Physical Educators – Making a Difference

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I love physical education teachers

Physical Education teachers are truly amazing! I have believed this ever since I become one back in 1986 and I was reminded of how truly special they are the other day while reviewing 236 responses to a survey that S&S conducted on PE Central. Question number 21 of the survey reads, “What gets you most excited about your physical education job?”

The responses to this question were truly inspiring and led me to write this blog post.

Despite being burdened with too many classes, not enough equipment, small teaching areas, tiny or no budgets, and receiving little respect from administrators, parents and the general public, physical educators persevere and deliver wonderful, meaningful lessons for children all because of one reason—they love kids — and the challenge of motivating them to becoming physically active for the rest of their lives.

Check out some of the responses we received below. How would you answer the question of what gets you most excited about your physical education teaching job. My guess is they would be similar to these, and, for that, I thank you for becoming a physical educator. Keep up the great work. You are making a difference!

What gets you the most excited about your physical education teaching job?

“Seeing the kids smile everyday, I love coming to work!”

“I love that I can make a difference each day to teach children about being active and being healthy. I love seeing the smiles on their faces, and know that I can help them learn about games, enjoying the different aspects of physical education.”

“Love watching the kids grow and learn from year to year. I am the only elementary PE teacher in my district.”

“The human connections students make with each other while learning and having fun!”

“How much the kids and parents love my program and I feel like I am making a difference.“

“I love being active, and teaching my students how to be active. This job is extremely rewarding and there is nothing better than seeing the face of a student who becomes successful at a new skill that they never imagined they could perform.”

“Creating and delivering exciting and innovative lessons to get students excited about being physically active.”

“Working with kids and seeing them light up when they figure out how to do something that you have been teaching or showing them. “

“Seeing ALL kiddos working together leaving the room a sweaty mess!”

“Watching the kids learn and succeed. Enabling the students to reach out and work toward their goals whether it be skills or fitness is awesome!”

“The excitement of my students when learning something new and when achieving a goal they didn’t believe they could do.”

“Seeing the kids run in all excited and watching them accomplish things they never thought they could do and they build confidence and begin to feel good about themselves.”

“Seeing the “light go on” when a child accomplishes a new skill.”

Author: Mark Manross, Executive Director of PE Central

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17 thoughts on “Physical Educators – Making a Difference

  1. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.

  2. I Have been teaching for a private sector for 11 years, and at CPS for 27 years to date. I love my work. I enjoy my students and being a Physical Education teacher you have a great advantage to watch our students grow up from Kindergarten to 5th grade. We used to go to 8th grade but many years ago with the over crowded schools CPS opened up middle schools.
    The satisfaction I get from my students is amazing. I do not have Rules in the gym, I have Expectations for my students. I respect my students and in return they respect me. I treat all my students as individuals and everyday is a NEW DAY, no matter what happened the day before.
    I am there for all my students, whenever they need me.

  3. Pingback: The Wellness and Forcible Teaching Site for TeachersPE Key

  4. I enjoy teaching students from Pre-K through 6th Grade. Having the opportunity to witness and take part in their development throughout this time is an honor. Sparking in interest in a sport or activity is always one of the greatest thrill of my job. In my 25 years of teaching, I’ve often had students return to thank me and my colleagues for introducing them to a sport that they now excel at in highs school of college. Promoting lifelong fitness and motivating students to play and have fun is also a role I take seriously and enjoy!

  5. I live for memories and your blog brought back a flood of memories from my days of teaching #QPE. It is the best job in the world. We have the ability to teach fitness, health, nutrition and movement concepts/skills that will lead to a lifetime of physical enjoyment. Please, someone tell me what is more important that that!!! Thanks for putting a big smile on my face.

    • Thanks so much for the nice comment Ron. I totally agree. It is an amazing job and so many of us are doing it well and go so unrecognized. So glad you commented. Thanks and have a great summer and keep making a difference! Mark

  6. thank you very sir for publishing this blog,
    this something real encouraging us to give best to our students without any expectations from others.
    Again thank you very much.

  7. I love my job. Teaching PE makes you feel ageless while working with the kids. I love that I can make a memory that will last a lifetime. I love that AHA moment when they get a skill or understand a game or work through a problem with their peers. Last year the senior class at my school invited me to lead the charge as part of their graduation ceremony. I was their elementary PE teacher and coach in middle school and at times you think they forget about your class or you. Well they don’t. They remember the things you say to encourage them. The time you prayed with them or just what it felt like to be in your class. I am proud to call myself a PE teacher. The most rewarding job that I have ever had.

  8. I have been teaching PE for 26 years and still love watching the students’ faces as they enter the gym and see the equipment set out for some of their favorite activities/games and their “YES”, arm pumping action as they realize the next 45 minutes of their lives will be true bliss!!! I also love it when they express how they do not want to leave and PE class is way too short. “It can’t be over already” is a great thing to hear!

    I love my job!!!

  9. Best part about teaching physical education is the privilege of witnessing success every day, and being an integral part of making that happen for kids.

    • I so agree Fran and by the looks of it many other physical educators feel the same way. You are a wonderful PE teacher and have made a difference in your kids lives for a long time. I will always fondly remember my visits to Charlottesville to watch you teach. Your kids loved working with you! Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your time and expertise. Mark

  10. Hey Tom. Thanks for the kind words and sharing that story. That is great. I love your advice to new teachers. I hope it is ok if I share your response in our newsletter. Keep up the great work and have a great summer. Mark

  11. Wow, great short and to the point article. I have been teaching elem PE for 29 years and it never gets old! The kids ad I get disappointed as we have seen their PE time shrink from 4 times a week to just 2 x 45 min/week. So we just made it a deal that we would fit twice as much into a non-stop whirling dirvish of a class! The best part about PE for me? I just ran into a former student of mine this morning (ironically). He was walking to visit his mother and we recognized each other so he stopped and talked. I asked him how old he was now, he said 31. He asked about if so and so teacher was still here and I told him that I was the only one still here who would remember him. Pretty cool.

    Then I get in and check my email and there is a link to this blog. Things happen for a reason.

    Advice to young teachers:

    1. Treat all kids like you would treat your own. Have expectations, respect, goals, dreams, etc.

    2. “Those who teach must never cease to learn.”


    Thx again Mark!

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