The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strongly supports physical education programs in public schools and cites the benefits of developing fine motor skills and increasing the physical activity level of students. It also maintains that student grades improve with strong physical education programs. This article explores the academic and testing requirements to become a certified physical education teacher in Maryland.
Maryland Gym Teacher Requirements
|Average Salary for Teachers in Maryland (2016)*|| $58,930 (Kindergarten, Except Special Education);
$64,970 (Elementary School, Except Special Education);
$64,840 (Middle School, Except Special and Career/Technical Education);
$65,930 (High School, Except Special and Career/Technical Education)
|Required Degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Physical education|
|Testing Requirements|| Praxis Core Academic Skills test ;
Praxis II Physical Education: Content and Pedagogy test
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Complete Education Requirements
Maryland requires teachers to have a recognized bachelor's degree. Several postsecondary programs in physical education are approved for teaching certification in the state. Students interested in becoming a teacher in Maryland must graduate from one of these recognized programs. As part of their required studies, students at approved programs take many core courses in physical education. They are also required to take courses that prepare them to teach specific physical activities and skills to students. Students are also equipped to evaluate the performance of their students in physical education classes.
As part of their undergraduate studies, physical education majors complete student teaching assignments to acquire practical teaching experience. They may attend programs that allow them to incorporate a minor in areas such as outdoor education or health education as part of their studies.
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Step 2: Complete Testing Requirements
Maryland's basic skills testing requirements can be met a number of ways. One option is to take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test, which assesses skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Another option is to meet the minimum score requirements on the ACT, SAT or GRE.
|Option 1: Praxis Core Academic Skills Tests||Passing Score|
|Option 2: ACT||24|
|Option 3: SAT||1100|
|Option 4: GRE||297|
Physical education teachers must also take the Praxis II Physical Education: Content and Design test and earn a score of 169 to pass. This test lasts two hours and contains 92 questions. It evaluates applicants' knowledge of physical education, their ability to create a program curriculum and their ability to manage, motivate and assess students.
Step 3: Apply for Certification
Once all the requirements have been met, it is possible to apply for teacher certification in Maryland. Applicants must prepare a cover letter that provides identifying information and states which certification credential the applicant is seeking. They must also fill out an applicant form and provide transcripts and proof that they have passed all the required certification tests.
Teachers who are not yet employed by a school will receive a Professional Eligibility Certificate, while those who are employed will receive a Standard Professional Certificate I.
Teacher Certification Resources
Use the links provided here to study for each of the three Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests in mathematics, writing and reading.