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How to Become a Gym Teacher in Wisconsin

Physical education is a key component of public school curricula. In Wisconsin, gym teacher hopefuls must acquire a teacher license and physical education endorsement. To qualify for licensure, candidates must complete specific education courses and pass appropriate tests.

Gym teachers provide students of all ages with the basic knowledge for keeping fit, staying healthy and enjoying recreational activities. In Wisconsin, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires aspiring gym teachers to obtain the appropriate training by completing certain education steps. The successful uptake of this training is verified when candidates pass specific testing requirements.

Gym Teacher Certification Requirements in Wisconsin

Average Salary for Teachers in Wisconsin (2017)* $56,940 (Elementary), $58,560 (Middle), $57,320 (Secondary)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Physical Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators
The edTPA

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Degree

Budding educators who wish to teach gym class in Wisconsin first need to get an appropriate bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. The degree program should incorporate a DPI-approved physical education teacher-preparation program. These programs will usually include courses that focus on the following topics:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Physical education pedagogy
  • Kinesiology
  • Health and Nutrition

In addition to physical education courses, candidates will take courses on general education. Existing teachers with licensure in other areas can add physical education as an add-on endorsement for which they will complete the required coursework for certification purposes only.

Step 2: Pass all Required Testing

The first tests a gym teacher candidate should consider are those which are required for entry into an educator-preparation program. In Wisconsin, candidates must pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests to gain admission into an educator-preparation program. This assessment consists of three tests which are as follows:

  • Reading: qualifying score of 156
  • Writing: qualifying score of 162
  • Mathematics: qualifying score of 150

These tests can all be taken on the same day or separately and are administered by ETS.

At some point at the end, or near to the end, of a gym teacher candidate's educator-preparation program, they will also need to complete their program provider's chosen knowledge proficiency tests. This testing may come in the form of the following:

  • Praxis II Physical Education: Content Assessment (5091) test. The test is computer-based and consists of 120 selected-response questions which candidates have two hours to answer. The passing score is 150. This test is also administered by ETS. Candidates must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in the content area of physical education. A content portfolio as set out by the candidate's educator-preparation program is also necessary.

Additionally, Wisconsin teacher candidates must demonstrate teaching-practice competency to qualify for an initial educator license. This is tested by completing the edTPA.

Step 3: Apply for an Initial Teaching License with Endorsement

When candidates have completed the required education and testing elements, they are ready to apply for initial educator licensure. Applications should be submitted using the Educator Licensing Online (ELO) system administered by the DPI. The application fee for a provisional educator license is $125. When an application is successful, and a candidate is awarded their provisional license, they can print off the certificate using the ELO system.

Wisconsin Gym Teacher Certification Resources

Candidates should click on the links below to check out our study resources for gym teacher candidates in Wisconsin:


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