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Physical Education

Today's physical education classes go well beyond games of dodge ball and capture the flag. A good physical education teacher understands how to motivate all students while being mindful of individual needs and skill levels. Most schools have a gym or other physical activity area where you will likely spend most of your time. And when you're not teaching, you may decide to coach one or more team sports.

Are you passionate about sports, physical fitness or personal health? Do you want to improve your students' quality of life through their childhood into their adult lives?

Like a classroom teacher, you will create lesson plans of activities to help you evaluate the physical abilities and overall health of your students. Being a physical education teacher means combining sport, games, dance/rhythms and gymnastics and lifelong activities with teaching. Physical education teachers extend the motor skill competency and overall health of their students through carefully planned instruction. Leading to South Carolina certification in kindergarten-grade 12, the Physical Education program in the College of Education at UofSC combines psychomotor skills, educational theory and instruction and physical movement coursework.

Your course work

Because of the need for a mix of motivation and movement, your course work is a blend of physical science and learning to manage others. You will study biology, physics, chemistry, anatomy; sports techniques and tactics, as well as the art and science of coaching. Just like a classroom teacher, you will be required to complete a student teaching experience; most members of the program start early and often with field experiences. Once you are certified, you will be qualified to teach grades K-12.

Your career

Most schools have a gym or other physical activity area where you will likely spend most of your time. You might also decide to coach one or more team sports for those times when you're not teaching, and put your skills of motivation and training to the test. If you decide that you would prefer not to work in a school, opportunities in the health and fitness industries are available to you as well.