How to Make a Career as a PE Teacher

by frank-stuart

With an increasing obesity problem in Australia, encouraging young people to be more active has never been more important. If you love fitness and exercise and want to make a positive contribution, a career as a physical education teacher can be a great way to do something you love, and hopefully make a lasting difference in the health and wellness of students.

What do PE teachers do?

PE teachers usually work in secondary schools teaching sports and fitness, and increasingly, nutrition and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Where PE teachers used to spend most of their time developing their students’ motor skills through sports and games, they have more recently branched out into teaching other skills like health and good nutrition. If you are employed as a PE teacher in a school, you are usually responsible for planning out a curriculum of age and developmentally appropriate activities for students, and motivating them to participate. Most schools have guidelines as to the activities they want you to teach but there is still scope to be creative and get students to have fun at the same time.

You will also be required to evaluate students’ progress and performance, and follow up on any issues. As a PE teacher, you may be responsible for teaching students about many aspects of physical wellbeing and health, and the lessons they learn in primary and high school can help set them up for a healthier future. As well as teaching and coordinating activities to promote general wellness, PE teachers often teach in the classroom and run extra-curricular sporting activities for students.

How can I become a PE teacher?

To become a PE teacher, you will need to complete a degree in physical education or a general education degree specialising in physical education or movement. If you have a general undergraduate degree and some experience in the health and fitness industry, there are a number of postgraduate physical education courses available which can allow you to qualify as a PE teacher, or you can take a graduate diploma of education. To work as a teacher in a school you will also need to meet certain other criteria, including the completion of a working with students check.

Will I enjoy being a PE teacher?

Being a PE teacher is a demanding job and it requires commitment and enthusiasm. You will need to study hard to complete your course and you will be required to undertake a certain amount of practical work experience. To do this successfully you will need to be committed and highly motivated. You are likely to enjoy working as a PE teacher if you like being around students and are keen to help them develop healthy exercise habits.

Teaching can be demanding at times, so high energy levels and enthusiasm is essential. A genuine love of fitness and exercise is also important if you are going to be able to motivate others. Being a PE teacher is a highly rewarding career. If you love fitness and exercise, enjoy working with students, and want to do something that is rewarding, chances are you will enjoy being a PE teacher.

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