Wearing sweats and workout clothes to work can be normal -- if you are a physical education teacher. These professionals get paid to play sports and hang out in the gym all day long. Of course, this is slightly sugar-coated. PE teachers have to share the gym with a class full of energy-laden kids, while maintaining order. And amidst all this fun, these teachers are responsible for teaching a curriculum that meets state standards.
PE teachers are expected to promote health and fitness throughout the school and community. Schools often rely on their PE teacher to develop school-wide physical activity programs or events. Duties can include coordinating supplemental programs such as dance or karate with community providers, announcing opportunities for students to become involved in sport programs, serving on related committees, working with classroom teachers, organizing school-wide physical activity events and leading by personal example.
While some students love PE, some hate it. Additionally, not all students are equally fit, making some activities more challenging for some students. PE teachers must be able to motivate, supervise and discipline students appropriately to make sure all students are participating in fitness activities. This really boils down to the idea that PE teachers have the responsibility to make physical education fun and to include all students.
Teach Skills and Activities
Even PE teachers are held accountable for what they teach. They must be certain that all the fun that goes on actually leads to learning. PE teachers are expected to teach skills and activities that are age- and level-appropriate. They must deliver a curriculum that meets the standards as determined by their state. States have specified what makes a good physical education program, and PE teachers must teach the concepts, strategies, movements and tactics students are expected to learn.
Maximize Student Activity
Physical education is not only a learning experience; it is also a health experience. Teachers are expected to deliver curriculum while keeping students as active as possible. Students should be engaged in physical activity for the full duration that is required by the state or school. This means that the PE teacher must make sure all students continue to participate in activities, and that activities do not take longer to explain than to play.
- National Association for Sport and Physical Education: Moving Into the Future -- National Standards for Physical Education
- Commission on Teacher Credentialing: Physical Education Teacher Preparation in California
- National Association for Sport and Physical Education: Physical Education Position Statements
- Human Kinetics: The Role and Responsibilities of the Physical Education Teacher in the School Physical Activity Program
- Education Portal: Physical Education Teacher -- Job Description and Requirement for Becoming a Physical Ed Teacher
Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.