Illustrations by Bryan Hollingsworth
Physical Education is either a reason to look forward to school or a living hell, depending on the teacher with a whistle at the front of the room. Who is this person? Where did they come from? How did they get hired? What kind of training did they even receive? (We have a hard time picturing them in the same room as math teachers.)
Whatever the answers, the P.E. teacher is a character to behold. We all remember ours, so here's a look back at the days of sweatpants and 3-on-3 hoops.
+ For more on teachers, watch "Guy Code" tonight at 11/10c on MTV2
1. The Drill Sergeant
THIS WAS THE GUY WHO LIKED TO YELL! A LOT! We have no idea what sick pleasure he took in bossing around lanky teens who have the athletic ability of a three-legged dog on a flight of stairs. Screaming at the top of his lungs, his eyes bulging like a meth addict's (or like Coach Buzzcut's from "Beavis and Butt-Head"), we didn't really feel encouraged to do a pushup.
2. Ms. Jumpsuit
Stone-faced, twirling a whistle around her finger as she stared down any student who dared to ask if she had a husband, she was possibly the only teacher who refused to take s*** from students, teachers and anyone who suggested she wear makeup and grow her hair past her shoulders. And she rocked that jumpsuit better than LL Cool J.
3. The Nicknamer
The classic P.E. teacher. We loved this guy. He understood that gym isn't really a class so much as a chance to blow off some steam. "Jim" became "Jimbo," "Sam" became "Sambo" and the guy who hurled after running the mile became "Puke Skywalker." The mood was light and gym was fun, like it should be.
4. The Beer-Gutted 50-Year-Old About To Collect His Pension
A long career of wheeling out a rack of basketballs takes its toll on a man. We can remember a semester when our P.E. teacher vaguely resembled Humpty Dumpty, but kept smiling like he'd just won the Powerball jackpot. That's 'cause retirement was right around the corner, and he'd soon be slamming margaritas on a beach instead of watching kids get slammed on the mats.
5. The Football Coach Who Doesn't Wanna Be There
By far, our favorite P.E. teacher. He doesn't care whether you play volleyball or just run into the net like a moth flutters into a torch. Most of the time he's kicking back with a clipboard, reviewing that week's game plan for his team. Even when football season is over, he merely seems to be cashing a paycheck to justify being hired as Head Coach. Easy money for him, easy A for us.