How to Become a Physical Education Teacher in Texas

If you feel you have what it takes to become a PE teacher in Texas, complete the following steps:

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree and Complete an Educator Preparation Program
Take the Necessary Texas Examinations
Apply for a Probationary Certificate (if applicable)
Apply for a Standard Teaching Certificate
Renew your Standard Certificate

The Texas State Board of Education is an elected 15-member board that, along with the Commissioner of Education, oversees the public educations system in Texas, which includes physical education standards.

Specifically, the State Board of Education oversees the implementation of Coordinated School Health Programs for kindergarten through grade 8. These programs include a standard course of physical education, which includes:

  • Scheduled recess or opportunities for structured play
  • Specific time devoted to physical activity
  • Student enrollment in physical education courses beyond the graduation requirements
  • Fitness program results

Becoming certified to teach physical education in Texas involves meeting specific standards, which involve:

  • Engaging in collaboration with parents, colleagues, and agencies to support students’ growth and well-being
  • Demonstrating competency in a variety of movement skills, which help students develop these skills
  • Providing equitable and appropriate instruction for all students in a diverse society
  • Understanding and utilizing formal and informal assessments to promote students’ emotional, social, and cognitive development in physical education contexts
  • Understanding principles and benefits of a healthy, physically active lifestyle and motivating students to participate in activities that promote this lifestyle
  • Utilizing effective and developmentally appropriate instructional strategies and communication techniques to prepare physically educated individuals
  • Utilizing knowledge of how students learn and develop as to provide opportunities that support their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development
  • Utilizing knowledge of individual and group motivation and behavior as to create and manage a safe and productive learning environment while promoting students’ self-management, self-motivation, and social skills through participation in physical activities
  • Understanding the legal issues and responsibilities of physical education teachers in relation to supervision, planning and instruction, safety, first aid, and risk management



Step 1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree and Complete an Educator Preparation Program

All candidates for physical education teacher jobs in Texas must earn a bachelor’s degree from a school that has received accreditation from a regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

An important component of a Texas educator’s job is the completion of an Approved Educator Preparation Program.

An educator preparation program may be part of a University-Based program, which is offered by:

  • Colleges and universities as part of an undergraduate degree program.


  • A post-baccalaureate program, which is designed for individuals who have already completed a bachelor’s degree program.


  • Alternative Certification Programs (ACP), which are offered by education service centers, school districts, and colleges and universities and designed for individuals with bachelor’s degrees. ACPs in Texas offer intensive classroom training, usually over the course of a year. Many participants of ACP programs are able, through supervision and mentoring, to teach as a paid intern (see Step 3).
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Step 2. Take the Necessary Texas Examinations

To qualify for an initial Texas teaching certificate in physical education, you must take and pass the following examinations:

All examinations are completed through the Texas Education Agency.

The Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities examination consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that are broken down into five sections:

  • Implementing Effective, Responsive Instruction and Assessment
  • Fulfilling Professional Roles and Responsibilities
  • Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning
  • Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom Environment

The Physical Education content test consists of 90 multiple-choice questions that are broken down into three sections:

  • Health-Related Physical Fitness
  • Movement Skills and Knowledge
  • The Physical Education Program

You may choose to register for paper-based or computer-based examinations and locate nearby testing centers here. You may register online or by phone at 1-800-205-2626.



Step 3. Apply for a Probationary Certificate (if applicable)

If you have completed an approved educator preparation program, move to Step 4.

For ACP candidates only:

If a teaching position has been secured for ACP internship, you will need to apply for a Probationary Certificate, which is valid for a period of one year. To apply for a probationary certificate, you need to create an online account through the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS). Note: Your ACP program will need to recommend you for the appropriate certificate.



Step 4. Apply for a Standard Teaching Certificate

Once you have completed all requirements for certification, you may apply for a Standard Certificate through the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS).

You can view step-by-step instructions on applying for certification using the ECOS system here (under the Certification Announcements and Updates heading).

Note: You must also register for a Texas Agency login before you can access the ECOS system.



Step 5. Renew your Standard Certificate

All educators in Texas must renew their standard certificate every 5 years through the completion of 150 professional development (CPE) clock hours. Your CPE clock hours may be obtained online or in-person through an approved CPE provider.

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You may apply online to renew your standard certificate as early as six months before your certificate’s expiration date. Choose “Renew a Standard Certificate” in the ECOS system to confirm your CPE clock hours and to complete the renewal.

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