How to Be a Health Science Teacher in Connecticut
Health science teachers educate students about nutrition, drug and alcohol prevention, physical activity, and more. Find out how you can become a Connecticut health teacher!
Health Science Teacher Overview
Health science teachers encompass a variety of instructors at all levels of the academic spectrum. At the elementary and middle school levels, health science educators are synonymous with physical education teachers, instructing students on nutrition, safety, and physical activity. In high school, health science teachers have their own curriculums and classrooms where they educate students about health, nutrition, drug and alcohol prevention, and more. Connecticut health teachers must complete a rigorous educator preparation program along with subject-area tests to illustrate their competency for professional certification.
|Education/Experience Required||Bachelor's degree and completion of educator preparation program from regionally accredited college or university|
|Exams Required|| Praxis Core Academic Skills Test |
Praxis II Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects
Praxis II Health Education
Praxis II Physical Education: Content & Design
Pearsons Foundations of Reading Test
Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST)
|License Validity Period||Initial license valid for three years; provisional license valid for eight years; professional license valid for five years|
|Certification Renewal Process||Initial and provisional licenses nonrenewable; professional licenses renewable every five years|
|CEU Credits Required for Renewal||9 credits (or 90 hours of continuing education)|
|Average Salary for Connecticut Teachers (2018)||$77,900 (elementary school); $78,990 (middle school); $78,810 (high school)*|
|Estimated National Job Growth (2016 – 2026)||7% (kindergarten and elementary school); 8% (middle and high school)**|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Special Skills & Characteristics
Because most health science teachers operating in an elementary school setting must also act as physical education instructors, they will need certain skills and characteristics in order to be successful in their careers. The following are just some of the qualities skilled health science teachers possess:
- Passion for and participation in physical activity and healthy nutritional habits
- Ability to endure physical activity for long periods of time
- Ability to command large classroom sizes for a variety of age groups
Health educators will also find more success when they are enthusiastic about their subject-matter as this will help students retain information they may or may not have an interest in learning.
Health science and physical education instructors must be specially trained through an educator preparation program designed specifically for health and physical education. All Connecticut teachers must obtain at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Many programs within the state require aspiring teachers to maintain a GPA of at least 2.75 out of 4.0, with more rigorous programs requiring a GPA of at least 3.0. These stipulations will be outlined for candidates prior to entering into the program of their choice.
All Connecticut teachers are required to pass Beginning Educator Support and Training in order to be considered for certification. As of July 1, 2016, the Praxis Core Academic Skills Test is no longer required for certification; however, educator preparation programs must ensure competency in these test areas either through mandating completion of the Praxis or requiring students take an equivalent state-approved exam: SAT, ACT, or GRE. Those pursuing health science education at the elementary level must also complete the following exams (passing scores in parentheses):
- Praxis II Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects (cumulative 157 across the Reading & Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science subtests)
- Praxis II Health Education (164)
- Praxis II Physical Education: Content & Design (169)
- Pearsons Foundations of Reading Test (240)
Upon successful evaluation, aspiring teachers may submit their applications for their initial teaching license.
Teachers in Connecticut receive certification at three tier levels: initial, provisional, and professional. In order to obtain an initial license, candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Bachelor's degree in health and physical education from a regionally accredited college or university
- Completion of a state-approved educator preparation program
- Passing scores on all required assessments
- Formal institutional recommendation for certification from an accredited college or university
Initial licenses are nonrenewable and remain valid for three years. During this time, teachers must work to convert their initial licenses to provisional licenses, presenting formal evidence of at least 10 months of successful, state-approved teaching experience in a Connecticut public school and passage of the BEST. Provisional licenses remain valid for eight years and must be converted to professional certification with evidence to support 30 months of successful, state-approved teaching experience in a Connecticut public school.
Once a professional certification is obtained, candidates may renew their licenses once every five years. In order to be eligible for renewal, teachers must provide evidence of having completed at least nine CEUs (or 90 hours of continuing education). Credits can be earned through the following state-approved methods:
- Graduate-level courses from an accredited college or university
- Participation in the BEST program or other state-approved service position
- Board of Education-sponsored professional development activities
- Connecticut State Department of Education-approved CEU provider professional development activities
Teachers may track their progress through the TEACH Connecticut checklist portal. Applications for renewal may be submitted either online or through the mail for processing.