How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Delaware

Use this guide to learn how to become a PE teacher in Delaware:

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree Related to Physical Education and Complete an Education Program that Includes Student Teaching
Complete all Required Testing
Apply for Your Delaware Teaching License and PE Certificate
Maintain and Upgrade Your Delaware PE Teacher License

The Delaware Department of Education is responsible for vetting the PE teachers that work in the state’s more than 250 schools. They ensure that all the state’s students in kindergarten through 12th grade have a chance to perform regular exercise and activities as part of their normal school curriculum.

Delaware’s PE teachers are key to developing an understanding of healthy living standards among the state’s future adult population.



Step 1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree Related to Physical Education and Complete an Education Program that Includes Student Teaching

In preparation for physical education teacher jobs in Delaware, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree. This should be in a field that is closely related to PE, and many colleges combine the subjects of physical education and education into a single major that results in a Delaware teaching license.

These programs are the most direct route to certification, and will include:

  • Subject study in the field of PE
  • Subject study in the field of teaching, also referred to as an educator prep program
  • Student teaching program

If you happen to have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a PE subject area but have not completed a student teaching program, you must do this before you can become certified. For this you will need to be admitted to a post-bachelor’s Delaware Department of Education-approved PE educator prep program. For example, all (NCATE/CAEP) PE educator preparation programs meet this requirement.

Student Teaching – The student teaching program you complete must be approved by the Department of Education. During this portion of your studies, you will integrate what you already know in the field of physical education with the latest and most effective pedagogical theories in teaching.

The student teaching portion of your bachelor’s or post-bachelor’s teacher prep program will take place in the semesters or quarters before you graduate. You will initially start as a PE classroom assistant, assigned to an experienced teacher who will facilitate your teaching development as you gradually assume a role of greater classroom responsibility. As a student teacher, you will need to:

  • Become accustomed to feedback and criticism from your supervising PE teacher
  • Modify your PE lesson plan to incorporate feedback
  • Establish and maintain a teaching relationship with your students that encourages growth and development
  • Be flexible and able to adapt to different PE classroom situations
  • Translate what you have learned in the classroom into effective teaching

If you are coming from a different state or have not completed an approved educator prep program, you may also fulfill this student teaching requirement in one of three alternate ways:

  • If you have at least 91 days of full-time classroom teaching experience that occurred within the last year
  • If you have participated in the Teach for America program
  • If PE teachers are deemed to be in critical shortage and you already possess at least a bachelor’s degree in this field, you may complete your student teaching segment while you are employed as a PE teacher in the Alternate Routes to Teacher Certification (ARTC) program
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Step 2. Complete all Required Testing

The required testing to become a PE teacher in Delaware is managed by Educational Testing Service (ETS). All prospective PE teachers in both alternate and traditional routes to licensure must complete the following tests before applying for a license, with one possible exception. In this initial exam series, you can choose to take either the Praxis I group or Core Academic Skills for Educators group. These exams will evaluate you on basic skills and ensure you are generally competent to become a teacher:


If you have already taken any of the following tests and attained at least the accompanying minimum score you can be exempt from the designated Praxis or Core series:

    • Reading and writing test exemptions:
      • SAT verbal – 560
      • GRE General verbal – 490
      • GRE Revised General Test verbal – 152
      • Core Battery Communication Skills Test – 670


  • Mathematics test exemption:
    • SAT mathematics – 540
    • GRE General quantitative – 540
    • GRE Revised General Test quantitative – 145

If you took the SAT before the year 1995, your minimum score must have been 480 on the verbal portion and 520 on the mathematics portion in order to qualify for testing exemptions in these subject areas.

