There is a problem when a great lesson falls apart due to the performance of a teacher. This article is here to provide tips to help Physical Education teachers improve their necessary skills. Many skills will be covered including, voice, speaking, motivation and creativity. These four are just a few things that teachers can use as a checklist to ensure performance at their full potential.
Lets start with voice. Physical Education is mostly taught outside or in a gymnasium, which means a teacher needs to have the correct voice for this environment. The students won’t hear you if you are too quiet, but you don’t want to scream. Being quiet makes a teacher look weaker and it gives off an appearance of not having the authority. A teacher who screams creates an environment not enjoyable for the class. The balance of these two is a powerful voice. One that is loud enough to get the attention of the class while still in the proper tone. Being able to cast your voice over a distance really helps students hear you and react while they are in the middle of an activity. If you try this and your voice still gets “swallowed up” in the air, then use a whistle. Make sure the students know that the whistle means to stop and listen for instruction before using it. Having the proper voice level is one step to making you a more effective teacher.
Speaking compliments voice. There are a few common issues with speaking. First is using up speak. Up speak is when your voice goes up at the end of a sentence. Another big issue is saying a certain word too much, especially when it is not needed, such as “like”. The final one is not being able to speak clear enough for students to understand you. These are things that students will catch and you may even hear them talking to each other about you. These are speaking skills that everyone can practice on preventing. The errors can be fixed through the experience of teaching or it can be done at home where you can practice speaking and get your thoughts ready before you begin a lesson.
Another way to be a more effective teacher is by being creative. Think out of the box for your lessons. If you are in a basketball lesson, you don’t necessarily have to play traditional basketball. Create new games that don’t exclude those who can’t play traditional basketball well. New games and ideas will spark interest, because it gives everyone an equal chance to try without being embarrassed of their skills. This can also mean giving a quick “hook” activity to get your students laughing and ready to have fun. An example of this can be the Dollar Jump. Before you start your lesson. Find the class clown and ask them if they want to make a dollar. If they accept it, have them do this. They need to keep their hands touching their feet at all times. The teacher will place the dollar on the ground. Have the students try to jump over the length of the dollar, stick the landing, and now let go of their feet. It is a fun little activity the class gets to laugh at and since it is the class clown doing it, you aren’t embarrassing anyone because they like the attention anyway. If they complete it, they keep the dollar and it is a way your students can gain trust in you as well. It is a creative way to get your students on your side.
My last tip deals with motivation. Teachers don’t teach for the paycheck. They teach to help kids grow to become adults and to teach some life lessons along the way. The only way to do this is to wake up every day motivated to teach and make an impact on the lives of your students. Bringing it back down to lessons, you need to motivate your class to do activities you are assigned even if the activity isn’t that fun. For example, yoga is an activity that is hard to get students to enjoy. As a teacher, you need to sell it. Be motivated to teach yoga and try to keep your class positive about the activity. If you are motivated and excited, there is a greater chance your students will begin to act the same way. A boring teacher leads to a boring class. When a teacher is excited and motivates their students, the class becomes a positive environment and students will be excited to show up everyday.
These are just a few tips to become a more effective teacher. Making a few basic improvements get your students arriving up to class excited and filled with energy. They will know you have a fun lesson waiting for them and will be more willing to participate. You can make a great lesson plan, but you have to be able to teach it!