Tips for New PE Teachers: Set Up Your Class for Success [INFOGRAPHIC]


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So you’ve secured your first job as a physical educator. Congratulations!

It can be daunting to take the first step in your PE teaching career. Use these tips to prepare yourself ahead of time, set the tone of your classes in the first few weeks, and ensure a successful school year. You’ll feel like a seasoned PE teacher in no time at all.

Before Your First Day

  • Meet with the principal and review the curriculum on your own, to learn about your new school’s goals, policies, and expectations.
  • Develop a plan for your classes, including positive behavior management methods and fitness activities. Use SPARK’s lesson plans to get started.
  • Check existing materials, equipment, and facilities to identify any PE needs and potential hazards that need to be addressed before school starts.
  • Prepare for emergencies and injuries. Make sure your First Aid, CPR, and AED certifications are up to date, put together a First Aid kit, and get to know the school nurse.
  • Write a letter or email newsletter bulletin to introduce yourself to parents. It’s a great way to show you care about teaching their children.

During Your First Weeks

  • Establish positive relationships with your students by using fun ice breakers and learning everyone’s names right away. Find ice breaker ideas on SPARK’s website.
  • Come up with a small number of concrete rules for your PE lessons. Clearly explain these rules, and consequences of breaking them, to your students. A good leader is kind but firm.
  • Explain grading and assessment to your class. You can also inform parents of PE requirements, so there’s a better chance of healthy habits being continued at home.
  • Practice emergency actions by carrying out a fire drill, so you’ll be prepared in the case of a real emergency situation in your classes.
  • Learn about the expectations, interests, and desires of your students. This can help inspire your lesson planning.

Best Practices for the Year

  • Maintain a firm but respectful way of speaking to your class. Aim to create a positive learning environment where your students feel comfortable.
  • Keep your students active and engaged in class with upbeat music and fun new activities — such as yoga, dance, or international games.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest physical education news to influence your lessons. You can easily remain a lifelong learner with SPARK’s blog and other online resources.
  • Build strong relationships with parents and other staff members. Collaborate to encourage your students to do more physical activity outside of your classes.
  • Help students make and track personal goals with useful feedback. Be prepared to switch up your instruction to meet each student’s needs.

With well-researched preparation and a positive attitude, you’ll be able to live out your dream of becoming a successful physical educator who changes the lives of children every day.

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