New York state has specific requirements for teaching physical education. Applicants must first attain a teaching license, pass three state certification exams and get fingerprinted to make sure there are no criminal records. Once certified and employed, all teachers, regardless of the subjects they teach, are required at some point to attain a master’s degree in education if they haven’t already earned one.

Initial Teacher License

Physical education teachers must hold a New York state teaching certificate. To obtain the initial license to teach kindergarten though grade 12, teachers are obligated to fulfill a registered New York state education program, majoring in physical education. They must also satisfy the following state certification tests: Liberal Arts and Science Test (LAST), Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W), and the Content Specialty Test (CST) for physical education. All teacher prospects must be screened for fingerprint clearance.

Additional Classroom Certificate

Teachers who already hold a New York state certificate to teach academic subjects may complete additional classes in order to teach physical education. Teachers are required to complete the content core, which is the coursework for physical education: history of education, mechanics and movement, anatomy and physiology. Courses in coaching various sports are also acceptable. Other requirements are passing the Content Specialty Test and attending child abuse, school violence intervention and determent workshops.

Interstate Reciprocity

Teachers who are licensed in other states must adhere to guidelines similar to those of New York certified teachers. They must pass the three state licensing tests, hold a bachelor’s degree in education, and obtain fingerprint clearance. The teachers must also have at three years of physical education teaching experience and hold a higher certificate, level 2, from another state that has reciprocity with New York, or complete an approved physical education program.

Permanent Certificate

All teachers with an initial teaching license eventually are required to attain a master’s degree in education. Physical education teachers must be fingerprinted again and cleared. In addition, the permanent certificate applicant must demonstrate the following: three years of paid teaching experience, one year of experience mentoring a new teacher, attendance at child mistreatment and school violence intercession workshops, and completion of an education program focusing on physical education subjects.