What Do Gym Teachers Do?

Gym teachers are responsible for the health and physical education component at most public and private schools. They lead classes in physical education, health and nutrition, and are responsible for extra-curricular sport activities and administrative tasks. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Gym teachers are an essential role in the educational system, providing students with health and physical education. They often lead team sports as well. Depending on the grade level and needs of an individual school, some gym teachers may teach other subjects. Read on to learn more about the most common duties of gym teachers.

Important Facts About Physical Educators and Health Educators

Physical Educators Health Educators
Median Salary (2015) $41,370 $40,901
Entry-level Education Bachelor's degree (for kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school teachers) Bachelor's degree
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 12% (for kindergarten, elementary, and middle school teachers), 6% (for high school teachers)19%
Work Environment Public and private schools (for kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school teachers) Hospitals, educational institutions, governmental facilities, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations

Sources: PayScale, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Physical Education

The main responsibility of gym teachers is to lead physical education or gym classes. Gym teachers instruct elementary and secondary students on the techniques, skills, and rules of various sports. They also work with students on the concept of teamwork and teach students about the importance of physical fitness.

Health Education

In additional to leading physical education, gym teachers introduce a health education component. In some schools, this may be a separate class. In others, health education is a component of gym classes. Gym teachers provide instruction on nutrition, healthy eating habits, and other habits for a healthy lifestyle. Some gym teachers are responsible for sex education.

Coaching and Team Management

At many schools, the gym teacher is responsible for the extra-curricular sports programs. They may coach the sports themselves, or they may manage volunteer or paid coaches. Gym teachers coordinate game schedules and make travel arrangements for away games. As a coach, gym teachers work with students to improve their abilities and help teams work and play effectively. They may also be responsible for ensuring students meet academic standards while participating in team activities.

Administrative and Other Tasks

Gym teachers have other tasks aside from leading the class. They prepare lesson plans that meet the education requirements for physical education set by their school district or state. They attend staff meetings, record grades, and send home progress reports. They even create and grade written assignments. Gym teachers might also have to participate in some of the shared responsibilities at the school, such as monitoring the lunchroom or study halls.

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