Physical Education Degrees in Mississippi
What role does physical education play in schools? Though gym programs went through a period of decreased funding and classroom hours, the focus on a holistic approach to education has reversed that trend.
Now that legislators and researchers understand how crucial physical activity is to students’ development and academic performance, gym is an exceptionally important part of Mississippi school systems.
If you are a teacher in another subject area or you’re considering a career in education, a degree in physical education could get you started on the right path.
Role of Educators with a Physical Education Degree in Mississippi
Compared to other areas of teaching, physical education requires regular activity, movement, and strength. If you’re looking for an education career that helps you maintain your own health while teaching fitness habits to a generation of students, contact Mississippi teaching programs to get started.
Since physical education has rapidly increased in importance in Mississippi, it’s important for professionals to have teaching contacts who can offer suggestions, give updates on legislation, and collaborate on programs to make Mississippi healthy.
That’s where the Mississippi Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance comes in. Members can attend special training and networking events. The group holds an annual convention every year, hosts workshops on different sports and areas of specialty in physical education, and advocates for teachers in legislation. Teachers can get their classes involved in events like Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart.
The process of becoming a teacher starts with postsecondary training, and you should focus on finding a program that fits your needs. Start comparing options now by requesting information on how to become a PE teacher.
Getting Your Physical Education Degree in Mississippi
In Mississippi, the most straightforward way to become a gym teacher is to earn PE teacher degrees. Bachelor’s degrees are designed for undergraduate students who want to get licensed and start pursuing entry-level teaching jobs.
Through this four-year program, you develop your knowledge of childhood development and learn how to apply physical education standards and techniques to different grade levels. You should have a comprehensive knowledge of exercise, sports rules, sports behavior, Mississippi education standards, healthy eating, and Mississippi teaching techniques by the time you graduate.
Your PE teaching curriculum may include courses like:
- Basic Principles of Nutrition
- Basic Athletic Training
- Principles of Strength and Conditioning
- Anatomical Kinesiology
- Physiology of Exercise
- Physical Fitness Evaluation
- Team Sports
- Lifetime Sports
- Motor Development and Learning
- Educational Psychology
- Measurement and Evaluation in Kinesiology
- Methods and Materials of Teaching Physical Education in Elementary/Secondary Schools
- Managing the Elementary/Secondary Classroom
The subjects and sports you teach may change on an annual basis, depending on the grades you teach and the evolving standards in Mississippi. That’s why it’s necessary to have a broad and current skill set that you can pull from to teach any grade level.
Even if you know that you want to teach a specific grade level after you graduate, your education should offer you the chance to work in several different school settings. A diverse experience base gives you the preparation necessary for whatever the job market sends your way.
The most important part of your hands-on experience is student teaching, a full-semester school experience that requires you to keep the same hours as licensed teachers. In one semester, you discover how to think on your feet, complete a multitude of responsibilities on any given day, and communicate efficiently with students and peers. Your student teaching supervisors and administrators can be good references for you as you look for a job, so make sure to respect their experience and listen to their feedback.
Before you can start working independently as a gym teacher, you have to get a full license through the Mississippi Department of Education. The Praxis II Physical Education Content and Knowledge exam is the licensing test in this state.
Your teaching education and experience is invaluable to the people of Mississippi. The time spent on Mississippi students can benefit the state for decades to come, leading to a better quality of life for people in your community.
Working with a Physical Education Degree in Mississippi
You can begin your career with a license and one of the accepted PE teacher degrees; Mississippi salaries vary between communities, but statewide averages are very close to what you may find in other Southern states.
Currently, elementary school teachers in Mississippi report an average income of $41,760 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). At the secondary school level, teachers earn an average of $43,100 per year (BLS, 2016).
Education is growing across the country, but demand for teachers is especially high in Mississippi. From 2012 through 2022, O*Net anticipates a 16% boost in job openings for elementary school teachers (2016). During this time, job openings for secondary school teachers may increase 9% (O*Net, 2016).
The lessons taught in physical education can last a lifetime, encouraging students to create and maintain fitness habits that they stick to. To find the right school for you, reach out to Mississippi schools and ask for more information on earning a physical education degree.
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