Am I sweating? My thoughts are unclear as I walk into the gym. I cannot fathom whether it’s from walking all the way from Scarfe building, or whether the word ‘P.E.’ and the associations with it, make me shiver and feel angsty. I am not one to be proud of my failing memory, but if I recall, there seems to be an invisible target on me that invites flying objects my way. And to add the cherry on top, my face seems to be the sweet spot. Also, I admit I have observed and experienced inclusion and exclusion before, so the inkling feeling of P.E. being fun does not come to mind.
As I walk into the gym, a basketball flies towards me. The angst comes back. I lift my arm to shield my face from the impact. Scared, I wait. Yet, I feel nothing! I look up, and notice the ball lands three feet away from me. With a sigh of relief, it is safe to say I can restart my P.E. experience on a good note. We start the day with free play by choosing props that I have not seen for ages, such as the parachute, skipping ropes, and tennis balls; we also play a game of Mission Impossible and Chuck the Chicken – both highly entertaining.
By the end of the day, I feel a sense of relief and joy. The activities we played, reminds me of how fun P.E. was and still is! It just proves to show that I need to face my fears (of getting hit by the ball) so I will not miss the good things in life (like having fun in P.E.). However, I look forward to learning about strategies from the curriculum on how to avoid exclusion, and refresh my memory on past activities, and learn some new games.
Last Friday’s EDPC physical eduction class was a refreshing experience after a week of lectures and readings. Upon entering the gym, the free time and access to equipment got me so excited for the term and to participate in this course. As a child, I always had a good experience in PE, other than when I’d get hit in the face, but that happens. I can understand that it can be an intimidating space for students who aren’t as athletically inclined. I think it’s important to reduce the stigma and create a safe space for learners to try new things and develop their physical literacy. Steve seems like and awesome instructor who has a good attitude about shifting the way physical education is taught. He believes in inclusive and creative games, and feels there’s no need for shameful games. I very much enjoyed playing games like Mission Impossible and Chuck the Chicken. Reviewing the video and photos from the first class you could tell that everyone was excited to be part of the group and participate in an alternative course. I am so relieved that we have the opportunity to participate in a course focused on physical education and that we get a chance to let off some steam, run and play together.
Reading the article, “ Over a quarter of primary school teachers say they are not qualified enough to teach PE as worries grow over childhood obesity” is something I worry about as a future teacher. Before I started this program, I did not know that teachers were expected to teach physical education. When I went to elementary school there was a trained physical education teacher who was responsible for teaching the subject to every class plus healthy eating. I think my class really benefitted from this because she was so enthusiastic, passionate and knowledgeable about being active that she made you want to participate even if you did not like gym class. I think it is a shame they took that out of the school system because physical activity is so important to instil in young children.
Reading this article with such a high percentage of teachers dreading teaching this subject is kind of scary and makes sense why so many students leave elementary disliking physical activity. But if you do not properly prepare your teachers to teach something how can you expect them to succeed. It was sad to read the perception teacher’s have about obese children because especially in elementary your teacher is someone you trust and if they can sense you are judging them then that will have a huge affect on their self esteem. I’m really glad they are offering this subject as part of the BEd curriculum because it will make me feel a bit more confident when I have to teach this subject and hopefully the students will learn to love being active.
I was already looking forward to P.E. class before going last Friday, but my excitement grew when I arrived at the door and saw that everyone was shooting hoops, kicking a soccer ball, running around with foam and ribbons and things that I was not even sure the name of. I was excited to jump right in. I always looked forward to P.E. growing up because I loved being active for one, but it was also so enjoyable to me to just get out of the classroom and move! I would say from that, that my experiences of P.E. were primarily positive. I do know however, that this is not the case for everyone and often P.E. is thought to be only for “athletic” children. I think in the past, that P.E. class was tailored towards children with a natural athletic ability and therefore provided a negative experience to others. In talking to each other and learning about our own experiences of P.E., I think we can better understand how to avoid these negative experiences in the future. In my opinion, the purpose of P.E. should be to promote a healthy active lifestyle in everyone. As such it should incorporate a diversity of activities that would cater to a wide range of abilities and, just like in the classroom, take into account a variety of learning styles. I am looking forward to learning what the P.E. curriculum looks like now, and how it has changed and evolved since I was in elementary school.
