What Does A Physical Education Teacher Do

The role of a physical education teacher has become more prominent and important over the years, as students now face a myriad of health challenges. In addition to this, new knowledge about healthcare and the importance of physical education has made this field an integral part of educational systems across the country.

The goal of a physical education teacher, however, has remained the same – to help students at all levels improve their health and integrate physical activities into their routines. Many Physical Education teachers provide instruction on fitness and health in schools and colleges, while others work as coaches or athletic directors. Find out more about the duties of a physical education teacher here.

Duties of a Physical Education Teacher

Most educational institutes have physical education classes once or twice a week, even though the recommended time for physical activities for children is at least one hour per day. This makes the job of a physical education teacher all the more important. They have to provide the maximum physical activity time within the class period. There are several ways of making this happen.

Effectiveness and Efficiency: One of the most important factors to consider is the optimal utilization of time in a physical education class. The following guidelines might be of help in this regard:

  • Organize the space, equipment and time in an effective manner
  • Provide sufficient equipment to the students, allowing for all of them to be active at the same time
  • Limit the instruction time and ensure that maximum time is spent on the physical activities
  • Plan and practice exercises that encourage maximum participation – for instance, activities that require no wait time, non-elimination activities, group activities and so on
  • Create a learning atmosphere through maximum physical activity

Longevity of Skills: It is the job of a P.E. instructor to teach skills that can be used outside the classroom as well. Skills learned in a P.E. class can transfer to activities children do outside. From kindergarten children playing tag, to third graders jumping rope, to children eventually playing sports such as kickball, football, badminton etc, games and sports learned in a P.E. class can be carried on outside the classroom as well. This ensures an overall healthier lifestyle among the children.

Good physical education manages to teach students activities that they may be able to do on their own. For instance, jump rope chants, hopscotch, tetherball and tag games etc. The idea is to introduce these activities briefly in a physical education class, and then encourage students to carry these on at their own time. This is likely to encourage an overall culture of physical activity among students from a young age, contributing to better health of the entire generation.

Motivation: Teachers play a very integral role in influencing the behaviors of their students. A positive student-teacher relation when it comes to physical education can result in creating healthy and active environment for youngsters. It is the job of a physical education teacher to encourage and motivate students to be more active. There are multiple ways to do this – by promoting community activities, showing interest in out-of-class physical activities where children can lead by example, assigning P.E. homework and so on.

  • Community activities can include dance classes, martial arts, gymnastics programs etc. Placing a bulletin board in the school gym can be a good way of keeping students informed about upcoming programs in their localities.
  • P.E. Homework can be simple exercises such as walking the dog, practicing skills such as throwing, kicking and striking. Teachers may ask their students to maintain a calendar to document their physical activity.
  • Praise for participation is the key to making student enjoy physical activities. Simply inquire students about their physical activity regimes and compliment where the student deserves it. Small, positive reinforcements can go a long way towards creating healthier communities.
  • Leading by example would mean that the P.E. teacher should be very physically active and fit to serve as a positive influence.

Another important duty of a P.E. teacher is to contribute towards the development of the physical activity program in school. Because of the increasing number of overweight students in schools, the role of P.E. teachers becomes all the more important in curtailing this national epidemic. Therefore, a physical education teacher should be an active member of the school wellness community, serving as a resource person for classroom teachers and for planning school-wide physical activity experiences.

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