How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Maryland

Physical education teachers are responsible for coordinating fitness activities for students that are in line with the requirements set by the Department of Education. This article will focus on how someone can become a physical education teacher in Maryland. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

The Process to Start a Career as a Certified Physical Education Teacher in Maryland

In order to become a certified physical education teacher in the state of Maryland, interested candidates must satisfy certain general requirements as well as specialized ones. The general criteria are summarized in the table below.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements Praxis
Certification Renewal Period Five years
Requirements for Renewal Completion of required semester hours
Median Salary (2018) $72,610 (high school teachers in MD)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (high school teachers nationally)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Requirements for Physical Education Certification

Physical Education is considered a specialty area for certification by the Maryland Department of Education. Specialty areas span from teaching pre-kindergarten to grade 12. There are some general requirements the candidate must satisfy in order to apply for the specialty area teacher certification in Maryland. The candidate must have a bachelor's degree from an approved institute of higher education with a major in an aspect of physical education or have completed at least 30 coursework hours in an aspect of physical education.

The candidate must also complete 21 semester hours of professional education course work that was completed at an accredited institute of higher education. These semester hours must include at least one three-semester hour course in areas such as Human Learning and Inclusion of Special Needs Student Populations as well as six semester hours of topics such as Types of Reading, Strategies for Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations for Reading. The candidate must also have supervised experience in teaching physical education at a Maryland public school at the grade level of interest or a year of full-time teaching physical education at a Maryland public school.

Exam Requirements

Having satisfied the requirements for the general and specialty area certifications, the candidate will be required to sit the Praxis Basic Skills Assessments and Praxis I PPST/CPPST. Both of these assessments cover the topics of Reading, Writing and Mathematics for Educators. Candidates can also satisfy the exam requirements by submitting Praxis PPST, SAT, GRE or ACT assessments depending on when the exams were taken and the overall score received on the exams.

Application Process

Once the interested candidate has satisfied the relevant educational, work experience and exam requirements, they can apply for certification to the Maryland Department of Education. This process entails completing the initial application form, preparing a cover letter that contains the applicant's name, mailing address, last four digits of their social security number, date of birth, personal email address and the name of the certification the applicant is interested in. The candidate must submit transcripts of education and verified proof of the work experience earned as well as exam results. Transcripts will only be accepted in unopened envelopes. Everything must be placed in a single packet and send via mail to:

Maryland State Department of Education

Certification Branch

200 W. Baltimore Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

Documents may also be submitted by email to certdocuments.msde@maryland.gov. Payment should not be submitted with the application as applicants need to be informed by a representative from the Certification Branch when payment should be made.

Certificate Renewal

The certificate is valid for five years and can be renewed once the holder of the certificate completes at least six hours of acceptable credit as defined by the Maryland Department of Education. If the educator is employed to a Maryland public school at the time of their renewal application, the application will be processed by the school to which they are employed.

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