What are you looking at? by nolifebeforecoffee CC BY
So the PEPLC is well under way and as I am leading a group I knew it was time to get things rolling. We had our first Google Hangout a few weeks back and between Julia, Vic, Adam and myself, we had a good introduction and discussion about what interests us in relation to PE Curriculum. It was great to talk to some very like minded people and also good to get a feel for what others are facing in their schools and environment. It certainly made me reflect on how good I have things at my new school with a supportive PE team and admin to assist us in developing our subject. I also was inspired by the stories that Adam shared about his work in a rural school in Australia as the only PE teacher and Julia facing issues with their Grade 11-12 program in NZ and the negativity that PE can receive. I also enjoyed connecting with Vic Caban at WAB in Beijing as he talked about the MYP work they are doing (they are piloting a new program so he can’t give out much detail) and about how his team works together for student learning.
You can see all of our work and a detailed blow-by-blow of our first chat here on the PEPLC website. While I am here, I encourage all PE teachers to think about joining up to PEPLC to learn more from the great conversations that are happening in our #physed World and how you can educate us on your great ideas and experiences too! Andy Vasily has written a new post about what PEPLC can do for you and how to get you going, feel free to ask some questions along the way, it will help you to see why this work is so valuable.
I wanted to share here the two goals we have set. We have decided to work within a model that Yokohama Int’l School has adopted for PD this year and I blogged about here. The idea basically is that we will work with a common theme but set some personal goals within this framework.
Our first goal or framework is to look at mapping some concept based learning focusing on life-long skills not about sports progressional skills. I am keen to focus on Invasion Games and how we can discuss the progression of life-long concepts in this area. I am in the middle of discussions in my PE department too as this is a common area of interest, and I will blog about our progress next week. I have found it very beneficial to talk about what the significant concepts are and learn more about looking at the much bigger picture stuff and create concepts that can be shared in any subject, any age and in any school. This has been our guiding factor.
The second goal/framework is about how we interact with parents and share our work and build their understanding of our PE curriculum. Again this is personal and will depend on the school you teach at the department you are in, your curriculum and the rest. I am keen to see how I can better share our MYP PE curriculum with parents and how we use Back to School nights, Parent Teacher (and student) conference days and how our school promotes PE as a life long skill set, rather than focus on performance and sporting competition. I am finding this to be interesting but also challenging as my newness at YIS is taking time away from using these nights/days as effectively as I would like. I would like to see if I can get ideas from teachers all over about how they share their work with parents too. I think that PE has a tough sell which I believe shouldn’t be the case, we should be embracing students in sport for so many good reasons, and competition can be one of those, but I believe shouldn’t be the centre of this work.
I would be interested in knowing what you do on Parent-Teacher interaction occasions at your school and how your ‘sell’ or ‘promote’ PE and also what your significant concepts are in PE to promote life long learning, it is always great to share good ideas and to learn from others in this field.
Hi Duane, thanks for the very positive comment. I checked out your blog and you have some great stuff on there and it is clear you are well on your way to being a great teacher! George Corous has written a new blog post this week on Connected Learning and Educators, I thought you might like it based on the nature of your blog and ideas you are covering (http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/4187). PEPLC is a great set up and has awesome ideas from educators all over the World. Enjoy your learning and I hope you’ll share again soon.
My name is Duane Nelson and I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I have absolutely enjoyed reading this post and glad to find many other educators sharing their ideas. The goals that are mentioned in this post are great ideas that should be considered to be used in a teacher’s curriculum. Focusing on lifelong skills that we as teachers can give a student is a priceless contribution plus including parents can be a positive tribute to the students learning. This is an excellent post and I am glad that I found the PEPLC website. Thank you and keep up the great work!
Duane Nelson EDM 31O
THank you for your ongoing support Andy, I have decided instead of spreading things too thinly to line up some of the bigger ideas between different groups that I am excited to learn within and get more for the time invested! I love your idea of the display boards, how do you gauge whether parents read them? I think for ES or PYP teachers/parents you can be sure that the cute drawings or responses or words written by those little cuties will draw parent attention (my eye always wanders around a classroom looking for my children’s work) but I am finding that my MS or HS that students either hide their work or parents aren’t as interested (in PE at least) so to advocate here is more tricky. And we seem to have a strong recollection of those ‘dodgeball’ days from our MSHS past… and that can lead to discussion. I am also finding my very strongly skilled kids have parents who want me to only grade on skills and have a hard time understanding why their perfectly athletic child doesn’t top the PE program. So it is this that I need to try and share more broadly with parents. Again thanks for your support and sharing – I will keep updating you with the journey.
Hi Mike, thanks for sharing. I am reading Spark at the moment and enjoying the discussions it has generated online. I guess I am looking at simple everyday messages as well as offering something on days that parents are already at school to get the message out about how PE is moving and shaking their kids. We aren’t at a stage where a complete schedule reform is on our cards (I wish) but just to have more parents advocate and be sympathetic to our issues would be nice! And also to be able to smile and answer the questions about why we aren’t doing fitness testing and grading on levels of fitness – that we have come a little bit further than that, would be nice. Thanks again for letting me know about your journey and your ideas.
Saw your PEPLC video, great to hear what is going on in PE for others in this part of the world, the good and the bad.
At our Back 2 School Day we promoted the benefits of PE with regards to social and emaotional development, the obvious helath benefits and studies that show the link between quality PE and improved academic performance…SPARK. Our theme was WHY PE? and ultimately we were asking the parents to advocate with us for suport as we embark on some scheduling reform here at out school, SMIS.
Great post Mel. I think both goals set are powerful and bring much more of a specific focus and direction in terms of the bigger picture. How to share our programs with parents is a huge one that brings greater advocacy to our subject area. I am starting by creating a display board that shows the ideas of my students in regards to the question, “Why should PE be an important part of a school’s curriculum? ” We made visuals answering this question in each class. I will post these visuals on the display board. A little step but one that I feel is in the right directions of positively advocating for physical education. Super glad that you are a part of PEPLC Mel. Thanks for sharing your team’s work. Valuable mentoring for other teams about to begin their PEPLC journeys.