What makes an effective PE educator? Things to consider in 2023

A wise person once said, “The ability to become an effective physical educator is in the hands of each person – it is a choice” (Martin, 2004, p.52).

But what is an effective teacher and how can you ensure your teaching is effective?

Regardless of your job title or length of experience, understanding the meaning of 'effective teaching' is a fundamental aspect of ongoing professional development. When you're so busy doing the 'work', keeping up-to-date with best practice can be challenging alongside the everyday pressures and demands of the role.

However, gaining a secure understanding of effective teaching and its importance does not have to be a strenuous process, and can be something that is embedded in your every day.

Here's six things to consider to help you be an effective teacher this year:

  1. Teaching can sometimes be referred to as a symphony orchestra, in which the teacher ‘conductor’ brings together various pieces of the orchestra to blend in harmony.
  2. Effective educators can orchestrate teaching skills and develop lessons that are engaging and beneficial to all ages and abilities. Knowing what to teach (declarative knowledge), when and why you are teaching it (conditional knowledge), when to teach something and subsequently, how to teach (procedural knowledge) facilitates effective practice.
  3. Educators should utilise a range of instructional styles to meet the intended outcome of the lesson or learning experience most suitably. The Spectrum consists of 11 teaching styles (Styles A–K), beginning with Style A – Command Style, where the teacher is making all the decisions with minimal student input, to Style K – Self Teaching Style, where the student is making the decisions.
  4. These styles are set up on a continuum where the level of responsibility given to students from teachers gradually increases. When choosing a teaching style, it is important to understand that one style is not better than another style.
  5. The content, students, learning intentions and desired outcomes, student safety and the teaching environment are among the many factors which influence the approach you take to your teaching on any given day.
  6. An effective educator knows that two classes within the same school and learning the same content may require completely different approaches to teaching.
A challenge for you

Educators need to know how to do “the right thing, in the right way, at the right time and for the right reason(s)” (Graham, Holt/Hale & Parker, 2004, p.118).

Looking at the below, which teaching style fits you most comfortably?

Another challenge for you

Adapted inline with the famous business management book ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’ (Stephen Covey, 1989), Leaann Tyson Martin (2004) came up with 'The 7 habits of highly effective physical educators'.

Reflecting on the seven habits below, is there a particular habit you might look to unpack further?

Reflection is just the tip of the iceberg

Still looking for ways to improve and grow as an effective teacher and learn more about developing effective teaching skills and practices that you can embed in your every day? Check out our ‘Effective teaching skills' eBook >>

Or would you'd prefer to further your journey towards effective teaching through hands-on, face-to-face practical engagement? Sign up for some professional learning in 2023 >>

Need further support to deliver quality HPE at your school? Please feel free to get in touch!