Do you have what it takes to be a PE Teacher?

by frank-stuart
21DEC

Are you thinking about a career in teaching? Defecting to the other side and taking up residence in the staff room? You might want to ask yourself some important questions about what it takes to succeed as a teacher of Physical Education.

Your own experience of school gave you exposure to lots of different teaching styles. Some worked for you, others didn’t. Do you know the style of teacher you’d like to be? Maybe there’s a teacher you had that inspired you. Or maybe you’re motivated to be better than anyone who taught you. Either way, there are some important considerations when it comes to considering a career in PE teaching.

What  to expect?

In terms of kicking goals as an educator in PDHPE, the degree of difficulty can be quite high. A PE teacher has to manage groups with varying ability levels. PE situations are by nature very dynamic, performance based, out-of-doors, and meant to bring enjoyment as well as education – and all of these factors bring unique pressures to the role. Conducting 25 rowdy 14-year olds through the finer points of high jump requires confidence, expertise, and group management skills.

And if you think a 9-3pm job would be nice, it is not often the case. Don’t forget the other extra activities including school carnivals, sports coaching and tuition.

Health & physical education as a lifestyle?

With PE teachers unlike other types of teachers, there is an expectation to practice an active lifestyle. It’s a fact of life that students don’t respect Physical Education teachers who can’t demonstrate lessons in practical ways. Of course, for people born to the job, the requirement to keep fit and active is actually a massive plus of the job. Between lesson-planning, organising different teaching environments, and keeping up with a busy teaching schedule of energised kids, PE teachers need to be fit to stay ahead of the game.

Qualifications and experience?

You will need to complete a 4 year degree for this one and there are a few different options. A popular choice is a 3 year Bachelor of Health and Movement followed by a Graduate Certificate of Education.

You don’t need to wait until after you graduate to acquire on-the-job experience though. There are countless opportunities for getting valuable experience long before you finish your degree. Those who spend time in sporting clubs and take advantage of junior coaching opportunities are way ahead of the curve. Getting involved in Little Athletics or the local footy will give you an insight into the challenges of PDHPE. Of course, any qualification around sport – swimming instructor, soccer referee, First Aid Certificate – will be of benefit and allow you to develop lifelong career skills. And make sure you check if the Higher Education Provider of your choice has a comprehensive Career Development Program.

Do you have what it takes?

The following is a quick checklist of questions that successful PE teachers answer ‘yes’ to…

  • Do you have a passion for sport?
  • Do you enjoy keeping active and learning about health and fitness?
  • Do you enjoy working with kids?
  • Are you good at explaining and demonstrating ideas?
  • Do you have natural leadership qualities?
  • Do you have plenty of patience?
  • Are you motivated by helping others succeed?
  • Want to make learning fun and interesting?

And in the end it’s all worth it

Despite the challenges involved with being a PE teacher, it can be an extremely rewarding and enjoyable career. Sharing your passion for fitness, and getting younger generations involved in sport can make it all worthwhile. You can really make a difference and contribute to setting kids up for a healthy and active life.

To read real life PE teacher case studies take a look at some of the ACPE graduates who love the industry –

 

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