Physical education teachers have one of the most important jobs in our schools. PE classes are essential for our children's overall development. They help keep our kids healthy and active, while also teaching them important life skills. If you are a physical education teacher or are thinking about becoming one, then you need to read this blog post! In it, I will discuss 15 tips for physical education teachers that will help you foster a positive learning environment, and keep your students learning and on task during your daily classes!
So, without further ado, here are the tips:
Tip #1: Be organized and have a plan
Having structure is critical when it comes to teaching physical education. If you are constantly fumbling around for materials or getting sidetracked, your students will likely tune out. Instead, have everything you need ready to go before class starts. This includes things like PE equipment, teaching resources, and any digital materials you might need. This will help you stay on track and make sure that your students are getting the most out of your class time. If you are a new physical educator, you will find having a quality lesson plan will help you to be more prepared for questions and keep your class running smoothly during the entire school year.
Tip #2: Make your lessons fun
Your students will be more engaged if they are enjoying themselves. This doesn’t mean that every minute of class needs to be a party, but try to find ways to make your lessons interactive and enjoyable. There are tons of great PE games and activities out there that will get your students moving while they learn. You can also mix things up by incorporating different PE skills or creative movement experiences each week. If your students are having fun, they’ll be more likely to stay engaged and learn the material.
Tip #3: Don't be afraid to get creative with your teaching methods
There is no one right way to teach a PE lesson. Make sure you are passionate about what you are teaching. If you're not excited about it, then your students won't be either. Try to find new and innovative ways to get your students engaged. There are tons of resources out there either online or through in-person workshops to help you with this. Don't be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. It's the only way to learn and grow, which will in turn help improve your students' physical literacy
Tip #4: Be consistent with your expectations and rules
As a physical education teacher, setting clear expectations for what you want your students to accomplish and how you want them to act is an essential component of a highly successful PE program. It's important to be clear, concise, and consistent with your expectations. When students know what is expected of them, they are more likely to meet those expectations. Having clear expectations will also help create a sense of structure and discipline in your daily classes.
Tip #5: Get to know your students
This is probably the most important tip on the list. If you don't know your students, it'll be hard to teach them effectively. Spend some time getting to know them both as individuals and as a group. This will help you understand how they learn best and what motivates them. This will help you create engaging lesson plans and keep their attention in class. Also, look for students that need extra attention to help you set up, move equipment, or help you accomplish everyday tasks. It's important to build relationships with all students, not just the ones that excel in your class.
Tip #6: Be positive and have fun
Positive energy is infectious, and if you're having a good time, so will your students. Your students will be influenced by your enthusiasm. If you're enthusiastic and interested in what you're teaching, so will your kids. When I was a student, I always had the most fun in classes where the teacher was enjoying themself. It made me want to learn more and participate more. Humor is a great way to keep things light and fun. Try incorporating a joke of the day, or dressing up crazy every once in a while. Also, use music every day during your classes for motivational and for transitional purposes.
Tip #7: Be a lifelong learner
One of the best things you can do for your career to become a master teacher is to commit to being a lifelong learner. This doesn't necessarily mean going back to school or getting a degree (although that's certainly one way to do it!). Instead, try to find ways to learn new things and grow your skillset on an ongoing basis. You can do this by taking professional development classes, attending workshops and seminars, reading books and articles, and even just chatting with people who are experts in their field.
New physical education teachers should also reach out to an experienced teacher for support and guidance during their first year of teaching.
Tip # 8: Be patient and understanding
As a PE teacher, developing patience will enable you to better understand and work with your students. Some students will grasp concepts quickly, while others will need more time. Children learn in different ways, so it's important to be patient and find different ways to teach and present the material you are teaching. This way, everyone can have a chance to understand and be successful. Your students come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. Be open to hearing their stories and understanding where they are coming from. Let them know it's ok to make mistakes and that they are there to learn.
