Article by George Graham, Co-founder of PE Central
My grandkids have learned to read. They enjoy trying to solve math problems. But when I ask them what they have learned in physical education their answers are opaque. Mostly they tell me what they are doing in P.E.
In this short piece, I am suggesting that physical education teachers, and programs, should be able to describe at least some of what their students have actually learned in their classes. And the kids they are teaching should be able to show you what they have learned.
Physical education programs have a wide variability in the time allotted for classes, from a few days a year, to daily. Classes are also taught by specialists who have majored in physical education, and also by coaches and fitness specialists and classroom teachers. Continue reading →
If you’re reading this, chances are you just got your very first physical education job. Congratulations and welcome to an amazing profession where you get to change lives and make a real difference in the world. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to what you can do as a physical education teacher. Whether you’re just out of school, changing careers, or transitioning from the classroom to a gymnasium, you’re entering this profession at a time when what we do matters more than ever.
You will have the most lasting impact on a child’s life and mental well-being. As if this prospect was not overwhelming enough, you are starting a job that comes with many new and exciting experiences, procedures, and protocols. The first year of teaching is very important. It is during this time that you are indoctrinated into the world of teaching through on-the-job training. Everything you learned in your physical education program will align with the reality of the school and district you are now a part of. As a new teacher, there will be many variables out of your control that can make it hard to achieve that altruistic goal all teachers strive for: positively impacting lives. Continue reading →
My gym is the great outdoors. I am in a unique situation where only 15% of schools in the county I teach in have gyms. Over the past ten years, I’ve taught in empty classrooms, cafeterias with basketball nets, outside in parking lots, on small fields, and on large fields while other classes streamed out for recess throughout the day. In my current situation, I’m outside as much as possible because the only other option is a classroom filled with desks and chairs. Teaching in a classroom is reserved as a last resort for many reasons, from safety and the inability to do a wide array of activities to respect for the teachers planning in those classrooms. In addition, two to three days a week another PE teacher uses the space. Continue reading →