How Do I Become an Elementary Gym Teacher?

Research what it takes to become an elementary gym teacher. Learn about the job description, educational requirements, job outlook and salary information to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Elementary Gym Teacher?

Elementary gym teachers work with students in kindergarten through grade five. They use curriculum guidelines to develop lesson plans for their students and teach classes on physical health and fitness. Their classes also involve physical activity. For example, students might learn about a specific sport and then play that sport in class. Elementary gym teachers must assess student performance, and may do so by giving students written tests, assignments, or assessing their performance in a sport or skill. Elementary gym teachers may also meet with parents to discuss their child's progress, and they may also address any disciplinary concerns.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Physical education
Key Responsibilities Create lesson plans, grade students' performances, teach life skills to young students
Licensure/Certification Teaching license required; voluntary certification available
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (for all elementary school teachers)
Average Salary (2015)* $57,730 (for all elementary school teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is the Job Description of an Elementary Gym Teacher?

As an elementary gym teacher, you're not a typical teacher who holds classes involving textbooks or weekly tests. Your classes may be held in a gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis court, baseball field or on a track. Your daily activities don't involve paper and pencils, but basketballs, tennis shoes and whistles. The tests your students take are physical and may test their endurance, strength or flexibility through games, challenges and other physical activities.

Some of the typical duties you may have include creating lesson plans, grading student's performances and teaching students valuable information and skills they will use throughout their lifetime. As an elementary gym teacher, you're often one of the first people to influence children to become physically active and to participate in sports. In younger children, you may work on improving social skills and motor skills.

What Education Do I Need?

To be a teacher you need at least a bachelor's degree. Programs in physical education provide you with the training to be a teacher and allow you to become more knowledgeable about physical fitness. Courses in a physical education program may include curriculum development, sports psychology, first aid, kinesiology and physical education teaching methods.

You also need a teaching license if you'll be working in a public school. Each state sets the qualifications and guidelines for obtaining a license, but requirements usually include meeting education standards, taking knowledge tests and passing a criminal background check.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected 6% job growth for elementary school teachers during the 2014-2024 period (www.bls.gov). In areas where schools see large enrollment numbers, the job growth could be greater. Legislation could impact the number of job openings if it requires additional teachers or increases public school funding. Retirement numbers will also affect the number of job openings available.

Is Certification Available?

Certification may help increase your chances of getting a job through proving your knowledge and skills as a gym teacher. You may get certified in physical education through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) (www.nbpts.org). NBPTS has an early and middle childhood certification for candidates holding a bachelor's degree, a current state teaching license and at least three years of proven teaching experience in the grade level.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Middle school physical education teachers and high school physical education teachers perform many of the same tasks as elementary gym teachers. They need to have a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject area, and they also need a teaching license. They key different between these teachers is the age of the students that they instruct. Middle and high school physical education teachers may also be involved in developing and overseeing extracurricular sports activities or be involved in coaching teams in high school.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Towson University

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson
  • University of Florida

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Gainesville
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »