The Qualities Needed To Be A Good Gym Teacher 

Gym teachers are one of the backbones of American high school education. They are crucial in fostering personal responsibility, teamwork, and healthy exercise regimes in the young. There are around 31,000 physical education teachers in the United States – but there are still lots of positions available. The United States is suffering from one of the worst teaching shortages since public education was introduced in the country. Now is a great time to train – or retrain – as a physical education teacher. Here are some of the qualities that a good gym teacher needs to have if they want to succeed in the often chaotic world of high school education. 

Interpersonal Skills 

One of the main skillsets taught in physical education courses online and in person is the interpersonal skillset. High schools present a unique set of interpersonal challenges to physical education teachers. The social makeup of high schools tends to be complex. Gym teachers come into the high school setting in a unique position. They are responsible for taking children out of the usual classroom environment and challenging them – something that can bring up grievances and conflicts among students. Gym teachers need to be able to work with the children under their command using interpersonal skills based on established protocols. 


Part of the interpersonal workload of a high school gym teacher involves the development of an empathic approach to the children that are being taught. Gym teachers work with children of all physical and interpersonal abilities and need to understand where they are coming from when problems arise. They need to motivate children in a sensitive and personable way, which can only be achieved with an empathic approach. 

Physical Prowess 

Although gym teachers don’t need to have the physical ability of a professional athlete, they do need to be physically fit enough to confidently teach students to a high degree of athletic performance. If a gym teacher is not fit enough to exceed the ability of their students, they will find it hard to garner respect and even harder to give students new skills to work with. 

Anatomical Knowledge 

Gym teachers need to have a good handle on the physical forces behind the athletic performance. They need to be well versed in sports science so that they can correctly coach children in healthy exercise. Gym teachers’ knowledge of sports science is regularly tested in practice. If students are injured during the course of their learning through the negligence of their gym teacher, that teacher will find it very hard to get work in the future. A comprehensive knowledge of the human body is essential in creating a safe sporting environment. 

Leadership And Character 

Many young people find it extremely hard to find the motivation to take part in physical exercise. The best gym teachers are motivational leaders with bags of character. Think back to the best gym teacher you had as a student: it is highly likely that their character and leadership had a big hand in their success as a teacher and motivator. 

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