Teaching Tips for Beginning PE Teachers

The following tips may be helpful to new physical education teachers who are trying to establish and create a positive and orderly learning environment in their classrooms. This certainly isn't an all-inclusive list but we hope it is helpful.

  • Dress professionally. T-shirts only on days that all teachers can wear them.

  • Have classroom rules and consequences clearly posted in all places you teach.

  • Be consistent in applying the consequences and in dealing with students.
  • Greet students at the gym or locker room entrance.

  • Have students practice and perfect the protocols and procedures you set for such management tasks as entering and leaving the classroom, lining up putting away and getting out equipment, getting drinks, using the bathroom, forming teams or groups and what to do on the stop and start signal.

  • Look students in the eye when speaking to them.

  • Get to know students names as soon as possible. After learning names use them often when giving praise, feedback or to get their attention.

  • When instructing keep your “Back to the wall” as much as possible.

  • When helping individual students position yourself so you have the whole class in front of you.

  • Keep your eyes up and look across the whole gym so you can monitor all students, not only those immediately in front of you. Think of it as a good defensive driver of a car.  You don’t look at the hood of your car…you look at the car that is in front of you so you can anticipate and avoid potential problems.

  • Give feedback across the gym now and then.  For example, using a projected voice, comment on student work in areas of the gym that are not directly in front of you. Here is a list of 100 general positive comments that you may use.

  • When students are not behaving…determine if the task is too easy or too hard for them.  If the task appears to be too easy, make the task harder (smaller ball, smaller target, longer distance or try the task while moving).  If the task appears to hard, make it easier (larger ball, softer ball, closer distance, larger target).

101 Ways to positively reinforce (pdf)

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Submitted by Mark Manross who is the Executive Director of PE Central. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 8/22/99.