Physical education teachers have the opportunity to instill the value of physical fitness in their students, potentially starting them on the path to healthy lifestyles. Because this power can be so great, many hiring committees put great care into selecting the best candidates to fill physical education vacancies. If you are a certified P.E. teacher hoping to land a job, carefully preparing answers to some of the most commonly posed interview questions is a great first step.
It is vital for all teachers to differentiate -- or make their curriculum accessible to students of all skill levels. For a PE teacher, however, effective differentiation does more than just ensure that all students are challenged -- it ensures that all students are trying activities that are safe given their skill sets. Hiring committees commonly ask physical education teaching position candidates how they will differentiate their instruction to ensure that all students can actively participate regardless of their natural athletic skills.
Motivation to Move
With childhood obesity rates on the rise, the need to separate kiddos from their couches and get them up and moving is more serious than ever. Many hiring committees inquire as to how physical education position candidates will motivate students to get involved -- and stay involved -- in physical activity. When they pose this question, they are looking for a comprehensive, multifaceted answer that effectively communicates a workable plan for promoting continued physical activity.
Gym class shouldn’t be that ace-in-the-hole, easy "A" for students. A student’s gym class grade should reflect a number of factors, including her willingness to participate and her mastery of the physical education concepts taught. Many hiring committees, eager to ensure that the candidates they select won’t just slap an "A" on every report card, will inquire about the candidate’s assessment plans. When they ask about assessments, they are generally seeking a clearly-defined, rubric for assessing student understanding of physical education topics not a, “they get credit for the day if they remember to bring their gym clothes,” response.
The school gym can quickly become a site of major injury if the physical education teacher doesn’t keep a tight control of her classroom. Because no school official wants her students in danger, hiring committees commonly ask physical education teaching position candidates to explain how they properly manage their classrooms. Candidates who can provide a detailed plan for punishing student misbehavior and rewarding positive student efforts commonly get top marks on this question.
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