Our first Physical Education class sparked good memories and some not so great memories for me. Growing up as a child I was always the shortest in my class; which, increased my competitive nature to be the best in my class no matter my height. The majority of my peers enjoyed playing competitive sports such as soccer, football, and red rover (best and worst game ever). Competition in my school was normal, even encouraged.
Most of my great memories centering around PE are being picked first for a sports team or scoring the winning goal. Where as, some of my not so great memories are centred around aspects of bullying. As a young child I would witness other girls not being invited to play sports, such as soccer, being teased, due to their lack of ability at that particular sport, and treated poorly in general. My hopes for this PE class is to learn how to be inclusive in every sport, to learn how to manage situations of bullying, and how to be a positive role model for my future students.
I have always looked forward to P.E class, and last week was no different. I was thrilled to see all the equipment laid out and some people already starting some games up. Beginning class off with free play was a great way to get our creative juices flowing as well as giving the class a chance to mingle with one another. It was a great way to bond with the cohort and have a great start to the year!
Even though P.E has always been my favourite class, I have never thought much about the meaning behind the games we play before. Chuck the chicken, I found to be a fun team bonding game activity. Little did I know, it was a stepping stone to baseball. I am excited to find new activities to teach the fundamental of sport.
P.E has always been a positive experience for me. My favourite P.E classes were ones spent outside usually playing a team sport. I loved having the brain break in the day, being able to get fresh air and interacting with my peers. Many of my negative moments involved too much talking and not enough playtime. For instance when the teacher constantly stopped the class to explain the activity or one day we had to write an exam.
Unfortunately when I was growing up, physical education wasn’t a very positive experience for me. Although I wasn’t the best at sports, I believe with the right support I could have really enjoyed the chance to try different things and the opportunity to be active in between my more academic classes. However, I was a very sensitive kid and was often found playing sports such as baseball or volleyball which often had me put on the spot in front of others. Sometimes I would even be made picked on for not being able to hit the ball far enough or run the bases as fast as my peers would like.
Fortunately, my impression from Steve is that times have seemed to change a lot since when I was in elementary school. I like the idea of free play when children are free to run around and do as they please. I also think the idea of working in small groups so that children don’t experience too much pressure when they’re learning new things. Although my past experiences in the gym were difficult, I hope they will ultimately help make me a stronger teacher. I want to do everything in my power to create an experience for students different than the one I had when I was younger. I want to have children play in smaller groups, work with different partners and provide verbal encouragement towards each other so that no child feels left out. I want children to learn to love to exercise so they can stay mentally and physically healthy both inside and outside the classroom.
When I first found out we had a PE class in the Teacher Education Program, I got excited as I love being active and being involved in sports and activity.
Growing up, PE was one of the classes I most looked forward to (unless we were doing cross-country running or dance – definitely not my strong suit). But regardless, PE was like an extended brain break for me growing up.
I had a lot of positive experiences and some negative experiences. The negatives being participating in activities that felt like punishment (such as doing the beep test or having to run laps if something wasn’t done properly or if I was speaking out of turn). But these negatives were overshadowed by a lot of positive experiences I had sharing in activities and memories with fellow classmates. I feel like participating in PE class helped shape me to who I am today, and helped me recognize skills and the physical capabilities in which I value today.
In the case of fears about teaching PE, I’d have to say that I’m worried about ways in getting kids involved in activities they don’t want to do or lack interest in. This scares me because activity is essential and the purpose of PE is to involve and include all students to be actively engaged in activity. I’m hoping that through my own positive and negative experiences, I can learn from them and shape an effective PE environment for my own students in the future.