How to Become a Physical Education (PE) Teacher in Tennessee

Physical education (PE) teachers will work with students of all grade levels in Tennessee. This overview will help guide potential teachers through the requirements and certification process. Schools offering Exercise Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Tennessee Physical Education Teacher Certification Process

Physical education teachers, often known as PE teachers, help students with areas such as fitness habits and teamwork. Potential teachers will need to enroll in a teacher training program to start the certification process.

Required DegreeBachelor's degree
Required Degree FieldPhysical education or other fitness-related field
Required TestsPraxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (requirement for some educator preparation programs) and Praxis content knowledge assessment for physical education
License Renewal PeriodThree years for practitioner teacher license;
Six years for professional teacher license
License Renewal Requirements60 professional development points for the professional teacher license
Average Salary for Teachers in Tennessee (2018)*$52,610 (Elementary School Teachers)
$52,260 (Middle School Teachers)
$53,620 (High School Teachers)
Job Outlook for Teachers Nationally (2016-2026)*7% (Elementary School Teachers)
8% (Middle School Teachers)
8% (High School Teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Educational Requirements

Physical education teaching candidates should enroll in a teacher training program approved by the state of Tennessee. After receiving their bachelor's degree, they will need a recommendation from their institution for their practitioner teaching license.

Licensure Tests

Candidates may need to pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators prior to enrolling in a teacher training program. They will also need to pass the Praxis content knowledge assessment for physical education. Candidates will need a score of 159 or better on the Praxis Physical Education: Content and Design test. The two-hour test consists of 90 multiple choice questions and 2 essay questions, with the multiple choice making up 75% of the score and the essays the remaining 25%. Teachers will then be certified to teach physical education to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Practitioner Teacher License and Renewal

Individuals can apply for the Tennessee practitioner teacher license upon earning a bachelor's degree and passing the Praxis tests. This initial license will be valid for three years and is renewable once. The renewal process involves submitting an online application via their TNCompass account. It should be noted that all correspondence for licensing will be sent electronically to the email address associated with teachers' accounts. During the application, the candidate is required to detail why they are renewing instead of upgrading to the next teacher license.

Professional Teacher License

In Tennessee, the professional teacher license lasts for six years and can be renewed. Physical education teachers will be ready to advance to a professional teacher license once they have three years of relevant work experience. They will also need to complete either 30 professional development points or submit a recommendation for advancement from their school's director.

Professional Teacher License Renewal Process

Physical education teachers are required to earn 60 professional development points (PDPs) in order to renew their professional teacher license. Like the practitioner teacher license, the renewal process for this license requires an online application. Tennessee requires that teachers provide documentation of all their professional development activities in order to renew their license. Tennessee recognizes the following activities toward professional development points:

  • Professional Learning: 1 clock hour counts for 1 PDP
  • Continuing Education: 1 unit counts for 5 PDPs
  • College/University coursework: 1 credit hour counts for 10 PDPs
  • Overall level of effectiveness rating: Score of 5 counts for 20 PDPs; 4 for 15 PDPs; 3 for 10 PDPs

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