After last week’s readings about The Physical Education Hall of Shame I thought about my own experiences in gym class. I always thought the more nerve-wracking or embarrassing aspects of PE (being put on the spot, competition, punishment, and allowing the best to run the class) were just accepted parts of PE we had to endure. I find it hard to think of any game/activity from my childhood that now does not fall into a ‘shameful’ category. Even trying to come up with an activity for our group teach is proving to be difficult as all of us can only come up with games/sports based on our past experiences in gym class. This reminds me that what we teach children in PE class really sticks with them and influences how they understand and view physical education. People that did/do not enjoy physical education probably have not had a positive experience and most likely endured some shameful teaching methods. I feel the Hall of Shame guidelines are something teachers need to consider when creating PE activities.
Secondly, my idea of a physically educated person is someone that is not just active, but also has an understanding of nutrition, is physically literate, and understands mental wellness and why it is important to be physically educated. To hear that Canada received a D- as an overall grade is disappointing. As a future teacher, I am hopeful that my fellow teachers and our schools can promote a better understanding of physical education and begin to value PE and daily activity as much as other subjects are valued.
I am finding myself to be more and more excited about PE class, and delving into the topic of physical literacy. Many of us are leading very busy lives with the demands of the program, family obligations, work, etc. that leading a balanced lifestyle may not always come up as a priority. I found that even in the 15 minutes of free play at the beginning of class the past two weeks really sets a positive tone for the day, and increases my awareness. This makes me realize just how important physical activity is to the youth, and the importance of education surrounding a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle should not just be about making sure you get your daily 30 minutes of physical activity (although it is important!), but it should take on a more holistic approach, and really pay special attention to emotional and mental well-being, in addition to physical activity.
I particularly really like the idea of linking ideas across the curriculum. For instance, by having students experiment with gardening allows for time outside, as well as teaching students about larger ideas and other subjects such as food processes, ecology, and the sciences.
Lastly, physical education should be something that students look forward to, and that includes everyone in the class in a supportive environment. I thought that the Target Group did a really great job of demonstrating how to modify the Hall of Shame game dodge ball, into a game that really focuses on skills like, aim, and the underhand throw.
Something I reflected on a lot this week was the hall of shame games article. The three games I was struck most by were dodge ball, tag, and red rover. I have lots of memories playing all of these games growing up and I remember them quite fondly.
When it came to dodge ball, I was never that good at throwing the ball but I was good at jumping and dodging. Growing up we played many variations of the game and our teachers always tried to make the teams fair. Little did I realize until reading this article all the negativity behind the game.
Tag is a game that I believe does not need to be a hall of shame game; if played in a positive way. There are variations of the game where everyone can be involved; for example: “everyone’s it tag.” I think if tag is played correctly it can be played in a positive environment that is inclusive and fun for all students.
Finally the last game that stood out was red rover. I absolutely loved this game growing up! The competitive aspects of the game and trying to break through my friends were so much fun! Looking back at the game I understand how it taunts the less athletic students but it also is so dangerous.
I learned so much from the hall of shame articles. My perspectives on teaching P.E. were changed and I hope to provide my students with a positive learning environment.
In reflecting on today’s class what really stood out to me was the list of Hall of Shame activities. At first I was shocked to learn that activities such as Tug of War, Capture the Flag and even Duck Duck Goose made the list. I have fond memories of playing those games with friends and classmates and found it difficult to believe that these simple childish games could in any way be damaging to the children who played them. It was sure an eye opener!
However, as we talked more about the feelings of exclusion, inactivity and, in some cases, fear that children may experience while playing these games I had to take a moment and rethink what these games really prioritized. It became clear to me after our discussion that these games, as harmless as they may initially seem, can be socially and emotionally damaging. In fact, I learned that many of us, myself included, have memories of experiencing all of these emotions at some point in our P.E. history.
I left today thinking not only about the games that made the Hall of Shame list but all sports and how they might affect the children who play them. As soon-to-be teachers I feel it is our responsibility to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment of learning for our students. This philosophy certainly lends itself to P.E., a subject that many students dread to participate in and many teachers dread to teach. So, the challenge becomes making P.E. a fun, fulfilling and enjoyable class for students of all ages and abilities.
Moving forward I will certainly look at each activity and its outcomes before I suggest it for any class with the benefits and potential drawbacks in mind. In this course, I look forward to learning how to better equip myself with the knowledge and tools to better serve my future students.