Professional Development,  Teacher Reflection

Starting school – opportunities for PE to shine.

Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

Happy Summer! It may be a Summer that is usual for you – or maybe something totally different. Maybe some things are the same but others not-so-much. When we start school in a few weeks time (whatever that looks like depending on where you are…)it will be really important to spend some time connecting with your students and your colleagues as the journey of the Summer months may be radically different and may have affected people in new ways. This may be a return to a new normal and we need to be ready for the very many ways that could look.

This past few weeks I have been fortunate to have some really engaging conversations about what a return to PE and Health could look like and to try and disrupt some people’s thinking about this – this could be the time to let go of the narrow and small things and to focus on the broader and bigger opportunities in PE. I don’t think this will be easy and we must be prepared to get creative and to hold true to our values (What does your Program stand for?) and be ready to meet our students with enthusiasm and positivity.

I have been asked for some resources that I have found particularly useful this Summer and here are just some of the things that I have found particularly inspiring and thought-provoking as we look to a new academic year. If you have something else that would be a great addition here, please let me know!

Suggested Resources

Social Media ideas:

Twitter – if you haven’t discovered twitter for PD in #Physed yet, you might like to consider joining in and having more people to share ideas with.  

Consider the 14-Day Twitter Challenge that PE Geek Mr Robbo shared

There has been a big push to make sure that what we do online or in person for PE is focused on the Educational purpose and value – this thread on twitter is another good example of people working hard to share more ideas with our community – E in PE on Twitter

I found this FB post really useful – and there are a few great PE FaceBook groups if you are a FB user.

Articles to read:

Teaching in Extraordinary times

12 Ways that Teachers can build Resilience  – a month by month suggestion of things Teachers can do to build resilience that might be very appropriate right now.  Jennifer Gonzalez is a wonderful blogger and twitter superstar – she has a lot to share and interviews and speaks with an amazing array of people. 

9 Ways online teaching should be different from face-to-face this article is full of practice ideas for all teachers to start the new year confidently. 

SHAPE America Reentry Toolkit 

Podcasts to consider

Pushkin Industries are leading the way with innovative big-idea podcasts – here are some of my recent favourites:

Revisionist History – Season 5

How might we consider grouping students?  Helping students to sign up for activities or ask them to choose teams or create leadership opportunities? How well can we really predict what our students are likely to do or to be successful? (Episode 3) 

Cautionary Tales

Tim Harford shares some amazing cautionary tales for us to consider – learning from other people’s mistakes and tragedies.  Ex. How might we use the pandemic disruption to really teach differently or pay closer attention to our craft? (Episode: Bowie, Jazz and the Unplayable Piano) 

Against the Rules 

Michael Lewis is the host – Season 2 is all about Coaching and the rise of the Coach – lots of things to consider as PE teachers are always asked to Coach, and this gives us a lot to ponder.  How are our parent communities changing?  How are our students changing? What do we value?  How do we make this work? 

Run your Life – Podcast

Created and Hosted by Andy Vasily – some of my favourite episodes include interviews with Dr Kretchmar and Kate Murdoch. Andy goes way beyond the PE and Health focus here and gets deep and personal with people and their life philosophies. Lots to take away.

Global PhysEd Voxcast

Created and Hosted by Jorge Rodriguez, Jorge interviews and shares ideas with an amazing range of PE and Health champions and shares these ideas with all of us.

Blogs to consider:

If you only have time for one blog – this is the one to invest in. @imsporticus is an amazing blogger himself, but his blog is a gold mine for all PE and Health teachers looking for blogs, vlogs, papers, podcasts and other resources to dive into.  Check out his monthly wrap-ups from his vast reading and sharing. 

Shane Pill regularly comes up in PE and his blog is a useful one for all those looking for research around Game Sense practice.

Dr Ash Casey runs a wonderful blog where he shares an academic resource with us each week and invites us to consider it in the context as practitioners in PE.

PYP with Andy Vasily is another PE person that writes with passion, with the focus on students but also is looking at pedagogy and best practice – 

LAMPE – Meaningful PE is a new PE model that is highly discussed at this time, this blog has the research that was completed by its founders Tim Fletcher, Déirdre Ní Chróinín and Mary O’Sullivan. The Blog continues to share new research but also includes posts that share the way that practitioners are engaging with these ideas in their own PE departments and with their students 

Kath Murdoch is a busy Inquiry coach – she has written some amazing books and if you are looking to add Inquiry or considering upping your professional knowledge and practice to enhance student thinking – this blog could be the start point for you  Mel has found her most recent book, The Power of Inquiry, to be a great resource for questions, guided Inquiry and a place for inspiration for peer conversations or group work. 

Thinking Routines are a series of routines that teachers and students can use that allow us to see what we are thinking without leading, judging or focusing on ‘easy’ questions.  Mel found that completing a course on Routines and then adopting two or three of these routines into lessons was a wonderful way to find out how students are engaging with the content – either reviewing, planning or thinking about the Play 

Dr Ash Casey has written widely on using Cooperative Learning such as Jigsaw models for grouping and working together – read more about that here  Ash also has a wonderful Blog that shares new research and gives practitioners time to pause and consider how this work may or may not affect their own practice.

Nathan Horne’s iPhysEd blog and podcast is a good resource for Primary PE people, this interview with Dr Stephen Harvey about Game Centred Approach offers some ideas about how we might consider GCA in our practice 

Andy Milne is a former TOY for Health.  His blog is full of amazing ideas, resources and more – a must for all health teachers 

Joey Feith’s blog and resources are famous in PE!  He has lots of creative ideas that focus on the What Why and How of PE – and he is a big advocate of looking at the big picture of what we are doing and then how we might do it best. 

Justen O’Connor has a blog and is an advocate for PE teachers – I have found his work about connecting/reflecting on the senses as we are being active to be particularly important to framing questions and conversations with students about how they are relating to the movement they enjoy (or don’t enjoy!)

Jarrod Robinson is the original PE Geek and works his magic through the ConnectedPE website it is full of amazing resources, reflections, giveaways and now has a paid member area where you can have access to professionals, amazing colleagues and other Professional Development opportunities.

Adam Llevo runs the Charged UP PE site and you can find access to online workshops, professional development sessions and more.

If you are considering a Health Unit as part of your curriculum – Dr Vicky Goodyear has put together some research on Social Media and Young people.  You can read her research here, Mel’s MS PE dept used this to develop a unit around Social Media and Wellness focusing on the question: What makes up a Good life? 

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