The first class of EDUC 320 was a great experience, and has me excited for teaching physical education to my future students. However, reading the PE Hall of Shame articles gave me some particular insight into what to keep in mind when thinking of lessons – games such as dodgeball and capture the flag that I had played as a child, and then proceeded to facilitate for children I worked with as an adult, do not encourage involved, active participation or teamwork, which can leave students feeling frustrated and disengaged from physical activity.
Thinking of my own experiences, I was always more comfortable doing solo activities (ie. hiking), where I could set the pace and goals for myself. However, I used to (and largely still do) avoid team sports (ie. soccer), mostly because of a fear of failing at the activity in front of my peers. I have below average depth perception so some activities such as catching or kicking tended to be challenging for me. However, I often found that I would not be given any accommodation for this and would instead feel judged. I think this mindset is reflective of many learners who may dislike their physical education classes – PE that doesn’t take into account the unique needs of each learner does not set them up for success to be confident and participatory. The purpose of PE should be to give kids opportunities to explore different physical literacies and learn how to keep themselves healthy, not to discourage physical activity.