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How to Become a Gym Teacher in New Jersey

There are five key steps required to earn certification as a gym teacher in New Jersey. These steps involve academic and practical preparation in addition to passing required certification tests.

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In New Jersey, physical education is a requirement for all students in all grades. Gym teachers in New Jersey are qualified to teach preK through grade 12. Read on for a step-by-step breakdown of how to earn a physical education teaching credential in the Garden State.

New Jersey Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in New Jersey (2016)* $40,720 (PreK)
$65,830 (Kindergarten)
$68,810 (Elementary)
$71,000 (Middle)
$75,250 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Physical education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators; edTPA; Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge Praxis

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

In order to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) in physical education, it is necessary to earn a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a heavy concentration of no less than 30 physical education courses. Courses involving team, individual, and dual sports are required. Of the 30 courses, at least 12 must be courses that are offered at the junior, senior or graduate level.

CEAS applicants are expected to graduate with a 3.0 GPA; however, it is possible to pursue the CEAS with a GPA of 2.75 or more if the applicant gets a higher score on their Praxis content assessment test.

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Step 2: Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

CEAS applicants must also complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. This can be part of their undergraduate degree studies or can be taken after they have earned a degree. Admission is contingent on passing the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams. Divided into reading, writing, and mathematics, these basic skills tests require scores of 156, 162, and 150, respectively. The teacher preparation programs include several education courses that prepare students to work in education. All students must also complete student-teaching assignments.

The state of New Jersey has a special 'physiology and hygiene' requirement. Those who have military training can waive this requirement; those who do not have military training must take a suitable course in biology, nutrition or health, or pass a 35 question true/false examination.

Step 3: Pass the edTPA Assessment

The edTPA fulfills the CEAS application requirement for a teacher performance assessment. Students build their edTPA portfolio during their student teaching experience. For the 2019-2020 school year, passing score requirements for the edTPA will be established by the state of New Jersey. There is currently no passing score requirement on this evaluation in New Jersey. Those who take the edTPA in the 2018-2019 school year must earn a score that is no less than one standard error below the national recommended passing score.

Step 4: Pass the Praxis Content Knowledge Test

A score of 160 is needed to pass the Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge Praxis. For applicants with a GPA of 2.75 or more, but less than 3.0, a grade of 176 must be earned on this text to qualify for the CEAS. Those with a GPA of 3.5 or higher only need a score of 152 to pass.

Step 5: Apply For Certification

A completed application form and documentation needed to verify you fulfill the criteria for the CEAS must be sent to the New Jersey State Department of Education. This includes a record of test scores and transcripts. You must also pay an application fee of $170.

Teacher Certification Resources

To prepare for the certification tests required to become a gym teacher in New Jersey, use the study materials linked to here.

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