What Do Physical Education Teachers Do
The role of Physical Education (PE) teachers has changed over the years as students face different kinds of health challenges than previous generations, and new knowledge about health has come to light.
However, the core goal of physical education teachers has remained the same: help students of all grade levels improve their health and understand the importance of physical education and health.
Since students spend the majority of their school days sitting in class, PE teachers give them a much-needed break from their otherwise sedentary style of learning. In today’s tech-driven world, many people ask “Why is physical education important?” when so many jobs don’t require physical activity. But the fact that we spend so much of our time physically complacent, tied to technology, is the reason why it’s important to ensure children and adults understand this subject matter is more important than ever.
PE Teacher Responsibilities
PE teachers are responsible for organizing activities for students that include team sports, individual exercise, as well as techniques to improve flexibility and coordination.
At the elementary school level, physical education teachers have an objective to teach young students the importance of developing healthy habits and lifestyles. At this young age, kids can be susceptible to playing video games, eating junk food, and learning poor habits that can contribute to poor health in the long-term.
With young kids, gym teachers should look for ways to keep learning fun. This requires more of a game-based approach to activities, instead of focusing so much on competition and winning.
As students reach the secondary school level, extracurricular activities are introduced and competitive play is more of an emphasis. PE teachers at this level are often responsible for coaching these activities after school and evaluating student performance to encourage those who may have natural talents in particular sports.
By the middle and high school years, students’ bodies are also developed enough to start weight training to improve their physical strength. Curriculum for gym class and courses specific to strength training are often introduced by high school. PE teachers in these courses will help students understand the importance of proper lifting and stretching to avoid injury. They will also emphasize a deeper understanding of healthy eating, since diet and exercise go hand-in-hand.
Physical Education teachers also have similar duties as other types of teachers, which include creating lesson plans, tests, and forms of evaluations for student assessment and improvement. Gym teachers have to report to the administration and communicate with parents, when necessary. Degree programs that prepare for these roles will include courses that focus on curriculum development and communication as well.
How to Earn a Degree
To earn you physical education degree, individuals will need to at least earn their bachelor’s degree in an area focused on health, fitness, or sports. Physical Education teachers also have to pass state teacher certification. These requirements depend on the state you want to teach in. However, many states require teachers to pass an additional test specific to physical education.
Students who want to teach physical education should also consider earning a graduate degree in a specialized area of health and fitness to increase their career opportunities.
Masters and doctorate programs can be found in campus and online formats.
Specializations that are common in the field include coaching, secondary physical education, human performance, athletic administration, sport management, and several others that can increase your options for working in this field.
Of course, the best way for you to learn how to become a PE teacher is to reach out to schools in your area for more information. They will be able to discuss your program and career goals to help you map the right path towards this career.
Contact the schools below that offer Physical Education teacher training to learn more.