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Is PE teaching the easiest teacher job?

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by Happygopolitely, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    Compared to all other teaching - is PE teaching the easiest job? Not a core subject, less marking, smaller classes at GCSE and not too much hassle with looking at grades over and over.
  2. SparkMaths

    SparkMaths New commenter

    It's just anecdotal evidence but I've noticed that a lot of schools I've worked supply in have a high proportion of SLT/Head of Year being PE teachers.

    It's the same amount of time worked considering after school and weekend sporting activities, but it's time doing the best part of the job which is interacting with the students, not stuck doing paperwork.

    I think a lot of behavioural issues with boys in particular can be solved by having them play a sport to actually burn off all that energy from those energy drinks.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with this, it would just be nice if SLT in many schools would recognise this and understand that each subject has different challenges.
  3. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    What about all the extra time PE teachers have to give up arrranging and attending fixtures after school, at weekends and in the holidays. The PE teachers at my schools worked very hard. I don't think it is an easy job at all.
    lunarita, blazer and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    In my experience, It aint that much 'extra time' at all compared to all marking time others do though. The PE teachers I have come across in the past do little clubs, little marking and have lots of time for breaks. Gotta say I taught pe and it was very easy. In other subjects it was an hour of teaching plus an hour or more after of marking time per lesson in own time.
  5. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    No weekends. Rarely in the holidays. They take kids out in the afternoons and yes that might mean staying after 3.15. But targets? When did you last hear, "No pay progression for you as we only got to the semi-finals." Or " Your lesson requires improvement as Cedric was unable to perform a satisfactory forward roll?"
  6. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    I had weekends and holidays when I taught pe. And the pe teachers I saw in the past all had their weekends and holidays to themselves. As long as the kidd turned up to their pe lessons everyone was happy.

    Never ever saw them on results days. And they were hardly visited during Ofsteds. Very very little marking too. My child is thinking of teaching despite my protests - so I am advising them to go for the easiest option in my book: pe teaching.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  7. philipgregory19821

    philipgregory19821 New commenter

    I wouldn't say its the "easiest" job but its certainly the most fun. It should be noted that many senior leadership teams have at least one member of the PE department within the ranks. This is because of the skill set that PE teachers have already or develop as they go.

    Yes we do have to invest time into the after school clubs but lets be honest this is the perfect way to engage young people and give them a chance to enjoy school life. Its also much more fun and rewarding than marking books in my opinion.

    We all had choices when we set out on our teaching path. The smart ones chose wisely :). When people tell me its easier being a PE teacher, I just laugh and say they ticked the wrong UCAS box.

    Joking apart, not everyone can teach PE. It takes a very high level of confidence and organisation. When we have "regular" teachers do one hour a week for a year, they soon realise it takes a lot of learning to be a good PE teacher.
  8. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    I agree many leadership teams now have a pe teacher. Lets face it that is because they have the time. But then is that why some leadership teams have become so lazy and distant? In my experience its pretty easy - little marking, small exam groups, and not too much hassle from the likes of Ofsted. Still if that is how the system works then that is the game to play.

    I think its up there in terms of the easiest teaching job going.
  9. KMac99

    KMac99 New commenter

    I'm a PE teacher and I have to say it's no dawdle. We work incredibly hard at our school. Whilst not all schools are the same, at my last two schools, I had practices before school, every lunchtime and afterschool (until 6pm) at least 3 times a week. Generally, I work every Saturday (sometimes both Saturday and Sunday) and I don't get home until between 8-9pm. We also cover internally (in my school, we realised that we had 3 days without some sort of cover from Sept to February) so we often had more cover than our 'academic' counterparts. My school doesn't do GCSE or A-Level so we don't have marking (although we PE teachers would like to do it) but we do have lots of admin with analysis, teamsheets, event planning (Sports Days, tournaments, etc) and lesson planning. There is definitely pressure from SLT, parents and students to perform well and achieve. In my school's last Ofsted, the biggest thing they pointed out that needed improvement involved PE so you can't assume that in PE you're safe.

    I'll agree with others that many PE teachers have additional responsibility but it's not because we have more time - it's because we're organised and good at leading/coaching people. Teaching is hard (no matter what subject you teach) and you should steer your child towards a subject they are passionate about (otherwise, they will burn out, hate it or be no good at it). Saying that teaching is also arguably one of the most important jobs out there so I'd say support your child in finding the right role for them (not the easiest one).
  10. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter


    No gcse or A level sounds great to me. That means less accountability and targets. I will guide my child to go for PE teaching because it does seem to be the easiest of teaching jobs - all things taken into account.

    In my experience, I have found many teachers to be far more organised though because they have to be . And a few heads have said to me in my time that PE teachers do have more time on their hands. They see that as the luck of the draw.

    I guess there is Drama teaching too - but that looks tougher than PE in the scheme of things.
  11. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    Definitely the easiest job in teaching

    It's not as if we're in early for before school swimming practices or stay late for after school practice

    Or the lunchtime and after school football, basketball, volleyball, track, tennis and cricket practices

    And thank God we dont give up our weekends for tournaments or fixtures

    And as for organising and chaperoning the multiple activity weekends, ski trips, and camping trips..

    Lazy gits, the lot of us
  12. circuskevin

    circuskevin Occasional commenter

    Personally, I hold PE teachers in utter contempt.

    There is so much more they could do for special needs.

    I have, of course, explained it all in the House of Commons.

  13. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    PE teachers' careers work differently, or at least there are different risk factors. The effects of aging, or of accident, can mean that they are no longer physically able to teach PE and so need to plan for that possibility. Teaching a non-physical subject or leadership /pastoral roles are the obvious solutions.
    Our PE team have done both on top of excellent A Level and GCSE PE results (and a wide range of sports teams as well).

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