI4Yw

  • Teach Special Education

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XsaK3pWyII

Why Teach?

Self-assessment is a vital part of every teacher's career. Throughout your career you might ask yourself over and over this simple question: why do I teach? Chances are, you'll reflect on your previous days and years in the classroom and discover enormous accomplishments. Whether it's something simple like helping a child tie her shoe, or something more profound, like helping a student overcome a difficulty at home, every year you spend in the classroom will surely yield a treasure trove of little victories that not only make you feel good, but which dramatically impact the life of a student who might have gone to college.

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