Tip #9: Use effective non-verbal communication
One of the most important ways to communicate effectively is through non-verbal communication. This includes your body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. When you can effectively use all three of these, you will be able to better convey your message and ensure that it is received the way that you intended. Many times, you can say a lot without saying anything at all. Paying attention to how your kids are reacting during a lesson will make it run more smoothly. It is critical to take up the optimum locations in the learning space to make the most of non-verbal communication.
Tip #10: Promote movement for life
The benefits of physical activity are well-documented, and the importance of maintaining a physically active lifestyle cannot be overstated. It is essential that we, as physical educators, do our part in motivating our students to make fitness and creative movement a lifelong habit. We need to provide opportunities for students to move their bodies in a variety of ways during our classes and encourage them to find activities they enjoy doing outside of school. By doing so, they will improve their physical literacy. I'm confident that as they go through various phases of their life, they'll keep some of the activities up.
Keeping active for life as a result of a quality PE program directly correlates with Shape America's Standard 5: The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction*. This recognition, if acquired early, can be kept for a lifetime.
Tip #11: Differentiate your instruction
When you differentiate instruction, you are making adjustments to the way you teach so that all students can learn at a level that is appropriate for them. This may mean providing different levels of support, using different materials, or modifying your lessons to meet the needs of all learners. Depending on the learner's skill level, you can change up the activities and also the equipment so they will be more successful.
Many kids learn best when they can see what they are being taught. Use visuals, with graphics, to help these types of learners understand your message. Differentiating instruction can be difficult, but it's important to remember that all students learn differently. By making adjustments to the way you teach, you can truly affect a child's life and ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed.
Tip #12: Advocate for PE and your program
It is important to be an advocate for physical education and your program. You can do this by communicating the importance of physical education to those who make
decisions about school programs, such as administrators and school board members.
You can also work with parents and community members to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity and its impact on student learning. Use visuals on your walls and bulletin boards to help promote your PE agenda. Finally, you can collaborate with other teachers to ensure that physical education is valued in the school curriculum.
Tip #13: Be visible in and around your school
Take an active role in your school's community! Be a vocal advocate for your program inside your building. Attend school events, get to know all the staff and administrators, and be a resource for students and parents. If you have a morning news program at your school, go on it to talk about what is going on in your PE program or report on some school-wide events. Become friends with the custodians, cafeteria workers, and the PTA volunteers. They can make your life much easier as you teach your students. To generate more interest in your program and raise money for needed equipment or school events, try partnering with some local businesses.
Tip #14: Organize some school-wide events
Hosting school-wide events is a fantastic way to get to know your children better and boost interest in your PE program. School-wide events provide first-year PE teachers with considerable expertise and on-the-job training. An example of this would be something like field day, where different grades have fun participating in a variety of activities around the school. Events like field day help foster a sense of community and can make your program shine.
If you're looking for ways to get more parents involved, consider hosting an event like a Family Fitness Fun Night. It is a great way to get kids and their parents exercising together. You can also organize school-wide events such as the Kids Heart Challenge, Heart Moves Minds, Exceptional Children's Day, and after-school running or walking clubs. These kinds of events are always a hit with kids and get them excited about being active.
Tip #15: Connect with others in your field
There are many ways to connect with others in your field of physical education. You can join professional organizations, attend conferences, and read professional journals. Try to team teach a workshop in your district or at a conference. You may also interact with others on social media sites such as Twitter and join Facebook PE Groups to make new connections.
The importance of networking with others in your field cannot be overstated. By connecting with others, you can stay up-to-date on the latest trends and research, and you can also find mentors and colleagues who can help you in your career.
So, there you have it! Fifteen tips to help you succeed as a physical education teacher. By following these tips, you'll be able to create a fun and engaging learning environment for your students. You'll also be well on your way to becoming a valuable member of the PE community. Remember to stay connected with others in your field, advocate for PE, and get involved in school-wide events. Most importantly, have fun while teaching PE and watch your students thrive!
Thanks for reading! I hope these tips help you in your career as a physical education teacher! If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments below! And if you're a current, practicing PE teacher, I'd love to hear about your experiences. Tell us all what works for you and what doesn't! We can all learn from each other.
*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author
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