Physical education is one of the most vital subjects in the school system today. With a growing obesity trend among children and teens, it has never been more important for health, nutrition, and physical education to be taught in America’s schools. A quality PE instructor must be fair, compassionate, and have strong feelings about the health and well-being of their students. A good experience with PE can stick with a child for life, making them more likely to enjoy physical activity and feel confident in their abilities. Physical education can be discouraging for many students because they may feel like they lack the strength, ability, and confidence that other children possess. The role of an educator in the PE field must be to guide these children toward a healthy, active lifestyle.
About Physical Education
Physical education is very important in the American school system. With one out of three kids in the U.S. obese or overweight, it is more important than ever to teach them the value of exercise and nutrition. Educators who help children with their physical education do much more than just teach them how to work out. P.E. teachers must also explain to kids how good nutrition, healthy habits, and an active lifestyle work together to keep them as healthy as possible. Children also learn many valuable social skills in PE, such as the importance of teamwork and being a good sport.
Educators are in the unique position to influence the lives of the children they teach. By doing their part in learning about the challenges faced by kids today, PE teachers can bring valuable lessons into the lives of their students.The same goes for celebrity endorsers of fitness companies, like Jillian Michaels for NordicTrack.
It’s vital that physical education teachers have enough resources at their disposal to bring their “A game” when teaching children. PE class should include much more than just sports and running (even on a treadmill…with a parents supervision); Teachers should also work on integrating lessons about nutrition, daily physical activity, and health pitfalls that kids have to overcome. By including some of the resources below into their lesson plans, teachers can be sure to have a well-rounded curriculum. The Let’s Move program and Fitness For Kids are particularly helpful programs that make getting healthy fun.
In addition to a well-planned physical education class, kids also benefit from the integration of fitness lessons into their academic studies. This way, students will learn about the importance of physical education in every aspect of their life. This is important because physical health impacts every aspect of your life each day.
There are many ways for physical education teachers to assess what their students are learning. Performing scripted, timed tests is one way for educators to mark the progress of their students. Teachers may check with their local school board in order to find out the requirements and guidelines of their district. As standards in physical education go up, teachers may find their abilities being assessed according to newer, stricter industry guidelines. Parents and the community want to know that their kids are being taught by the best-quality teachers, so staying up to date on current trends in the field is a great idea.
Training and Information for Professionals
Teachers or potential students interested in becoming a physical education instructor must meet a range of criteria. Teachers will need a bachelor’s degree in physical education and need to become licensed before they are allowed to teach a class. Volunteering and internships are a great way to get your foot in the door, while great verbal, written, and computer skills are another way to boost your chances of being hired. Physical education teachers must feel passionate about health, fitness, and nutrition and must love passing their knowledge on to others. PE instructors should be patient, compassionate, and have an understanding of the current childhood obesity problem facing the nation.
- Adolescent and School Health: Physical Activity Facts from the CDC
- Fitness For Kids
- Resources: Lesson Plan Templates
- Health Education Resources: Physical Education
- Action For Healthy Kids: Tools for Schools
- SPARK Physical Education Lesson Plans
- National Association for Sport and Physical Education: PE Teacher Evaluation Tool (PDF)
- Shape America: Status of Physical Education in the USA
- Components of a Quality Physical Education Program (PDF)
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- Designing Your Gym Class
- PE Lesson Plans
- Physical Education Games