Beginning with the 2014 school year, new expectations were set forth for teachers in Kansas City Schools. Every district in Kansas must now implement an educator evaluation system that is based on the Kansas Educator Evaluation Guidelines. These guidelines are meant to ensure that teachers are creating an excellent atmosphere for learning. As a new language arts teacher in Kansas, you will be expected to meet the goals set down by the districts.
As you research the process of learning how to become a teacher in Kansas, one thing to consider is choosing a teacher preparation program that will help you excel in your job. As more and more schools evaluate the performance of its educators, knowing that you are ready to take on the challenge will help you succeed in your profession. The following guidelines should assist you in the basic steps to earning a teaching license in Kansas:
|Choose a Degree for Teaching|
|Pass the Kansas Teachers Competency Exams|
|Apply for Kansas Licensing|
|Continue Your Education and Renew Your License|
Step 1. Choose a Degree for Teaching
Earning a teaching credential that qualifies you to teach in Kansas’s public schools starts with your own education. There are specific approved programs that will prepare you to teach. Each program is designed so that you will gain a broad education, learn how to be a teacher, and gain content knowledge if you plan to teach language arts as a single subject.
Bachelor’s Degree and Teaching Program
The bachelor’s programs (minimum requirement) that will prepare you for teaching will consist of about 128 semester units comprised of courses that are broken down by general categories:
- General education
- Core classes
- Teaching courses
You will complete all your general and core courses before you enter the teaching program.
Master’s programs will generally add an additional 36 semester units to your time investment. Many students see this as the optimum plan due to the upgrade in pay and teaching status for teachers who hold a master’s degree.
If you already earned a bachelor’s degree at some point in your life and you decide to go into teaching, you can apply for the Restricted License. This license allows you to teach while you complete your needed education. This will include teacher training courses as well as any language arts courses you may need.
The Restricted License is valid for one year. You can renew it for an additional year if you need more time to complete the teaching courses. The approved programs for this route will typically qualify you for a master’s in education.
Step 2. Pass the Kansas Teachers Competency Exams
Now that you have completed your education, you will have to take two state Praxis exams offered by ETS. These exams prove that you have the knowledge needed to teach.
The first exam is a basic skills test: Principals of Learning and Teaching. This exam is broken down by grades. Select the proper grade level you intend to teach.
You will then need to look up the specific licensure area that you plan to teach and sign up for the content test. For instance, if you plan to teach middle school students in language arts, you will sign up for test 5047. If you are teaching high school students, you will need to sign up for test 5038.
The process for signing up to test can all be accomplished online. When you are ready, it would be advisable to download the PDF files available for each test’s study material.
You will need to create an account the first time you access the ETS site. Once your account is created, you will have access to test scores and your own testing information.
Step 3. Apply for Kansas Licensing
The last step in the process is applying for a license. As of 2014, Kansas Board of Education now requires all licensed teachers to have a fingerprint card on file. Only use the Kansas card-FBI, FD258. You will need to have a card mailed to your home and take it with you when you get your prints taken.
Send the card along with your licensure application and protect it from damage or folding. Damaged cards will be refused.
To set up an appointment for your fingerprints, go to your local law enforcement agency such as the sheriffs department. They usually require you to have an appointment so call ahead. If you get the fingerprint card completed ahead of your application, it must be no longer than six months or they will require you to get a new one. Once you have your fingerprints completed, you can fill out the license application.
Kansas has three types of licensing: Initial, Professional, and Accomplished.
Initial Provisional and Restricted license:
The initial License will be the first license you receive. It may be a Provisional License or a Restricted License depending on how you are approaching your education. You will be able to renew this license two times if needed. To apply for your first license:
- Go to the application website
- Create a username and password
- When you enter the site look for the”KSDE Web Applications”
- Chose the license application option for Provisional Licensure
- Fill in Form 4
- Designate the district you are applying to on the form
- Print a copy for your records
- Submit your complete form by choosing the submit button
- You will get an email that tells you what your fee is and where to submit payment
This license is available for teachers who have already held their Initial License and have completed all the requirements for renewal. The Professional License is valid for five years at which time you can renew it or, if you qualify, you can apply for the Accomplished Teacher License.
The Accomplished Teaching License:
This license will only be available to if you decide to become National Board Certified. The certification is available through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). They will require you to pass a test assessment.
Step 4. Continue Your Education and Renew Your License
If you are renewing your teaching license for the first time, there are certain things you will need to do. You are expected to earn “points” related to your language arts content or take courses that further your profession as a teacher.
The total number of points is as follows (20 points equals one semester hour college course):
- 120 points for teachers with a master’s degree.
- 160 points for teachers with an undergraduate degree. A total of 80 points of the
- 160 will need to be earned through a college program.
Kansas English Teacher Salaries
There’s no place like home, at least that’s what 2.9 million people who live in the wheat capital of the world might say. More than 62% of this state’s budget is spent on educating its residents. Because of recent increase in government spending in education, teacher salaries may eventually realize some of that increase. Kansas spends $12,959 per-pupil (2013-14) each year; higher than the national average. The average teacher salary for a Kansas teacher is $32,964, which is a little lower than the nations average of $36,141 as reported by the NEA.
There are over 286 public schools in Kansas. Each one offers a different salary and benefits package to its teachers. As an example, a middle school English teacher in Kansas City who had a master’s degree plus an additional 36 units of college will have a beginning salary of $35,465. If he had only had a bachelor’s, he would have earned $33,922 a year. In Topeka this English teacher will earn $37,120 if he had a bachelor’s. If he had a master’s plus an additional 30 units of college he would earn $40,520.
Other possible considerations include cost of living differences. In Topeka there are one-bedroom apartments listed at less than $375 a month. In Kansas City a one-bedroom apartment started at $315 a month. Of course many other factors need to be considered such as location and condition, but looking at the cost of living in an area can shift a teacher’s salary’s bottom line by several hundred dollars a month. Here are a few other school district salaries in Kansas to compare:
- Entry-level Bachelor’s: $41,125
- Entry Level Master’s plus 30 units: $60,500
- Entry-level Bachelor’s: $36,100
- Entry Level Master’s plus 30 units: $41,175
The table below has additional teacher salary information for other metro areas in Kansas: