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If you want to become a physical education teacher in Virginia, you must complete the following steps:
The Virginia Department of Education licenses teachers according to regulations adopted by the Board of Education and oversees regulations regarding educator preparation programs as to ensure that the knowledge and instructional skills of teachers are aligned to the Standards of Learning.
Physical education in Virginia is guided by the Physical Education Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools, which identifies the processes and concepts for physical education across all grade levels. This framework allows schools and teachers to create an aligned curricula and learning experiences in physical education.
Physical education in Virginia is organized into five categories:
- Movement Principles and Concepts
- Personal Fitness
- Physically Active Lifestyle
- Responsible Behaviors
- Skilled Movement
All categories are sequenced to progress in complexity between grade levels and are designed to give students the knowledge and skills to become physically educated, physically fit, and responsible for their physical activity choices. Each school division’s school board is responsible for incorporating physical education standards into its curriculum.
Step 1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree or Approved Teacher Preparation Program in Health and Physical Education
If you want to become a physical education teacher in Virginia, you must complete either a traditional program or an alternative program for health and physical education (PreK-12):
- Traditional Program: Graduation from an approved teacher preparation program in health and physical education
- Alternative Program: The completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher from a school accredited by a regional accreditation organization with a major in health and physical education OR 45 semester hours of coursework in the following:
- Physical education methodology course, including adaptive, team, individual and cooperative activities, rhythms and dance: 9 semester hours
- Personal health and safety: 6 semester hours
- Human anatomy, kinesiology, and physiology: 12 semester hours
- Health methods: 3 semester hours
- Health and physical education electives: 9 semester hours
- General health and physical education theory, including planning, administration, and assessment principles: 6 semester hours
Alternative licensure in Virginia may be accomplished through experiential learning, in lieu of coursework, for the physical education teaching endorsement if you hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have at least five years of documented, full-time work experience.
Work experience may include specialized training in physical education or a related area.
Step 2. Pass Required Professional Teacher Assessments
Before you can qualify for licensure as a physical education teacher in Virginia, you must take and pass two professional teacher assessments:
- Academic Skills Assessment: Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA)
You just receive a minimum score of 235 on the writing subtest and a minimum score of 235 on a reading subtest (or a composite score of 470) to pass the VCLA and qualify for licensure as a teacher in Virginia. To learn more about the VCLA test dates, costs, and registration, visit the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment website. You can also call 1-866-613-3292 for more information.
- PRAXIS II: Content Assessment
You must receive a minimum score of 160 on the PRAXIS II: Health and Physical Education PreK-12 examination to qualify for licensure in Virginia as a physical education teacher. The test consists of 120 multiple-choice questions that are broken down into the following categories:
- Personal health care
- Movement forms
- Fundamental movements, motor development, and motor learning
- Fitness and exercise science
- Family living and sex education
- Community health/diseases disorders
More information on the PRAXIS II content assessment, including registration information, upcoming testing dates, and testing locations can be found here.
Step 3. Successfully Complete the Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention Requirement
All applicants for initial licensure in Virginia must successfully complete the Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention Training requirement, which consists of an online training module.
Step 4. Apply for Your Virginia PE Teacher License
You can apply for an initial Virginia PE teacher license only after successfully completing all requirements.
Complete an Application for a Virginia License and send it to the Virginia Department of Education, along with the following:
- Application fee of $50 (made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia)
- College Verification form
- Report on Experience (if applicable)
- Professional Teacher Assessment Scores
- Official Student Transcripts
Virginia Department of Education
Division of Teacher Education and Licensure
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Step 5. Renew Your Virginia PE Teacher License
You must renew your PE Teacher license after 5 years and upon completing at least 180 professional development points (1 semester hour = 30 points), which can be accrued through:
- College credit (You must complete a minimum of 90 points in your content endorsement area if you do not hold a master’s degree.)
- Professional conferences
- Curriculum development
- Publication of articles
- Publication of books
- Educational project
- Professional development activity
You must complete the Application for License Renewal and pay the renewal fee of $25 (made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia). You can learn more about the renewal process by reading the Virginia Licensure Renewal Manual.
Phys Ed Teacher Salary in Virginia
There is a median phys ed teacher salary in Virginia of $62,595, although experienced teachers have been reported to average as much as $88,881, which is almost 30% more. The average entry-level salary among new graduates and phys ed teachers with minimal experience is $32,628. While this is about 48% less than the statewide median, it’s important to keep in mind the amount of financial potential that exists.
When breaking salary down geographically, the following salaries are identified:
Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News
The following are the salaries of phys ed teachers employed by the Arlington Public Schools:
Step A: $48,228
Step B: $48,962
Step C: $49,695
Step D: $52,181
Step E: $54,788
Step F: $57,529
Step G: $60,403
Step H: $63,424
Step I: $66,595
Step J-N: $69,923
In the following salary table are phys ed teacher salaries throughout Virginia: