You have successfully completed another year of teaching physical education. Another year of planning, assessing, testing, settling disputes, setting up and taking down equipment, moving rooms because of school picture taking, tying shoes, working with kids of all skill levels, and most importantly – you delivered quality lessons in your PE class that started your students on the path towards becoming physically active for the rest of their lives! Congratulations! The question now becomes what now? I have some ideas.
Reflect on Your Successes and Failures
Now that you have taught your last PE class, I encourage you to sit down and reflect on how your teaching year went. Write down things you thought went well. What did not go as planned? What changes do you want to make for next year? What are new things you want to try in the upcoming year? If you listed goals at the beginning of the year (which I encourage) make sure you note which ones you met and which ones did not come to fruition. I encourage you to share your reflection thoughts with your colleagues and your principal before you leave for the summer.
I found a good article that shares 20 Teacher End of the Year Reflection Questions that would make a nice guide for your end of year reflection task.
I also want to share an end of year physical education poem written by a PE teacher. Her principal asked her to reflect on her year and she came up with this great poem: The Year, We Sweat – PE Poem by Kimberlee Corrigan
Celebrate Your Accomplishments
After you have finished reflecting, it is time to relax and do nothing but vacation and celebrate your year. Pat yourself on the back and feel good about your accomplishments. Head to the beach, hike, spend quality time with family and friends, workout and do not think about teaching for a few weeks!
This is really important. I know teachers who are very hard on themselves and they rarely take time to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work. I strongly encourage taking time to decompress and take off your professional teacher hat for a few weeks! Summer is the best time to do this.
Connect with other Physical Education Teachers
Now that you’ve taken some time off, jump head first back in. I encourage you to connect with other physical educators. Sometimes PE teachers can feel professionally isolated. With some effort and a good Internet connection this problem can be alleviated. Here are some online places I recommend.
PE Central’s Facebook Page (4000 members)
This is a great place to ask questions, share ideas and just feel connected with other physical educators. After you access the page, just click the “Join” button. It is a private group, but once you are approved you post and comment.
PE Central’s Twitter Feed (14,00 followers)
This is a great place to get new ideas and see what is going on in contemporary physical education. It is a lot of fun and you will find some of the best physical education teachers to follow and learn from here.
After downloading the app you will really enjoy talking and sharing with other physical education teachers using the Voxer app. This is a great place to go as you can talk with other physical education teachers and you can hear their voice. This is particularly great if you are teaching by yourself and you feel isolated. To hear first hand how much Voxer can help, check out this blog Connecting Educators Worldwide – Voxer Messaging App by elementary PE teacher Erik Myer.
Stay Current and Fresh with Technology
The summer is a great time to explore new things you might want to add to your PE program. I would encourage you to think about how an iPad could be useful for your program as a teacher.
There are some amazing apps that are now available that will keep you and your kids excited about your physical education program. Here is a list of great PE apps. All of these can be found in the PE Central App section.
- Plickers: Do assessment and not use paper and pencils!
- Coaches Eye: Take video and kids can analyze their skills.
- Team Shake: Easily form students into small groups.
- Google Forms: Build assessments online.
The summer is a great time to improve your teaching and grow professionally, but make sure you celebrate your teaching efforts and take time away from thoughts of teaching first. Have a great summer. See you in the Fall!
Similar Articles: Preparing for the Next Year of Teaching by Charles Silberman
Author: Mark Manross, Executive Director of PE Central