K-4 for a Better Alabama Means More Impactful Teaching Opportunities
Alabama has a high rate of poverty at about 19% and for children it’s even higher – nearly 27%. As Rhonda Mann, Policy and Research Developer at VOICES for Alabama’s Children says, “Poverty does not define the child but it does add another layer of struggle to their life and it impacts every area of a child’s life—health, education, safety, as well as economic security. Breaking the cycle of poverty will be a difficult task, but we know that the road out of poverty is education, and starting early is the key.”
Quality Pre-K programs have a tremendous impact on the outcomes of children, especially those growing up in poverty. “Income seems to be a large contributing factor to a child’s lack of educational achievement. By making Pre-K available to all four year olds, we help level the playing field so all students begin school on a more equal footing.
The goal for Alabama’s First Class Pre-K Programs is to close achievement gaps, by as much as 25%. “Teacher effectiveness is among the most important factors impacting the quality of pre-kindergarten programs,” says Susan K. Urahn Director of The Pew Center.
“Fully funding First Class Pre-K will give every four year-old child access to early learning and prepare them to start school on par with their peers, “ says Mann, as well as providing more teaching opportunities for teachers who want to make an early difference in student lives.
$36,144 Average starting salary with B.A.
$48,970 Average salary of teachers in AL (Generally $5k-10k more per year with a Master's)
6% job growth projected over the next 10 years
Earn bachelor’s degree
Generally 36-40 credit hours (Closer to 60 for secondary teachers; you effectively major in teaching AND your field.)
Pass the tests
The Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP), the Basic Skills Assessment (Math, Reading, and Writing), and the Praxis II; most will be taken in the course of your degree.
Different college programs require time spent in schools before student teaching. Hours required in each teaching environment varies by school, including some before or after the school year. Be sure you ask your department about these details!
This usually takes your entire final entire semester.
(Sources: teach.com, teachingdegree.org, www.bls.org)
For more information, visit www.alavoices.org.