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Career Story: Fitness Instructor At A Suburban High School

Fitness Instructor At A Suburban High School

Job Title: Wellness Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school system in a suburb of Boston.

Education: BS, Exercise Science, Springfield College (Springfield, MA) •• MA, Sports Pedagogy, University of Connecticut

Previous Experience: I have worked as high school teacher, and as the strength and conditioning coach at a state university.

Job Tasks: My primary job responsibility is to teach wellness classes at a Boston-area high school. The classes consist of traditional health classes, a fitness class where the students learn to design personalized training programs, and also physical education classes.

The health classes dwell on subjects such as wellness, nutrition, CPR and first aid, alcohol and drugs, skin cancer and personal safety, and environmental issues. Classes are student-centered, and much of the work is research-based. The fitness classes are held once a week and are generally devoted to basic fitness principles. We let the students engage in regular exercise which they gradually learn to personalize to meet their own specific needs and goals. The physical education classes meet 2-3 times per week, and we are active in team sport activities as well as lifetime activities, such as aerobics, yoga, tennis and golf, and team building.

I am also responsible for running the fitness center every day after school. Students, staff and athletic teams all use the fitness center on a regular basis. Other duties during the day include a lunch duty in the gym, regular staff and departmental meetings, and various meetings with counselors, special education associates, etc.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I really enjoy working with the high school age students in the classroom. That is the best part of the job. I also like working in the fitness center with the athletic teams. I find the energy and motivation that the students bring into the room to be very contagious.

I don't like all the meetings and the professional development days because they are not very productive.

Job Tips: Take any opportunity you can to work with young kids to help determine if this career is for you. Get as involved in a school system as possible when trying to find a job, by being a substitute teacher, classroom associate, coach -- anything at all.

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