A Day in the Life of a Physical Education Teacher
The Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) major is unlike any other here at BYU! You get to wear athletic clothes and play sports every single day. However, you also get to learn how to teach people about what you love most–health and exercise. We wanted to teach you more about the PETE program through one of our very own BYU graduates, Maddy!
Meet Maddy Conlee- a super fun and passionate December 2019 BYU graduate and current P.E. and Health teacher at Timpview High School. Maddy graduated with a degree in PETE and a minor in Health Education. So, what is a day in the life of Maddy like? She gave us all the details of what it's like to be a high school PE teacher. She arrives at school at 7:00 AM and gets ready for kids to come! She teaches three class periods a day, some health and some P.E. In health, she has a typical classroom and teaches students about a healthy lifestyle! In P.E. she tries to have the students constantly participating in fun activities! She said, "We are usually doing some kind of sport or individual activity and PE. In girls, I do yoga, Zumba, stat, and those fun things. So, if it's warm we go outside and we play pickleball, or tennis, or soccer. If it's inside we'll do like an indoor sport or like an individual activity like that you could do at the gym like weightlifting even" After these classes (around 12:00 PM) she eats lunch and then preps until 3:00 PM when she goes home!
So, what drives Maddy's desire to get up early and go to school? She says, "I love exercise. I love health. I love my job." Her absolute favorite part of her job is her students. She loves seeing students become interested in health and exercise, and she loves building relationships with them. Maddy says, "I'm here to help every single person [I can]."
Speaking of her time in the PETE major, Maddy has nothing but positive things to say. She loved playing sports, but her favorite class was her high school curriculum course. Here's how she describes her time in her undergraduate program. "It was very fun… I think fun is a very good word to describe it and I loved all of my cohorts. We were all super, super good friends. It was just fun to learn about and it was fun to go to class every single day with the same people... The professors were super awesome, so I would just say it was fun and there was a lot of support. Everyone was friends and our professors really liked us and cared about us."
Now don't get us wrong, Maddy agrees that it is not all sunshine and rainbows in the world of teaching. There are days that are difficult, especially when students disrespect you as a teacher. We asked Maddy how she stays motivated when difficult parts of the job are in her face. She said, "One of the ways is looking for the little parts in each day that are really awesome...I think counting the awesome things that happened and focusing on the positive, that's so cliche, but it truly reminds me why I do what I do... I’ve realized I can't be perfect every single day. Not every lesson is going to be a hit, not every student is going to like everything I teach but…a lot of them will like something at some point, so I'm just gonna wait for that to happen, or maybe tomorrow my lesson will be better. So, try not to be a perfectionist and to stay positive."
We would invite you to join Maddy in the world of physical education teaching/coaching if
you are passionate about health and exercise! Check out the major here, read blog posts about PETE here, or get to know your advisor here!