A vast majority of schools have Physical Education in their curriculum. Gym teachers are needed for the physical development of the student. They ensure students receive proper physical health, physical growth and well-being of the student through exercises, sports and other fitness activities.
A gym teacher’s responsibilities go beyond planning and teaching physical education. They also are custodians of the school’s equipments and facilities and allocate school funds for purchasing equipments. Most of them double as health teachers, instituting and implementing the school’s health education curriculum. Gym teachers attend faculty meetings and oversee student behavior during lunch, recess and assemblies. A lot act as coaches for the school’s sports team and are always present in the school’s athletic events. Gym teachers organize and introduce individual and team sports to students. They act as referees in indoor and outdoor games; oversee calisthenics, gymnastics and exercises, applying proper physiology and corrective techniques; conduct gymnastic techniques and specialize on specific sport disciplines. They counsel students and parents on physical education matters and with proper certification, can teach physically handicapped students.
Education and Training Requirements
A bachelor’s degree in health and physical education is required to become a gym teacher, although in some instances, a training period in a physical environment is also required. To teach physical education at the college level, an advanced degree is a prerequisite. To obtain National Board Certified Teacher accreditation, a bachelor’s degree and three years of classroom experience are required.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
A gym teacher requires being in good physical shape; having knowledge of human physiology; having sound psychological fundamentals; being a continuous learner; assisting children in fitness exercises and having good organization. Patience is needed and good motivation skills are essential not to mention also being a good role model for students.
Gym teachers usually work in the school gymnasium. They do conduct activities outdoors in good weather. They work in a good environment and in all kinds of weather. They handle small and big classes and in all types of situations. They usually work 40 hours a week.
Salaries of gym teachers start at around $30,000 and $40,000 a year, incrementally increasing approximately $1,000 per year. A stipend of between $1,000 and $5,000 per year, per sport, is received for their time. They usually are given benefits such as pension plans, health insurance plans, state teachers retirement plans, sick day leaves, continuing education and professional development offers.