A gym teacher, also called a physical education teacher, instructs students on principles of fitness and health. Topics covered may include nutrition, well-being, and exercise.
Gym teachers usually work in K-12 schools, both public and private. They organize and plan physical activities and teach students about various sports, athletic training, and even methods of relaxation.
Gym teachers should have a strong desire to work with children as well as excellent communication skills. A profound knowledge of fitness and wellness is also a must.
Many gym teachers also serve as coaches for various sports teams associated with the school, although this is usually a separately compensated position.
The most common educational requirement for gym teachers is a bachelor’s degree in physical education. A master’s degree may also be required, particularly through continuing education after a teacher is hired.
Public school teachers must be licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, although in private schools this is often not a requirement. Some states facilitate the licensing of teachers by having alternative licensure programs.
Some schools require prior experience, although if the candidate has earned a bachelor’s degree in education, the supervised student teaching credits earned during college may be enough. Most states also require that teachers achieve a minimum score on competency tests for basic skills like reading and writing.
The salaries of teachers vary greatly by experience, education level, and geographic area. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median yearly income of K-12 teachers in 2008 ranged from $47,100 to $51,180.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for teachers is expected to grow “about as fast as the average for all occupations.”
Teachers with the best job prospects include those in fields such as mathematics and bilingual education and those seeking positions in rural areas or inner cities; gym teachers, however, aren’t expected to be in high demand, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics