The school bells are ringing again and if not now, they will be very soon for all PE teachers around the country. These are tough times for education, and even more trying for PE teachers, as the weilding of budget cuts are making an impact in many school districts. But, there are a bevy of opportunities that will provide teachers with a way to prove that (we) belong as an asset to help quell the obesity problem and finding new ways to keep abreast of all the new trends in physical education.
The best way to start is at the beginning of the last school term. There were opportunities to engage in conferences and conventions, and one that was a highlight in Charlotte,N.C. was the National PE Institute, that had incredible teachers to share information, new techniques, technology, teaching tips and inspirational speeches. Check out the web site and there are handouts available at a reasonal fee. Of course, the Spark contingent is always a valuable resource for grants, teaching tips, lessons, programs and training sessions.
Summer was a great a time to re-tool and re-invent new ways to make your classes appealing to the students. By taking classes, or even presenting at workshops are fantastic ways to share information and establish a carry-over from the previous school year. This break from the school year is another opportunity to view the past school year and check to see what worked, what didn't and why? This can be accomplished by writing comments in a calendar or keeping a daily blog. There is a Notes app on an Iphone that can be utilized and is easy to use, then it also can be an exemplary model for emergency numbers or to track classroom mangement issues.
There are a boundless supply of apps ( App store) that can be used in your classes, and since smartphones seem to be everywhere; it is another opportunity to list them for the students to be used inside and outside of school:
These are just a few examples that teachers can use to jump start the new school year and provide excitement, technology and sharing with others in individual or group sessions. Many of the apps are free or at a low cost, and this will demonstrate new techniques and unique opportunities to validate that PE teachers are on board to learn new ways to address an education for the whole child.
A vital part of this process is to have a foundation that is held together with a few rules, respect for others and an understanding that we care and, will abide by standards of teaching excellence. An important issue is advocacy- we must sell our program and win over the teachers, school board, administrators and volunteer in the community.
For more ideas, please check out Preparing For A New School Year to get a better understanding what these opportunities mean and how important they are to start on a positive note each and every year. We are the prime-movers and it all starts with us. From the very first day until the last day of our career we can look back and have a feeling of satisfaction and we made a difference. There are many road blocks in our path, but it is our job to seek out those opportunities of what is best for our students and a recipe for a lifetime of health and fitness.
Note: Kudos to Mr. John Hichwa, who has retired after 53 years of teaching excellence. He most surely sought out those opportunities and shared with others, prepared and demonstrated a love of teaching, and all those he touched are lucky to be under his dynamic instruction.