Physical Education Teacher Career, Employment and Education Info
Learn about what physical education teachers do on a daily basis and what they teach. Find out about the career outlook and education requirements for this career path. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Job Duties Will I Have as a Physical Education (P.E.) Teacher?
As a physical education (P.E.) teacher, you can work in either a primary or secondary school setting. When working with children at the elementary school level, your main focus is helping students develop their motor skills and teaching them to work together through team activities. At the middle school and high school levels, your focus shifts to educating students about the benefits of exercise and its effects on the body, proper nutrition and overall wellness. Additionally, you teach the older children the basics of several individual and team sports. Many schools may also offer the opportunity for you to become involved in extracurricular activities as a coach for a school sport.
What is the Employment Outlook?
Although job prospects are best for teachers in the subjects of mathematics, science and bilingual education, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected employment growth for teachers of kindergarten through secondary school to be about as fast as average, with a potential growth of 13% from 2008 to 2018 (www.bls.gov). However, you may find additional opportunities in rural and urban areas as current teachers move on to more desirable locations or different careers. As a P.E. teacher, your compensation will vary by city and school district, but May 2011 reports on PayScale.com, show the middle half of physical education teachers earned $31,894-$49,754.
What Education Do I Need?
In order to teach at a public elementary school, middle school or high school, you will need to earn your bachelor's or master's degree in physical education, kinesiology, exercise science or a related field. You may want to consider a program accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Additionally, you must become licensed through your State Board of Education, and you may also choose to earn advanced certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The NBPTS offers certification in physical education for early and middle childhood or early adolescence through young adulthood (www.nbpts.org). Common courses you can expect to take include motor skill development, coaching principles, leading team sports and promoting lifelong wellness.
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