Explore: Education

Trainee PE Teacher
The Gateway Academy

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Andrea Chalmers – The Gateway Academy


My name is Andrea Chalmers. I’m currently working at The Gateway Academy as a trainee P.E. teacher.


I am working on the job, working towards gaining my QTS, which is a qualified teacher status in P.E., so physical education and working with the P.E. Department to help me progress and professionally develop myself to become that qualified P.E. teacher at the end of the course.


Just seeing someone, or a student light up is just, words can’t describe it really, it does really sort of tug on the heart strings for you.


The worst part about my job. I’m not allowed to wear trousers and I have to wear shorts in the winter.


I was 16, just going on 17 and I remember seeing the advert thinking, right I’m 16 now I can get a job, I can get a job, let me get some money I’m going to earn myself some money. So, and I thought I love clothes and shoes and bags so I thought I’m going to get a job in something I’m interested in, because there’s no point, otherwise I’m just gonna not want to do it, however, it actually became apparent to me that I didn’t want to be in a shop and I didn’t want to be doing that for the rest of my life and I needed to go to University and put my skills and what I have learned to better myself I suppose.


At University I took a Bachelor or Science Degree in Sport and Exercise science. The degree I chose gave me a lot of avenues to go on to after, and I chose the P.E. teaching side of things.


Teaching certificates are difficult and it is something where you have to learn how to manage your time appropriately, to be able to get that balance.


My parents have been very supportive for me being a P.E. Teacher. I think, you know, I’m a bit of a daddy’s girl so he was always sporty throughout his life, he’s always been the one that spurred me on to go and play my netball, it was always me and him on a Saturday. If I was playing netball he’d come and watch, if he had rugby on the next day I’d go and watch him. He’s always pushed me to be the person that I am now. He’s always said to me, you know “you’ve got to go out there, you’ve got to go and find the right things, nothing’s just going to come to you you’ve got to go and get it” and I think through playing sport it gives you that competitive edge to be able to say, do you know what actually yeah I am going to go out there, I am going to go and get that and I wouldn’t have been where I am today if I didn’t have that support from my mum and dad to get me, to go and do it.


There’s always someone, I think, there’s a significant person, so for example my P.E. Teacher at school, Miss Grimes, she, I think, sort of moulded me to be the person that wanted, again, to go out there and get something, or she gave me the confidence to think that, you know, no sport being a P.E. Teacher as a girl, especially you can go out there and do that.


There have been some barriers to getting to where I am today and I think that one of them is myself. I put too much pressure on myself to be able to perform and I get really quite, disheartened when I haven’t reached something in the timeframe that I set myself.


The advice I would give to someone again doing my job is to make sure it is the job that they want to do. It’s a lot of training that you need to go through to, at the end of it, think well do you know what I’ve just put myself through a year of hell and I don’t ever want to do that again. Yes you do have to experience the good and the bad and there is always going to be a day when you come away tearing your hair out but then that is always followed by a day, or maybe the day after, or the day after that, of you having a grin from ear to ear thinking yes I’ve nailed it with that class or, yes that kid’s really got it.


Just make sure you have fun and enjoy what you do. I’m a firm believer in that if you don’t enjoy it don’t do it.



“The worst part about my job – I have to wear shorts in the winter.” After a degree in sports exercise science, Andrea decided she wanted to become a PE teacher. She says her love of sport (and netball) has given her the competitive edge to get where she is now and believes it’s important to have fun and enjoy what you do.

More information about Secondary education teaching professionals

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

40%  male 
60%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Secondary (and middle school deemed secondary) education teaching professionals plan, organise and provide instruction in one or more subjects, including physical education and diversionary activities, within a prescribed curriculum in a secondary or secondary/ middle school.
Entry is with a first degree that provides QTS (qualified teacher status) or, in Scotland, TQ (teaching qualification); or other relevant degree followed by further postgraduate training (most commonly PGCE – Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education, or, in Scotland, PGDE – Professional Graduate Diploma in Education). Further and higher professional qualifications are required for some teaching posts.
  • Prepares and delivers courses and lessons in accordance with curriculum requirements and teaches one or more subjects;
  • Prepares, assigns and corrects exercises and examinations to record and evaluate students’ progress;
  • Prepares students for external examinations and administers and invigilates these examinations;
  • Maintains records of students’ progress and development;
  • Supervises any practical work and maintains classroom discipline;
  • Undertakes pastoral duties;
  • Supervises teaching assistants and trainees;
  • Discusses progress with student, parents and/or other education professionals;
  • Assists with or plans and develops curriculum and rota of teaching duties.
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