Are you thinking about becoming an English teacher in Arkansas? Arkansas State Board of Education (ASBE) wants to support you as a new teacher. The ASBE and the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) recently launched the My Child/My Student campaign. The idea behind this new campaign was to create a vehicle for communication for parents and teachers. It’s designed to give parents information that may help them understand what is going on in their child’s education. They can then use this information as a way to discuss any educational progress their child is making and set goals with the teacher.
For a teacher, it is also meant as a portal for helpful tips and information to assist you in your day-to-day teaching. The hope is that it will make it easier for parents and teachers to discuss and implement educational plans for individual students. For new teachers, programs like these can be a good resource. The program offers a broad range of assistance for those teaching English.
If you are considering joining the ranks of English teachers in Arkansas, the following is designed to give you a step-by-step overview on how to earn a license teaching English in Arkansas and get you started in a new career.
|Complete Your Degree and Teaching Program|
|Apply for Licensure|
|Upgrade Your License|
|Continue Your Education|
Step 1. Complete Your Degree and Teaching Program
As you begin to look over the steps it takes to become an English teacher in Arkansas, you will note that the Arkansas’s Department of Education has a list of educator preparation programs designed to help you select the best option available for an approved degree program for teachers.
A typical program will often start with a Bachelor of Art in Education or English. These undergraduate degree programs will have a mix of general education, core English classes, and professional teaching courses. You will also experience a set amount of time for in-class student teaching.
The schools listed by the state of Arkansas offer these degree programs that will allow you to not only get started in your career, but could have additional benefits as well. Choosing a Master’s in education for instance could make the difference in thousands of dollars in increased salary over your career. The basic school programs to look at are the following:
- Bachelor’s in Education or English degree program
- Master’s in Education or English degree program
Use the following matrix system as a tool to quickly look over the programs that are approved.
Step 2. Complete Testing
After you have graduated from your teaching program, you will be on target for testing. The exams you take are created as a way for the State Board of Education to know that you are ready to teach. The tests are broken down by categories:
- Basic educational skills
- Professional core subject (English) competency
- Grade level proficiency
Arkansas allows you to register online for all tests. This convenient option will allow you to complete several necessary functions for this step in your licensing. You will be able to:
- Register for each individual test
- Retrieve your testing admission ticket(s)
- Make changes to dates or cancel dates
- Look at your scores
- Order your scores for the official score report (your score will be forwarded to the Arkansas State Board of Education)
- Make any changes to your address, phone number, etc.
The tests themselves are taken one at a time or together. There are study materials in PDF format available online for each test. Registering for your tests as soon as it is possible will be a good idea. Some tests may not be available during the year at the location that is nearest to you.
Step 3: Apply for Licensure
Once your exams are out of the way and you receive your passing scores you’re ready to move on to the licensing step. The first license you receive will be a Provisional license. This license will be valid for up to three years. The following is a list of things you will have to accomplish or provide in order to apply:
- Provide your official college transcripts proving an appropriate bachelors degree or higher
- Pass the exams
- Show three years of teaching in your subject
- Provide a statement of employment
- Provide proof of experience in English
- Provide two letters of recommendation
- Complete the fingerprint process
- Submit the application
- Take the course on: Arkansas History and professional development for training for child maltreatment, teen suicide prevention, and parental involvement
Also you will need to pass twenty-four hours of teacher training required by the ADE in your first year of licensing. The hours count toward the professional development requirement.
Step 4: Upgrade Your License
Once you have met all the PPTL requirements you can convert your Provisional license to the Standard Five-Year license. Here is a checklist for the items you will need:
- Complete the evaluation process
- Complete the English Pedagogy requirement
- Submit proof of recommendation by your school district
- Pay the fee
- Apply for the Standard Five-Year license
For more information on licensure in Arkansas contact the following:
Arkansas Department of Education
Office of Educator Licensure
Four Capitol Mall, Room 106-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Step 5: Continue Your Education
All licensed teachers in Arkansas public schools will have to earn at least sixty hours of professional development every year. Thirty-six of these hours will count towards the required hours needed to renew your license. You will have options on how to complete these units.
It may be a worthy investment of your time to consider continuing your formal education at this time. The hours could potentially count, not only towards license renewal, but also toward future benefits such as higher salaries and alternate teaching and leadership positions.
Arkansas English Teacher Salaries
The state of Arkansas is the headquarters for Wal-Mart, is home to the Hot Springs National Park, and is surrounded by six other states. This agricultural southern state has a long held tradition for family values and a desire to create a strong future for its citizens. Part of this goal includes a robust education. Teachers coming into the state to teach for the first time may find it interesting to explore the varying salaries offered throughout the state.
For instance an English teacher living in some counties in Arkansas may start out at significantly higher than others. Two cities in particular stand out among the others: Bentonville in Benton County and Sprindale in Washington County.
Each of these cities offers salaries that start in the mid $40,000 range, while the rest of the state typically starts in the low to mid thirty thousand. The maximum salary for the experienced teacher in Bentonville and Springdale will eventually be in the $70,000 salary range.
Two more examples of English teacher salaries in other cities are:
- Entry: $33,458
- Experienced: $44,342
- Entry: $30,500
- Experienced: $42,834
When you consider the salary schedules its important to look at the steps in each district. The salaries will change not only with time, but also as your experience changes. It also changes with additional education. Some districts only require course units while others require post-graduate college degrees.
The average salaries for English teachers in other metro Arkansas areas are available below:
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway AR
Central Arkansas nonmetropolitan area
South Arkansas nonmetropolitan area