As we hear over and over again, schools throughout New York State are making cuts in education in order to save money. Last Spring, Ballston Spa Central School District, a school near my hometown near Saratoga Springs, cut five Physical Education positions. Keeping one of the Physical Education teachers, who had probably been there the longest, will be accompanied in classes with teacher's assistants. Is this the right thing to do? Some people criticize Physical Education programs and argue that the classroom teacher can keep them physically active. Even though this is true, and classroom teachers should still keep their students physically active, children need to be physically educated. Physical Education teachers are the professionals with the knowledge to physically educate children. Because Ballston Spa looks to fill a large budget gap, they are also moving to cut spending on Special Education programs as well as Summer school programs except for students with disabilities.
So, what does all of this say about us teacher candidates? What are we supposed to expect for the future job openings? Do we need to move out of New York State? It is really difficult to say. We are completely unsure of what the job market is going to be like in the near future. As teacher candidates in Physical Education, we need to do everything we can in order to set ourselves apart from the rest of the field. Of course schools feel they can just allow TAs to teach Physical Education because there are Administrators and tax payers out there that still are not convinced of the value of our profession. They feel that "those who can't teach, teach gym class." We need to do everything we can to prove it wrong.
Here is the article from last Spring for anyone interested in reading it