Becoming a PE teacher in Maine starts with an education and proceeds through the following steps:
Prospective PE teachers in Maine will need to distinguish themselves as capable candidates who meet the requirements for teaching certification. The Maine State Board of Education has developed a series of qualifications designed to select top candidates.
Successfully navigating this certification process involves completing a degree program and passing a series of tests. As you complete these tasks you will primarily work with the Department of Education’s Certification Office, which is tasked with ensuring you qualify as a PE teacher according to the rules set by the State Board of Education.
Step 1. Complete a College or University Degree Program in Physical Education
As you begin researching how to become a physical education teacher in Maine you will find several routes one can take to gain certification. The most direct route is to complete a PE teaching bachelor’s degree program. This combines study in the field of PE with pedagogy courses plus a student teaching segment. The pedagogy and student teaching program make up an approved teaching preparation program that is part of the bachelor’s degree program.
If you have already earned at least a bachelor’s degree in the field of physical education, to become a PE teacher in Maine you will need to complete a post-bachelor’s PE teacher preparation program.
There are currently 16 in-state approved teaching preparation programs in Maine.
Your initial curriculum will start out covering the essentials in the field of physical education:
- Body movement and development
- Motor skills
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Fundamentals of kinesiology
- Sports and exercise
- Treating injuries
- Nutrition, diet, and fitness
- Weight training
- Musculo-skeletal system
As you advance in your degree you will start taking teacher preparation program courses. These cover subjects including:
- Teaching physical education
- PE pedagogy and lesson planning
- Psychology of K-12th graders
- Childhood development and physical activity
- PE as a social activity
The final large task as part of the preparation program is student teaching or internship program. Once you have established a solid foundation in the subjects of PE and pedagogy you will combine these in your student teaching.
This may also mark the beginning of your PE teacher career in Maine, where you will gain experience in physical education. You could even be hired on at the school that hosts your internship. Initially you will assist the PE instructor at your assigned student teaching school, gradually building on this experience to eventually lead PE students in planned activities.
If you already have a year of teaching experience in Maine you can qualify for an exemption to the student teaching portion of a teacher preparation program.
Step 2. Complete PE Teacher Testing Requirements
Before you are eligible to apply for a PE teaching license you will need to complete a series of tests to ensure you are a qualified candidate. The company ETS (Educational testing Service) is responsible for administering all of these tests.
The first of these exams is the Core Academic Skills for Educators. This is comprised of three tests and you have two options of which series to take:
Note that the Department of Education will not accept Praxis I scores from exams that were taken after August 31st, 2014, as this exam is currently being phased out.
The reading, writing, and mathematics exams will evaluate your fundamental knowledge in these subjects to ensure you are suited to become a PE teacher with a basic understanding of essential common topics.
Principles of Learning and Teaching
The next exam you will need to pass is the Principles of Learning and Teaching. This evaluates your skills in the areas of teaching, pedagogy, and lesson planning. When you sign up for this exam you must choose a test that corresponds to the grade levels which are most appropriate for your career goals as a PE teacher:
If you are already a certified PE teacher in a different state you are exempt from taking the Principles of Learning and Teaching test.
Praxis II PE: Content Knowledge Exam
Finally you will need to take the Praxis II PE: Content Knowledge Exam. Passing this test will allow you to claim an endorsement in PE on your application for teaching certification, specifically 510 Physical Education (K-12). This test is important because it demonstrates you are capable and knowledgeable in the field of physical education. You may wish to consult a study guide for this exam, for which you will be allotted two hours to complete 120 multiple-choice questions in the following subject areas:
- 30% in the areas of PE content knowledge, student growth, and student development
- 25% in the areas of motivation, management, and communication
- 25% in the areas of PE instruction, planning, and student assessment
- 20% in the areas of reflection, collaboration, and technology
Step 3. Complete an Application to Become a Licensed PE Teacher in Maine
There are several things you must include with your completed Initial Application:
- Official college transcripts
- A copy of an out-of-state teaching certificate, if applicable
- $100 application fee
- Copies of the results of your ETS test scores
After you have assembled all of these materials, you can send them together in one envelope to the Department of Education’s Certification Office at 23 State House Station in Augusta, zip code 04333-0023.
