Is becoming a physical education teacher right for me?
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How to become a Physical Education Teacher
To become a physical education teacher, you typically need to complete a few key steps:
- Earn a Bachelor's Degree: The minimum requirement for a physical education teacher is a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Health Science, or a related field. Studies include courses in anatomy, physiology, motor development, teaching methods, and more.
- Obtain Teacher Certification: To teach in a public school, you'll need to be certified by your state's Board of Education. Requirements vary by state, but typically you'll need to pass a background check, complete a teacher preparation program, and pass a series of exams, including a subject-specific exam in physical education.
- Gain Teaching Experience: Before applying for a full-time teaching position, it's a good idea to gain experience working with children or teens in some capacity. This could be through volunteering, coaching youth sports teams, or working as a substitute teacher.
- Apply for Jobs: Once you have your degree, certification, and experience, you can start applying for physical education teaching jobs. Look for job postings on school district websites, education job boards, and professional networking sites.
In addition to a degree, there are several certifications that can be beneficial for physical education teachers. These certifications help to improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities in various aspects of physical education, including coaching, teaching, and fitness training. Some common certifications for physical education teachers include:
- National Board Certification in Physical Education: This certification is offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and is designed to recognize excellence in teaching. The certification is valid for 10 years and requires ongoing professional development.
- American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Personal Trainer: This certification is designed for those who want to work as personal trainers or fitness instructors. It covers topics such as exercise science, program design, and nutrition.
- National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS): This certification is for those who want to specialize in strength and conditioning training. It covers topics such as anatomy, exercise physiology, and program design.
- National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) Certified Personal Trainer: This certification is designed for personal trainers and fitness instructors. It covers topics such as exercise science, program design, and nutrition.
- Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher: This certification is for those who want to teach yoga. It covers topics such as yoga philosophy, anatomy, and teaching methodology.
- International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) Certified Fitness Trainer: This certification is for those who want to work as personal trainers or fitness instructors. It covers topics such as exercise science, program design, and nutrition.
The following are just a few examples of the many online resources available for physical education teachers. It's important to research and explore different options to find the ones that work best for you and your students.
- SHAPE America: SHAPE America is a non-profit organization that promotes physical education and physical activity in schools. Their website offers a wide range of resources for physical education teachers, including lesson plans, assessments, professional development opportunities, and advocacy tools.
- OPEN PhysEd: OPEN PhysEd is a free online platform that provides K-12 teachers with ready-to-use physical education lesson plans, assessment tools, and professional development resources. It offers a comprehensive curriculum that aligns with national standards and includes fitness activities, skill development, and game play.
- SPARK: SPARK is a research-based organization that provides physical education programs, curriculum, and professional development resources for K-12 teachers. Their website offers a range of free resources, including lesson plans, activity ideas, and assessment tools.
- PE Central: PE Central is a website that offers a wealth of resources for physical education teachers, including lesson plans, assessment tools, and professional development opportunities. It also features a community forum where teachers can share ideas and connect with other professionals in the field.
- Gopher Sport: Gopher Sport is a supplier of physical education equipment and resources. Their website offers a wide range of physical education equipment and supplies, as well as free resources for teachers, such as lesson plans and activity ideas.
- The Physical Educator: The Physical Educator is a website run by a physical education teacher that offers a range of resources for other teachers. It includes lesson plans, assessment tools, and professional development resources, as well as a blog with ideas and insights into teaching physical education.