There are no exemptions to the Praxis II Physical Education: Content Knowledge Exam, which all prospective PE teachers must complete. This evaluates you on your specific knowledge and understanding in the field of PE. You will have two hours to complete the test’s 120 multiple-choice questions, which are divided into four subject areas:

  • Knowledge of the PE subject plus student growth and development – 36 questions
  • Understanding of communication, management, and motivation – 30 questions
  • Conducting student assessments, planning and instruction – 30 questions
  • Knowledge of collaboration, technology, and reflection – 24 questions

To help you better prepare for this exam, ETS offers a Praxis II PE: Content Knowledge study guide.



Step 3. Apply for Your Delaware Teaching License and PE Certificate

Once you have met all these basic requirements for licensure you will be ready to apply. Applications for a PE teaching license are submitted online. Depending on which route you are taking to qualify, you will need to fill out a corresponding application:

  • Soon-to-be or recent college graduate of a PE teaching program Application
  • Out-of-state candidates who are experienced PE teacher Application
  • Have at least a bachelor’s degree in a PE-related field but have not completed a teacher prep program Application

When exploring these applications, you will notice that you need to create a Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS) profile. When you apply online for the license, you will also need to apply for a Standard Certificate in physical education to signify this is your area of specialization. The first license you will obtain is known as an Initial License, which is only valid for three years.



Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your Delaware PE Teacher License

Over the course of your first three years you will need to participate in a comprehensive educator induction program. This will include:

  • Professional development activities
  • At least 30 hours of mentor consultations and meetings during your first year
  • Orientation
  • Descriptive, non-evaluative feedback
  • Direction to ensure you stay within specific quality standards of PE teaching

You must adhere to the guidelines established by your educator induction program in order to advance your Initial License to a Continuing License. If you successfully complete your educator induction program, your employing school will take care of the necessary paperwork to obtain a Continuing License on your behalf.

The Continuing License is valid for five years, and to renew this you will need to complete at least 90 clock hours of activities considered to be professional development within this time span. If you are applying for licensure and already have at least three years of PE teaching experience in another state, you may apply directly for a Continuing License.

Professional development is defined as an activity that ultimately results in the improvement of your PE teaching abilities. This can be in the form of:

  • College credits
  • School professional development days
  • Professional PE conferences and workshops
  • Mentoring of a PE teacher
  • Educational travel
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification
  • Formal PE study groups

The Department of Education provides a useful guide on renewing a Continuing License. In general for college courses, one semester hour equals 15 clock hours and one quarter hour equals 10 clock hours. You will be notified through your DEEDS account six months prior to the expiration of your Continuing License.

Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Delaware

The Delaware State Education Association reports a minimum Delaware PE teacher salary of $27,781. That salary figure, however, is at the very first step in the salary schedule for PE teachers in Delaware with a bachelor’s degree. A PE teacher at that level with a master’s degree will earn $31,573 and with a doctorate degree $35,909, so the difference in salary at the entry-level could be nearly 23% depending on the educational degree.

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The Delaware State Education Association also reports that there are a total of 17 possible steps in the salary schedule offered to PE teachers. Here is a look at some of those steps by educational degree:

Bachelor’s Degree

Step 1: $27,781
Step 2: $28,053
Step 3: $28,322
Step 4: $29,270
Step 5: $30,003
Step 6: $30,978
Step 7: $31,981
Step 8: $32,956
Step 9: $33,931
Step 10: $34,934
Step 11: $35,968
Master’s Degree

Step 1: $31,573
Step 2: $31,845
Step 3: $32,114
Step 4: $33,064
Step 5: $33,442
Step 6: $34,417
Step 7: $35,420
Step 8: $36,395
Step 9: $38,862
Step 10: $39,837
Step 13: $42,816
Step 15: $44,769
Doctorate Degree

Step 1: $35,909
Step 2: $36,179
Step 3: $36,451
Step 4: $37,398
Step 5: $37,804
Step 6: $38,373
Step 7: $39,349
Step 8: $40,351
Step 9: $42,816
Step 10: $43,791
Step 13: $46,744
Step 15: $48,722
Step 17: $50,691

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