Physical Education Degrees in New Mexico
There are many facets of education, all of them contributing to a child’s overall well-being and academic success. A growing area of importance in the United States is physical education.
Not only do physically active kids enjoy better physical health, they tend to do better in intense academic subjects. At young ages, students are naturally active, choosing to run and play with friends instead of engaging in stationary play. However, as kids enter school and progress through each grade, it is crucial to help them build healthy lifelong habits.
Role of Educators with a Physical Education Degree in New Mexico
Wondering if you would be a good gym teacher? Learn more about earning a PE degree by contacting schools below.
If you decide to work in the field of physical education, you are in good company. To encourage those who dedicate their careers to this challenging specialty, many professional organizations have popped up throughout the country.
Healthier Schools New Mexico is one program that aims to improve physical health outcomes at schools by providing resources to physical education teachers. Their overall goals include helping students develop competency in many forms of movement, providing students with a strong understanding of movement principles, clarifying the importance of a physically active lifestyle, and showing students how to interact socially in athletic environments.
These goals cover everything from kindergarten through 12th grade, giving teachers a solid foundation on which to build their curricula and lesson plans.
New Mexico’s need for skilled teachers is growing. Request information below to learn how to become a PE teacher in NM.
Getting Your Physical Education Degree in New Mexico
Before you can change lives as a gym teacher, you have to get the right training and education behind you. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, you may become a teacher by earning a second Bachelor’s degree, completing an alternative certification path, or pursuing a Master’s degree in education. However, most students choose to complete a full Bachelor’s degree in physical education to become certified teachers.
New Mexico is home to several public and private colleges and universities that have this program option. To qualify for graduation, you need to earn at least 120 credits. On average, this takes eight semesters. You may graduate more quickly by taking summer courses.
Part of your education is simply learning how to be a good teacher. Many of your classes go into child psychology, educational research, educational psychology, and general teaching techniques. These courses are generally applicable to any teaching setting, not just physical education.
Another part of your education deals specifically with the pedagogy of teaching physical education. Throughout your degree, you may complete several types of field experience, including classroom observation courses, student teaching, and fieldwork courses. In New Mexico, teachers are licensed to teach physical education at the K-12 level, so you should get experience with students at different grade levels.
Course titles and curricular requirements vary between schools, but overall, the same subjects are taught at each New Mexico institution. Your curriculum may include the courses below or courses similar to them.
Commonly Required Physical Education Teaching Courses
- Target Activities
- Lifetime Pursuits
- Outdoor Pursuits
- Motor Learning and Performance
- Teaching Fitness Concepts
- Human Nutrition
- Adapted Physical Education
- Physical Education in Elementary Schools
- Physical Education in Secondary Schools
- Assessment in Physical Education
- Behavior Management in Physical Education
- Diversity in Sports and Physical Activity
In addition to showing you how to connect with and teach students, your school should show you how to meet state teaching standards, communicate effectively with parents, and function as part of a teaching team.
Learning outcomes should address each of these areas and outline what you must learn to succeed. For example, a teaching program may aim to graduate students who are aware of and able to apply current teaching research, able to teach skill acquisition to children, and capable of developing a sequential curriculum for all grade levels.
Student teaching as a huge part of your training, both in time and overall importance. For one full semester, you work under the guidance of one or more teachers at a local school. You maintain a full-time teaching schedule for this semester. By the end of your degree, you should be teaching courses, assessing students, and performing other teaching duties as a licensed teacher would.
In New Mexico, teacher licensure goes through the New Mexico Public Education Department. To qualify for a license, you must submit proof of your completed degree and pass the Praxis II Physical Education exam.
Working with a Physical Education Degree in New Mexico
Once you have your teaching license, you know what’s next—getting your own classes at a local elementary, middle, or high school. Your job outlook may be affected by which grade levels you would like to teach. Between 2014 and 2024, job openings for elementary school teachers are expected to increase 8% in New Mexico (O*Net, 2016).
During the same timeframe, job openings for secondary school teachers may swell 3% (O*Net, 2016). Salaries tend to be fairly similar at different levels of teaching. The average income for an elementary school teacher is $58,410 per year, while the average income for a secondary school teacher is $54,590 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
Although your education should cover the vast majority of what you need to know in your career, there’s a lot to learn about how to become a PE teacher that takes place in your first teaching job. Finding a mentor at your school, getting involved in local professional organizations, and acting on feedback from supervisors can help you transition smoothly into your role as a physical education teacher.
A physical education degree can prepare you for licensure and an exciting, meaningful career. If you’re ready to take on the challenges of teaching, take the first step now.
Reach out to the New Mexico schools listed below to learn more about earning a degree in physical education.
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