Before you can be certified you will also need to have a criminal background investigation and schedule yourself for an appointment to be fingerprinted.
After you have submitted your complete application packet you can check its status online to check on its progress. Once you have received your PE teaching certification you will have met all the requirements for PE teacher jobs in Maine and will be ready to start filling out applications for employment.
Step 4. Maintain Your PE Teaching Certification
A Maine teaching certification is valid for five years. The Department of Education’s Certification Office will mail you a renewal application packet in time for you to complete before your certificate expires. As part of your renewal, every five years you need to complete at least six renewal credits of continuing professional education. These must be from approved courses, such as Exceptionality Courses and should advance your professional PE teaching skills.
You do not need to submit proof that you have obtained at least six renewal credits, however you must do this if you are randomly audited. When completing your renewal packet you also must disclose if you have been convicted of any criminal activity and include an explanation of such.
Step 5. Career-Long PE Teacher Professional Development
The Maine Department of Education places an emphasis of resources on the professional development of its teachers, including those in the field of PE. In addition to the courses you complete for your renewal credits, there are also several other options you have to advance your PE teaching career professionally.
National Board Certification
National Board Certification is an optional credential you can obtain through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). As a recognition of this achievement, if you earn National Board Certification, which is valid for ten years with the option for renewal, you can receive a yearly salary supplement for the duration of your certification. The amount of this supplement is set by the State Legislature, and for fiscal year 2013-14 totaled $2,750.
Becoming NBPTS-certified requires you to complete a lengthy evaluation process that can last over a year. To start in this process you will need to prepare items for assessment by NBPTS peers in your field, such as the following:
- Job performance evaluation
- Video recorded examples of your effective PE teaching methods in the classroom
- Examples of student improvement in your class as a direct result of your PE instruction
- PE student assessments that show a development of physical education skills
You will submit these as part of a portfolio, and you must also pass 10 assessments as well as six constructed response exercises in the field of physical education.
Professional Teaching Associations
You will find additional PE teaching resources with professional associations in the state. These can prove to be valuable for:
- Locating continuing professional education opportunities
- Networking with your colleagues
- Finding PE teaching jobs in the state
- Improving overall teacher conditions in Maine
Two prominent teaching associations active in Maine are:
- Maine Education Association (MEA)
- Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (MAHPERD)
MEA is a professional organization for all teachers in the state with 25,000 members. It is affiliated with the National Education Association and advocates for legislation favorable to Maine’s teachers.
MAHPERD is an organization for PE professionals as well as students and anyone else who is passionate about physical education. Its goals include establishing high-quality physical education, both in the training of future PE teachers as well as in PE classroom instruction across the state.
Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Maine
In 2013, the Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information found that there was a median phys ed teacher salary in Maine of $55,360. The average salary was just 1% higher at $55,920. The bottom 25th percentile of salaries, which is typically entry-level salary, was $43,930. The top 25% of salaries, however, was $68,130. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that PE teachers in the top 10% percent statewide were averaging $77,250, which is about 27.6% more than the average statewide.
The Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information also provided specific salary data for PE teachers employed in Cumberland County:
(Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Brunswick, Falmouth, Yarmouth)
Bottom 25%: $40,342
Top 25%: $69,449
The following salary schedules are provided by the Maine Education Association:
Lewiston (Bachelor’s Degree)
Step 0: $32,782
Step 2: $33,438
Step 4: $33,689
Step 6: $33,803
Step 8: $34,223
Step 12: $37,940
Step 17: $54,363
Lewiston (Master’s Degree)
Step 0: $33,495
Step 2: $34,165
Step 4: $34,352
Step 6: $34,469
Step 8: $36,076
Step 12: $41,849
Step 17: $59,568