The Definitive Guide: How To Become a PE Teacher
Published: 07 Jun 2018
Everyone remembers PE at school; standing around in the cold, waiting for someone to pick you for their team.
Perhaps the thought of motivating a group of school children and helping them to become fitter at the same time appeals to you though? If so, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve compiled a handy guide to everything you need to know when it comes to entering a career in the physical education industry. In it, you’ll find some useful hints and tips to a great new career, as well as some advice on progression further down the line, too. Read on…
What is a PE Teacher?
So what exactly is accountancy – and what exactly does it entail?
In short, accounting is the art of recording, reporting, summarising and analysing an individual’s or a company’s financial transactions. Some accountants might be sought to take care of a firm’s tax return on a yearly basis, while some will be required year-round to handle the day-to-day financial ins and outs of a company.
So, what does an accountant do in terms of day-to-day duties?
So, what exactly does a PE teacher do – and are you cut out to do it? It isn’t for everyone and it certainly isn’t all standing around watching others do the hard work while you sip on a hot flask of coffee, you know. Instead, the role can be extremely demanding – both physically and mentally – and it also requires quite a thorough programme of training too.
Responsible for the planning and delivery of lessons to school children, Physical Education teachers (or PE teachers, as they’re so often referred to) provide an environment for children to work on their skills and develop socially as well as physically. You might also find that you spend a lot of your lesson calming down unruly children, but it’s all part and parcel of working in a school as a PE teacher.
While primary school teachers might only teach PE via a general, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, those who work in high schools may also deliver the subject at GCSE, A Level, or even as part of a BTEC sports course.
Once in the role, it can be a demanding one that will certainly keep even the biggest fitness buffs on their toes. Moving onto standard hours of work as a PE teacher…
Hours of Work
While some jobs require you to work unsociable hours, the PE teacher gets quite a fair deal. Working during school hours (from 9am to 3pm, generally), those who enter the profession will also enjoy longer holidays than their peers.
That said, it isn’t as simple as turning up for a lesson and delivering it to a load of eager kids. A certain amount of planning will also be required and some PE teachers may even take work home with them. For those teaching PE at GCSE or A-level, there may also be a requirement to mark projects or pieces of work after school. So, it really isn’t a profession to go into lightly, as there can often be lots of forward planning involved.
The work doesn’t start and end on the playing field, either. Outside your teaching hours, you might be doing anything from planning lessons to marking work, or attending staff meetings and training.
Should you opt to go into a full-time PE teaching position, you’ll only be undertaking the role for around 39 weeks of the year – during term time and generally only until as late as 3.30pm. Start and finish times can vary, however, and some teachers may even be expected to work occasional weekends, due to school trips and cross country races.
Want to work part-time as a PE teacher? There are always roles available on a part-time basis and for a set number of days a week, but you may also be expected to do some supply training. This might involve working in different schools for short periods of time, to cover the absence or maternity leave of permanent teaching staff.
Be aware that it might be necessary for you to have a driving licence too. This is simply so you can easily travel to after-school or weekend sporting events.
What will you be doing as a PE teacher? We’ve put together a list featuring some key responsibilities you might be expected to undertake.
- Prepare lessons and teaching materials
- Adapt lessons to everyone, to ensure children of different ages and abilities can take part and enjoy class
- Manage class behaviour
- Organise matches or sporting events with other schools and colleges
- Set and mark homework and assignments
- Prepare for examinations
- Attend meetings and training and talk to the students’ parents about their child’s progress
Key PE Teacher Qualifications
So, what qualifications do you need to be an accountant?
Have we piqued your interest regarding what it’s like to be a PE teacher? If so, perhaps you’d like to know what qualifications you’ll need to succeed in this ever-competitive industry.
The most common way of entering the PE teaching profession is via Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET) and by gaining qualified teacher status (QTS). The following ITET routes lead to QTS, or you might want to complete university-led training through an undergraduate degree or postgraduate award school-led work-based training.
Keep in mind that for either route, you’ll need:
- GCSEs (A-C) in English and maths (and science, if you teach in middle schools)
- Passes (before starting ITET) in numeracy and literacy skills exams
- You’ll also undergo enhanced background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
What is a PE teacher's Salary?
Those who are newly qualified (and those that hold their NQT qualification) working in state schools outside the London area can expect a starting salary of about £21,000. If you’re not in the London area, expect this salary to be slightly lower at first. There is, however, always scope for progression in PE teaching roles.
According to the Future Active site, the main salary scale is from £22,466 to £33,159 a year (£28,097 to £38,241 in inner London). PE teachers who have worked hard enough to make it to the top of the main salary scale may be able to progress to the higher scale in no time at all. By doing so they’ll be earning anything from £35,570 to £38,250 (£43,184 to £46,829 in inner London).
How To Become A PE Teacher
So, how do you become an accountant then? Follow our step-by-step guide to making it:
If you’ve found this guide helpful, you may find yourself wondering what it takes to become a PE teacher. Well, there are various routes into Physical Education teaching.
Have you considered, for example, taking GCSE PE and another set of qualifications that are relevant (A level PE; BTEC Sport)? From here, you can sign up for a B.Ed in Physical Education or a relevant undergraduate degree, followed by a PGCE or Schools Direct course.
Decided to take the latter route? You’ll be pleased to know it isn’t as taxing financially. If you have plenty of time to think about, why not pick out a sports degree that is closely related to PE, such as BA Physical Education or BA Sports Coaching?
If you’ve ever worked in the teaching profession – even as an athletics coach or football manager – you’ll find this is hugely beneficial when it comes to entering the industry.
Don’t be put off, though. You can always gain the necessary experience as part of the qualification process, with extra-curricular volunteer work or work placements. You could choose to spend some time shadowing other teachers, which will stand you in good stead when it comes to getting a role at a particular school.
How To Develop Your PE Teacher Career
So you've been working as an accountant for a while and want to know where you can go next?
If you’ve more made your mark as a PE teacher, where might you go from here? Well, don’t worry too much as there are so many viable routes to go down. From sticking it out in the sports industry and becoming a manager of a team to leaving the industry all together and going to work elsewhere in the leisure industry, you won’t struggle to find a job that’s equally as fulfilling.
Put the groundwork in now and you’ll certainly be rewarded later. It’s all about having the confidence to make your mark in the school or establishment you’re teaching in. Encourage the children who need it and continue to push those who don’t; it’s about building up trust amongst the pupils, which will give them space to develop and discover what element of physical activity they’re particularly good at.
So, there you have it; everything you need to know about entering the physical education profession! Did you enjoy this guide? Don’t forget to look at the others we’ve put together here on the Leisure Jobs site. They’re all choc-full with advice for entering the leisure industry and they’ll make the whole process that bit easier.
So there you have it; everything you need to set out on the road to a new PE teaching career!
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