How Can You Be a Gym or PE Teacher?


Quick Answer

The requirements for working as a physical education teacher include a four-year bachelor's degree in health, physical education or an equivalent major, knowledge of health and fitness, and an aptitude for teaching children. Public school teachers are required to pass the requisite state licensing exam and hold a valid license.

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Full Answer

Teachers' licensing requirements vary from state to state, but most involve one general teaching exam followed by a specialized exam focusing on the teacher's area of expertise. Licensing is not always required to teach in private schools.

Although a bachelor's degree and possibly a license are the only specific requirements for the job, most employers want to see that the prospective teacher has experience working with children as well. It's not uncommon for schools to require newly graduated physical education teaching candidates have experience coaching youth sports or volunteering with children in addition to a degree and license.

PE teachers also need to have a strong knowledge of health and fitness and must be able to relay these principles to the children through fun games and sports activities. All teachers, regardless of the subject they teach, need to have patience and the ability to work well in stressful situations, which can be frequent when dealing with children.

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