Noticed a bulge growing around your waist? Get tired walking up a flight
of stairs? North Americans are getting heavier, and are doing less exercise.
In fact, approximately a third of American children are overweight, according
to the American Obesity Association.
Physical education teachers are responsible for getting students active.
They teach the value of fitness, healthy lifestyles and all about various
Physical education teachers can also teach health and lifestyle courses.
"In addition, they can run intramural programs, and are responsible for all
athletic activities at the school," says Jonathan Brady, a PE teacher.
This can include scheduling tournaments and practice times, arranging buses
for road trips and making sure referees and scorekeepers are available for
"You see a lot of children during the day, especially if you teach at an
elementary level," says Lydia Crain. She is an instructor of physical education
at the University of Arizona. "This job requires a lot of organization."
Like other teachers, PE teachers need to prepare report cards and meet
with parents to discuss a student's academic or more personal problems.
Physical education teachers can work in public or private schools, teaching
in elementary or high schools.
PE teachers work school hours. However, they are often involved in after
school sports, and can be involved in coaching on weekends as well.
"As a PE teacher, you give up your weekends," says Brady. "You don't have
to coach, but it's pretty much assumed that you will want to."
"Teaching physical education is a very demanding, very physical job," says
Although in most cases teaching PE requires mobility and a certain level
of fitness, there may be opportunities for the physically challenged as well.
"It's just like anything else," says Mark Manross. He is the executive
director of an online teaching resource for PE teachers. "If you have the
intellect and the drive, it doesn't matter who you are."
Help students get active