Have You Met PETE?
Physical Education and Learning in the McKay School
PETE isn’t actually a person. It’s an acronym for the Physical Education Teacher Education program, which currently has school principals all over the nation calling for more BYU physical education (PE) teachers and coaches. The program, which is part of the Department of Teacher Education, provides a bachelor’s degree and undergraduate minor in physical education teaching/coaching (K-12).
PETE prepares students for a teaching and coaching career. Many of the skills they learn and will teach are lifetime physical activities such as aerobics, sports, and adventure activities. Thus PETE is one of the most fun, interesting, and rewarding disciplines offered.
PETE students move quickly from class instruction in teaching methods courses such as Fundamentals in Elementary Education PE (PETE 274), to teaching and interacting directly with children and youth in schools. Before PETE students begin teaching students in the schools they spend several weeks peer teaching, reviewing, and collaborating with each other. This gives PETE students opportunities to help each other in applying what they’re learning in class to lesson plans and delivery that fellow students can see and help out with. Through peer evaluations they can improve their lessons as well as cultivate an ability to observe and identify best practices in others.
In addition to peer reviews, PETE students are able to observe themselves teach throughout the program. Their lessons are recorded on video and stored for future instruction or downloaded using StudioCode software, which allows them to analyze their teaching. Students benefit from viewing video footage of their teaching, which becomes a main component of their student portfolios. Future PETE students will also have access to these videos to see examples of teaching competencies. “This gives the PETE program a never-ending supply of useful educational resources,” says Maria Zanandrea, a PETE faculty member.
Students have four consecutive semesters of practicum experiences at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels, culminating in a semester of student teaching in the schools. “At every level of their teacher preparation, our PETE students work hard and are successful during public school teaching experiences,” Zanandrea notes.
Practical experience in the public school is one of the PETE program’s best features. Zanandrea says, “If you intend to be an effective physical education teacher, you have to get out there and teach as many times as possible!”
All interested students are encouraged to visit http://education.byu.edu/ted/pete/ or the Educational Student Services in MCKB 120 for more information.
May 1, 2012