Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Utah
Utah’s Early Childhood Education Scene
Utah, known for its many beautiful national parks, is in need of passionate teachers to improve the face of education across the state. It is ranked 38th in the nation according to Education Week’s 2013 annual rankings, and earned an overall state grade of “C”. While it earned low marks in many educational areas, it received a “B+” in the category of Transitions and Alignment. However, it earned much higher ratings in the Kids Count 2013 national assessment, coming in 14th for children’s overall well-being.
In contrast, 60 percent of children in Utah do not attend preschool, far below the national average. In any case, regardless of its current educational standing, there is still a vast number of opportunities for aspiring teachers in the state of Utah.
Teacher Certification/Licensure in Utah
The Utah State Office of Education includes extensive information about how to obtain certification/licensure. You will need to familiarize yourself with this site, as it contains many resources valuable to both aspiring teachers and current teachers.
The three main licenses available to early childhood teachers in Utah are as follows:
- Level 1: for new teachers who have completed either a teacher preparation program or an alternative program.
- Level 2: for experienced teachers who have successfully met all the requirements of a Level 1 license.
- Level 3: for experienced teachers who hold a current Level 2 license and have completed National Board Certification, earned a doctorate, or obtained a Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA.
Applicants may choose a concentration area for their license. The early childhood education concentration permits educators to teach in kindergarten through third grade, while the elementary concentration allows educators to teach grades one through eight. There are also alternative routes to licensure for individuals who have completed specific coursework, or else content or pedagogical tests.
View the Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact the licensing department, should you have any further questions about the licensing/certification process.
Utah’s Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education
Searching for Utah’s Teacher Job Openings
There are several different avenues you can take to pursue a career in this dynamic field.
Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. Teachers-Teachers.com Utah is a recruitment service that lists jobs opportunities for teachers. It allows applicants to post online resumes and correspond with employers.
Other employers to become familiar with are private schools, Head Start and Montessori schools. Be sure to research the child-care centers in your local area, as many of these centers are in constant need of highly qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community, as well.
Utah’s Professional Organizations for Teachers
There are many professional organizations for teachers in the state of Utah sharing similar visions.
The Utah Education Association (UEA) aims to improve both the profession and local public schools. The organization represents over 18,000 members and has local affiliates in all 41 school districts. It provides union benefits and is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, with three million members in over 14,000 communities across the country.
The Utah Association for the Education of Young Children (UAEYC) increases public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provides professional development for educators. It has over 350 members and strives to help children ages zero through eight, as well as their families. The organization is also an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization consisting of 80,000 members.
There is also a variety of organizations for teachers based on specific areas of interest, including the Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics (UCTM), the Utah Science Teachers Association (USTA), and the Utah Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts (UCTELA).
Education Blogs to Follow in Utah
The Salt Lake Tribune education section covers hot topics, issues, and events in Utah’s schools, as does the education page of the Deseret News. Utah teachers also share insights and information through their personal blogs.
Ship Shape First Grade is written by a first-grade teacher who shares stories about her classroom adventures and the fun activities she does on a daily basis.
Fun for First is maintained by a first-grade teacher who enjoys creating and sharing her classroom ideas.
Tangled with Teaching is written by a teacher with experience in various grade levels and types of schools, who shares lessons, ideas, pictures, and crafts.