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How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Colorado

If you want to work toward becoming a PE teacher in Colorado, you must be prepared to complete these six steps:

Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Take and Pass the PLACE Content Exam
Apply for a Teaching License in Colorado
Keep your Colorado PE Teacher License Current
Find a Physical Education Teaching Job in Colorado
Earn your Professional License

The Colorado Academic Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (CHPE), through the Colorado State Board of Education, outlines the concepts that every student in Colorado should know and the skills they should be able to perform from preschool through high school.

Last revised in December 2008, CHPE organizes Colorado physical education standards in the following manner:

Comprehensive Health Education Standards include:

  • Prevention and risk management
  • Emotional and social wellness
  • Physical and personal wellness

Physical Education Standards include:

  • Emotional and social wellness
  • Movement competence and understanding
  • Prevention and risk management
  • Physical and personal wellness

Colorado’s State Board of Education made revisions to CHPE in 2008 as to include the concepts of health and wellness along with physical education standards. This allows school districts to focus their emphasis on the integration of health and physical education across all grades.

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Program

The first step to becoming a PE teacher in Colorado is to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

The following accrediting organizations are approved by the Board of Education:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education

The following are non-accepted regional accreditation organizations

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Board of Trustees
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Technical and Career Institutions

Approved Teacher Preparation Programs

One of the most streamlined approaches to qualifying for physical education teacher jobs in Colorado is through the completion of an approved teacher preparation program. An approved teacher preparation program is a subject-specific bachelor’s degree program that includes all necessary educational components, which includes 24 semester hours of subject-specific courses, and culminates in a student teaching experience.

If you have earned a bachelor’s degree but have NOT completed an approved teacher preparation program, go to Step 2.

All approved teacher preparation program in Colorado include 24 hours of college-level coursework in the following areas:

  • 3 semester hours in Psychological, Socio-Cultural, and Historical courses (e.g., child development, psychology, human growth and development, etc.)
  • 3 semester hours in Physical and Biological Science Foundation courses (e.g., anatomy, exercise physiology, health, etc.)
  • 3 semester hours in Movement Fundamentals (e.g., gymnastics, weight training, tumbling, etc.)
  • 6 semester hours in Individual Sports courses (e.g., aquatics, track and field, archery, tennis, etc.)
  • 6 semester hours in Team Sports courses (e.g., baseball, softball, basketball, etc.)
  • 3 semester hours in Organization/Evaluation of a Physical Education Program courses (e.g., first aid, rules and officiating, athletic injuries, etc.)


 

Step 2. Take and Pass the PLACE Content Exam

If you have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, but you have NOT completed an approved teacher preparatory program, you MUST take and pass the PLACE exam with the physical education endorsement.

If you have successfully completed an approved teacher preparation program, move on to Step 3.

The PLACE exam was designed and developed specifically for Colorado, while the Praxis II is a nationwide test. Although the State Board of Education does recognize the Praxis II exam for some content area (such as audiology, elementary education, mathematics, general science, etc.), individuals pursuing physical education teaching licenses MUST take and pass the PLACE exam.

All information about the PLACE exam, as well as the online registration process, is available through the PLACE website. You may also register by phone by calling 413-256-2885.

Upcoming testing dates can be found here. You can view the physical education study guide here. The physical education PLACE exam is organized into the following components:

  • Human Development
  • Physical Fitness
  • Motor skills acquisition
  • Program development and implementation

 


 

Step 3. Apply for a Teaching License in Colorado

If You Have Completed a Teacher Preparation Program

To apply for a teaching license in Colorado, you must have met the basic requirements for licensure. Once you have confirmed you have met the requirements for licensure, you must complete an Initial License application through the Colorado Department of Education’s online system.

Note: The Colorado Department of Education no longer accepts paper documents, applications, or check payments. Therefore, you must complete the entire process online, which includes uploading all necessary documentation to the system. You may need to scan paper documents to upload them to the system.

You can direct any questions you have regarding the application process to Professional Services and Educator Licensure at 303-866-6628 or at educator.licensing@cde.state.co.us.

If You Have Not Completed a Teacher Preparation Program

If you have not completed an approved teacher preparation program, you must complete an Alternative Licensure Program, which allows you to be employed full-time while receiving instruction through the program. Alternative Licensure Programs will also involve mentoring, supervisions, and an assessment of proficiency in order to meet the specific performance-based standards for PE teachers in Colorado.

Alternative Teacher Programs are offered through Designated Agencies, which provide 225 contact hours of instruction related to the Colorado Teacher Performance Standards. Like the standard licensure application, you must complete the application process for the Alternative Licensure Program online.

After completion of the Alternative Teacher Program, you can apply for an initial license to teach physical education in Colorado.

 


 

Step 4. Keep your Colorado PE Teacher License Current

The license renewal process in Colorado, like the initial licensure process, is completed online through the Colorado Department of Education’s online system.

All educators in Colorado, including physical education teachers, must submit at least 6 semester hours of coursework (or 90 clock hours) of professional development every 5 years.

Approved activity for professional development in Colorado includes:

  • In-service education
  • College coursework
  • Involvement in school reform
  • Internships
  • Travel
  • Ongoing professional development and training

 


 

Step 5. Find a Physical Education Teaching Job in Colorado

You can find Colorado teaching opportunities through the Teachers-Teachers website, which partners with the Colorado Department of Education to connect school and district recruiters with educators nationwide who are interested in working in Colorado.

You may also find information on employment and issues affecting Colorado teachers by visiting:

 


 

Step 6. Earn your Professional License

Moving from an initial license to a professional license in Colorado requires the completion of a Colorado State Board of Education-approved induction program, which includes supervision by mentor teachers, ongoing professional development and training, and performance evaluations.

The only requirement to move from an initial license to a professional license is the completion of an induction program.


Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Colorado

The Colorado LMI Gateway, which is the state’s online portal for labor market analysis, reports an average physical education teacher salary in Colorado of $47,189. The entry-level salary averages roughly 42% lower at $27,473. The experienced-level salary, however, averages 17% more at $57,048. So, overall, the average salary has a swing of about 52% depending on the amount of experience. Of course, salary is different between cities, so it’s important to look at that as well.

Here is a glance at how physical education teachers working for the Denver Public Schools are paid:

With BA Degree

1 Year: $38,403
2 Years: $38,511
3 Years: $38,706
4 Years: $39,057
5 Years: $39,292
6 Years: $40,949
7 Years: $42,674
8 Years: $44,459
9 Years: $46,348
10 Years: $48,304
11 Years: $50,365
12 Years: $52,939
With MA Degree

1 Year: $39,125
2 Years: $40,679
3 Years: $42,199
4 Years: $43,992
5 Years: $45,863
6 Years: $47,788
7 Years: $49,810
8 Years: $51,936
9 Years: $54,174
10 Years: $56,466
11 Years: $58,893
12 Years: $62,021
In the table shown below are salaries among physical education teachers in Colorado which have been reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield CO
70
34250

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