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Physical education teachers are responsible for leading lessons in sports and fitness, as well as being involved in extracurricular activities such as team coaching and sports matches. Physical education teachers may have to run health classes, too. Some of the pros and cons relating to teaching physical education are those associated with many teaching jobs, while others are more specific to physical education.
Work Is a Pleasure
If an individual enjoys an active lifestyle and has a passion for sports and physical activity, the job of a physical education teacher essentially allows that person to get paid for doing something they love. For these individuals, work becomes more of a pleasure than a chore.
Teaching is all about nurturing and passing on knowledge to students, and physical education teachers are in an unusual position in that the proof of their success doesn’t come through exam results, but in the improving abilities of kids in gym class or out on the playing field. Many physical education teachers enjoy passing on their knowledge about sports techniques or exercise to pupils, while for others, the reward comes in helping to coach a successful sports team, or in fostering the talents of a promising athlete.
Many physical education lessons take place outside in the field, and while this isn’t a problem if it’s sunny outside, on rainy days or in winter, outside means cold and damp weather. Individual kids only have to spend a limited period of time outside, but the physical teacher himself must spend multiple sessions out in such conditions.
Give Up Free Time
All teachers have to give up their free time after the school day finishes on occasions, but physical education teachers might have it worse than most in this respect. They may get involved with coaching, and end up giving up time during their weekends, or else be asked to run activities at certain times of the year such a Field Day. Once the teacher makes such a commitment, he can’t readily turn his back on it.
A physical education teacher must teach classes every weekday during term time, and potentially run multiple after-school and weekend activities, too. The teacher might be able to stand on the sidelines giving instructions for much of this work, but there’ll be plenty of occasions when she needs to get in the action, whether demonstrating technique or refereeing a game for example. This means that the teacher needs to retain a reasonable level of physical fitness, which some individuals may see as a con to the job.
Simon Fuller has been a freelance writer since 2008. His work has appeared in "Record Collector," "OPEN" and the online publication, brand-e. Fuller has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Reading and a postgraduate diploma from the London School of Journalism.