Although a degree in recreation and a degree in physical education may include similar preparation, these two degrees equip the graduate for two different career paths. To be adequately prepared for work as a PE teacher, the recreation degree holder must take professional education courses and student teach. Additionally, they must pass the standardized certification test mandated by their particular state.
Professional Education Courses
The professional education courses that PE teachers take include courses that focus on curriculum design, strategies in instruction and assessment, child development, classroom management and teaching diverse populations. Students learn how to set up and manage a classroom and guide the flow of instruction. Additionally, students are exposed to a variety of learning styles and provided information so that they may differentiate instruction to reach all students, regardless of individual learning style.
Fieldwork and Student Teaching
Some institutions require students to complete a certain number of hours in fieldwork in preparation for a teaching degree. This requirement can be satisfied through volunteer work or through scheduled classroom observations in a school. Additionally, students must satisfy the student teaching requirement. The student is assigned to a school and works under the supervision of a classroom teacher and a college professor.
Take Standardized Test
After all course work and student teaching has been completed, students take the standardized test that is mandated by the state in which they will teach. For instance, in Georgia the GACE or Georgia Assessment for the Certification of Teachers is the standardized test for teacher certification. The GACE is composed of one, two or three parts that must be passed for certification. Other states may use different assessments for teacher certification.
Apply for Certification
The application for certification is the last task to complete when seeking certification as a physical education teacher. Once the state assessment has been passed, the prospective teacher must make application to the department of education of the state in which they will teach. Applicants may be required to submit college transcripts, test scores, a social security number and information relative to a criminal background check.