A career in teaching physical education (PE) can be fulfilling for those who enjoy working with kids and advocating for a healthy lifestyle. Teaching candidates generally begin their careers after college, but must first be granted a teaching license from their state's Board of Education. Those interested in teaching in a private school may encounter more stringent requirements. Many PE teachers teach at more than one school, generally teaching classes back-to-back with very few breaks in between. At the secondary level, you may also be called on to teach health classes.
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Earn a bachelor's degree in physical education, sports management, athletic training or exercise science. Also, take wide array of electives, as you may be called upon to teach another subject. Take classes in kinesiology, health disciplines and sports activity courses including golf, basketball and tennis. Join your school's physical education club. Consider joining Future Teachers of America, or volunteering with an organisation like Big Brother Big Sister or Special Olympics to gain practical experience while in school.
Register for the Praxis I and II tests, depending on what level and state you plan on teaching. Check the Praxis website for state-by-state requirements. After passing, you will receive your teaching certificate and be able to start teaching. Consider pursuing a health license to become eligible to teach wellness classes.
Gain some experience in the field through an internship or student teaching. Try to gain a well-rounded background of teaching various activities like golf, aerobics and climbing. Other opportunities exist outside of the classroom environment at places like a local gym or through coaching a youth sports team. Be comfortable working and interacting with children and young adults. Check online for any vacancies in nearby school districts.
Attend conferences and workshops to continue to expand your skill set and discover new teaching methods and techniques. Read professional publications such as the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education and the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
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