Day in the life of
High School Physical Education Teacher – Robert Puharich
I work as a high school physical education teacher.
My Typical Day
My day consists of planning and setting up activities that involve physical activity (including fitness), teamwork, responsibility, and fun. Safety is always a priority and I like to prioritize fun as well. Once the group is organized, attendance is taken, and we start our activities for the day. I normally teach four classes per day, boys and girls combined or sometimes segregated.
Field trips are a big part of our course so I get to plan field trips that I think they would like which can include the pool, bike riding, hiking, kayaking, or even trampoline park.
On a daily basis, the students are participating in a variety of activities, from individual sports to team sports, or fitness including weight training. I often start the class with a fitness-related activity or warm-up, and then we transition into games. I set them up into teams and we play. If skills are lacking we will review skills and tactics or work on techniques.
While the students are participating, they benefit from having positive role models. To role model in PE it is best, and the most fun to join them. That being said, on a daily basis, I get to play sports, work out, or both. To prepare for the class ahead I often do my own research to learn about the sport or activity that we will be playing as there are always intricacies that I’m not aware of.
Along with running the classes, I am responsible for reporting marks, and to keep contact with parents when necessary.
Pros of the job include that it’s fun, a healthy lifestyle, I create positive experiences for youth, it’s impactful to the community and families, I get to be a role model, excellent holidays and hours, and I work with great colleagues. Interacting with our youth in a fun environment is the biggest pro of the job. It’s also a safe job, free of any dangers.
Cons include that it can be exhausting, not all experiences with students are positive, and keeping enthusiasm high can be a challenge with some groups. Sometimes parents can be a little difficult to deal with.
Overall, the career is excellent for anybody that enjoys working with youth and anything activity-related.
Advice to aspiring PE Teachers
To become a PE teacher you must complete the required university undergrad and then teaching degrees. Upon completion, finding a job can be tough if you’re just starting out. To help you with a job, I would recommend volunteering throughout college, or helping out where you want to get a job. Just as in any career, networking helps. Also, coaching is part of PE. Any coaching you do can help you get a job. The more you are willing to do, the better it will be for you.
Prior to considering this career path you should think about your teaching style. Are you ok with students running around, screaming, and with objects? If you’re not comfortable with a dynamic environment, perhaps a classroom setting is better for you. Also, do you like sports and physical activity? If you don’t, this may not be very fun. It’s definitely not a job for everybody, you’ll need to like being active and most importantly you’ll need to enjoy working with youth. It’s not always easy, but it can be extremely fun and rewarding.