If you aspire to become a physical education (PE) teacher, you should be prepared to take on the academic requirements that go along with it. Like other teachers, most states will require a teaching certificate and the appropriate college education to qualify you for this work. The physical education field is a mix between academics and physical fitness that can lead to a long and fulfilling career in the classroom or gym.
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Depending on the college you wish to attend, the specific requirements for your education will vary. In any bachelor's degree program, which will be required if you are to become a teacher of any kind, there is a set of core requirements that must be completed as a prerequisite to a degree. This coursework will ensure that each graduating student has received a well-rounded education in a variety of subjects while attending the college.
Most colleges will set mandatory general requirements in subjects such as mathematics, English, sciences and more. This portion of the educational experience will supply you with a basic knowledge of many different academic categories.
Once all your prerequisites are completed, your degree requirements will begin. Most PE teachers obtain a degree in health and physical education or a closely related major. The courses you may be required to take along the way may include exercise physiology, kinesiology and other health-related subjects. Many of the same education courses required for students planning to become other types of teachers are also required for future PE teachers. Some classes, such as Teaching PE or Health Methods, may be specific to the PE major.
In addition to traditional classes, PE teachers will be required to take part in additional activity courses above what's required in the core requirements. Classes in specific activities may include golf, aerobics, racquetball, bowling, team sports or even coaching classes for specific sports. While these courses often involve playing games throughout the majority of the semester, the grades are just as important for degree completion as those received for classroom-based courses.
Once you've passed all your courses, there's still more to do. As with any teaching job, the state requirements may call for a specific amount of time in a student teaching role. This work will likely be in a state school somewhere near the area you live or possibly on campus, working with instructors in your field.
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