How to Become a Physical Education Teacher

Phy Ed Teacher

Would you like to learn how to become a Physical Education teacher? As with any teaching career, the initial requirements will be completing an accredited bachelor's degree program and obtaining teaching certification. As a physical education teacher, you will be responsible for educating students on health issues and teaching them about proper physical fitness. You should be a role model and in good physical condition yourself. PE teachers are no longer just supervisors of the gym. Nowadays you will be asked to teach health classes and to have knowledge of nutrition and diet in addition to being able to form a curriculum of sports, exercise and other physical activities.

In most cases, to become a Physical Education teacher you will want to complete a bachelor’s degree program in Physical Education at an accredited college or university.   Other options may include Athletic Training, Exercise Science, and Health Promotion.   Courses you can expect to take might include Physical Education Theory, Sport Pedagogy, General Teaching Methods, Kinesiology, Health and Wellness, Physically Impaired Physical Education, and Health and Wellness.

In addition to obtaining a bachelor’s degree, to become a physical education teacher you will also need to pass national teaching exams.  The most recognized of these is the PRAXIS. The PRAXIS consists of three parts.  The first, PRAXIS I, will test basic skills in reading, writing, and math.  The PRAXIS II for physical education teachers is the Physical Education Specialty Area Exam.  The third and final PRAXIS is a live teaching observation and evaluation.

In addition to the above requirements, as a PE teacher, you should also be in shape, physically fit and knowledgeable about a variety of sports, activities, and exercises. Students will be looking at you as model of what it is to be fit and live a healthy lifestyle.  Your background and experience should reflect this. Coaching or experience working with young people is always a plus.

Although exercise still plays a big role, teaching physical education no longer places the entire emphasis on physical activity.    Instead, the goal of the physical education teacher should be promote a healthy and active lifestyle.   As soda and other sugar related products are phased out of school and with teen obesity on the rise, schools are looking towards their physical education teachers for leadership and reform.   You must be an agent for change, providing your students with the tools, knowledge, encouragement and inspiration to live a healthy life.   

If you like working with young people and are up to the challenge, deciding to become a physical education teacher could be a great decision.