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.