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The PE Teacher’s Day: A Story Told in GIFs

Gym class, hands, exercise equipment

A day in the life of a PE teacher? Let’s see, you are responsible for teaching kids about physical and mental health. Which, you know, sets them up to live happy and productive lives. (No pressure.) As if that responsibility weren’t heavy enough, PE teachers also tackle auxiliary duties most people don’t factor into the workday equation.

Really, there’s no such thing as an “average day,” at least not for those who teach physical education and health classes. Regardless, let’s take a look at what the PE teacher’s average Monday might look like. Just for fun, we’ll take this voyage in GIF form.

7:15 – Starting the Morning with Preparedness and Optimism

You arrive at school, not yet caffeinated, but eager to instill the knowledge students need to maintain their physical and mental health. This Monday is going to be aces!

7:30 – Meeting with Colleagues and Administrators

There’s an early faculty meeting you may or may not have forgotten about. You guzzle lukewarm coffee while listening to ideas for stretching an already-thin budget. Perhaps you could use recycled milk jugs for barbells?

8:00 – Welcoming the Students

The kids begin to arrive, those delightful cherubs. Why is it that the PE teacher gets saddled with ensuring car drop-offs go smoothly? How long must you keep this parent-friendly smile on your face?

8:30 – Teaching a Lesson on Yoga

It’s PE class time! It’s the day you’ll teach youngsters the health benefits of yoga. Sigh, there will be malicious giggles when you get to the Half Lord of the Fishes pose.

10:00 – Building a Blueprint for Scholastic Success

Planning period. Yep, PE teachers need those more than most because guess what? You also have to teach health classes. The non-teacher folks might think these courses are all about balanced nutrition and vitamin intake. Nope, the curriculum is eating disorders, drug use, and of course, the lesson you’ll teach today: sex education.

11:30 – Teaching Another Lesson on Yoga

It’s PE class time! Again. Perhaps your students will be more mature about One-Legged King Pigeon Pose. Alas, that’s a tall order.

12:45 – Enjoying a Nutritious, Energizing Meal

Lunch. We’re teaching kids about nutrition and then serving them food covered in orange, glowing cheese and/or heavy syrup that’s nothing short of liquified sugar.

1:15 – Discussing STDs and Pregnancy Prevention

Now you transition from PE to health classes. And today, you’ll be covering preventing sexually transmitted diseases through the proper usage of…

2:30 – Discussing STDs and Pregnancy Prevention Again

Ah, more health class, more checked permission slips, and more slides showing various rashes and sores. Next year, maybe you’ll tackle this before the unit on nutrition? And maybe you’ll get some slides made sometime after 1972?

3:45 – Dismissal

This morning, it was car duty. Now, you’re making sure everyone gets on their bus smoothly. If only the general public knew how far your responsibilities stretched. If only…

4:30 – Lesson Revisions and Extracurricular Planning

You sit down and look at the field data you collected. You enhance what went well and rework what fell flat. You’re also working on scheduling travel plans for the tennis team you coach, which means you’re on hold while you work on other to-do items. It’s a perpetual cycle, but teachers never stop learning.

5:30 – Home

Spousal/family bonding? Check.

Sweatpants? Check.

Healthy* dinner? Check.

Netflix? Check.

A determination to make a positive impact tomorrow? Check.

*Healthy, meaning preparation didn’t happen inside a microwave.

How to Keep the PE Teacher Meter Running

Looking for more strategies to liven up your gym or promote a healthy lifestyle in your classroom? Check out the following courses from Advancement Courses. We offer K–12 educators more than 280 online, self-paced professional development courses covering both foundational topics and emerging trends. All courses are offered for both graduate and continuing education credit for your salary advancement or recertification needs.

  • Why Good Coaches Quit: Although coaching can be meaningful, exciting, and fulfilling work, it can also be a tough job with significant pressures and stressors. In this course, you will learn how to juggle multiple roles, manage stress, build emotional intelligence, and define a clear value system to prevent burnout and reignite your passion for the job.
  • Integrating Technology into the PE Classroom: PE may sometimes feel like a school’s only chance to get students away from screens, but technology can be a dynamic and engaging force in your PE class. Use technology to enhance your own planning and instruction with digital organization tools, and to motivate students to greater physical activity through video, apps, and games.
  • Integrating Health and Wellness into the Elementary Classroom: Give your students the tools to make a lifetime of healthy choices. No matter what subject area you teach, this course will give you physical and mental exercises you can integrate into your class’s daily routine, and strategies to promote health and wellness throughout your school community.
  • Sports and Games: Using Instructional Models in PE: The days of uninspired and unorganized play are over! This course includes strategies for identifying competency-based, goal-oriented games and authentic activities appropriate for K–12 physical education. You’ll also develop tools for assessing students as they cultivate a lifelong interest in fitness.
  • Game On! Getting Kids Pumped in P.E. Class: Motivate your students of all backgrounds and fitness levels to participate in PE. In this course, you’ll learn how to get your students excited for physical activities to positively impact their mental, emotional, and physiological well-being.

Fulfilling Your PD Requirements?

Choose from 280+ online, self-paced continuing education courses for teacher salary advancement and recertification. Available for either CEU/clock hours or in partnership with regionally-accredited universities for graduate credit.

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