8 Tips on Surviving Teaching PE on a VERY LOW or NO Budget

Budget for physical education, what’s that? I have had 2 physical education teaching jobs in my lifetime, and at both schools, I have had a $0 budget. When I walked into the equipment rooms at each school, I was limited in the units I could teach by what was in my equipment room. However, I found ways to combat this situation and fill my equipment rooms within a few years.

1. Make Some Equipment: I had a class, at the university I attended, in which we had to create 2 pieces of equipment. That is one class I am thankful for due to the countless beanbags and rhythm ribbons I have made for my programs. If you can’t make it, find someone who can. Do not create equipment that is patent protected by another individual or company. This is unprofessional and against the law.
2. Get Donations: There are many times in which your student’s parents want to donate old Frisbees, golf clubs, tennis rackets, balls, etc. I have also found that YMCA’s like to get rid of older equipment. Make sure that whatever donations you receive are safe for your students to use.
3. Find Free Stuff at Conferences & Workshops: Each conference I go to, booths are passing out something for free. I get what I can, and add that to what I have. The students always love to play with new things.
4. Get Old Equipment From Sports Teams: I have been blessed to be on the receiving end of numerous volleyballs, basketballs, and tennis balls. The athletic director buys new equipment every few years, and he always knows that I will gladly take the old equipment off his hands.
5. Do a Fundraiser: There are numerous ones that you can do. I recommend doing the ones that include physical activity. The Fitivities Fundraiser is a great way to extend physical activity beyond the school day and getting families in your community excited about being active.
6. Use Your Own Money: If I use my own money, I make sure whatever I buy is something I can use over and over again during the entire year.
7. Have a List Prepared: Always be prepared incase an administrator asks if you need any equipment. Have a list already prepared, so that you can get it to him/her right away. This shows that you are eager and need equipment. If you say “I don’t know”, they are likely to go elsewhere to spend the money.
8. Find a Grant: There are grants everywhere; all you have to do is look. Start small and go from there. I have been fortunate enough to be the recipient of a few grants that have helped my program grow!

Keep these tips in mind as you go throughout your career and you will have an equipment room filled with things your students will love!


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