For me, Physical Education was always very fun and engaging. Most of my P.E. classes were supportive and inclusive environments and I feel that was why I enjoyed P.E. so much. Many of my instructors would motivate and encourage all students to participate and take risks which provided students with a sense of enjoyment and pride. Two of my favourite lifelong skills I learned in P.E. was sportsmanship and teamwork. There is something special about creating a bond with others through daily physical activity. Building relationships through physical activity is something I have seen in my practicum and I find that to be paramount to the skills of lifelong learning . When students encourage others to succeed with DPA, it helps reinforces the importance of having Physical Education in our schools.
One of the characteristics of P.E. I have found hard to control within my P.E. class is safety. I feel that in almost every class someone gets hurt. I always reinforce safety (rules, stretching, personal space, etc) but something negative still occurs. Therefore, with this class I am hoping to gain numerous strategies and approaches that I can utilize to prevent injuries. In addition, I believe it is important to create interest behind the pedagogy of physical education to make it more meaningful for students. I believe this can be done by linking DPA to educational objectives in all subject areas.
Your reflection is great and I connect with a lot of the points you made. PE was always one of my favourite subjects as well, sportsmanship (and friendly competition) as well as teamwork are huge for me in my life, PE as well as the classroom. I think physical activity, be it PE or DPA are so important for students. The ability to be active, have fun and work with your peers is an opportunity we must embrace for our students. The relationship building aspect of sports and physical activity are huge and something we should put a big focus on.
In terms of the safety issue, I also struggle with that in PE. I know that understanding and describing the importance of warmup and cool down activities are in the PLOs for grade 5 and the ability to demonstrate an ability to participate safely in specific physical activities is in the PLOs for grade 4 so that is great that you are enforcing that and put a focus on it for the kids. I think it sounds like you are focusing on the right things it’s just a matter of gaining some more tools to have the kids follow through on these focuses.
I think being a physical education teacher means teaching students about how to be healthy through movement in a safe and fun manner. I think that being a Physical Education teacher is to encourage healthy living by giving the student the opportunity to be active and try out some different sports that they may not get to try outside of school. I think that to be a physical education teacher it means to instill the love of moving and being active in students every time you teach them. Not all students are going to be comfortable with the same skills and so it also means making the students feel they are able to try something new and different and encouraging them to try their best. I don’t think that it is necessary to be an “expert” to teach PE, I think that you are teaching the basics of a sport or skill but more than that you are teaching the students the basic movement skills they need in their everyday life that they can use when they are older. I think that there is a need to have a basic understanding of the sport or activity that you are teaching to the students so that they are safe but you do not need to be an expert to be a PE teacher.
Lately, my attention has been drawn toward safety in the P.E. classroom, especially when there is an abundance of specialized equipment necessary for your lesson. It would seem that, unless we have a prep or lunch break before our P.E, class, a third of your class time would be eaten up with set up. Even if you are lucky enough to have time to set up beforehand, how do you take the equipment down with 25 excited students jumping around? I have been explicitly told by my principal that I am not to go into the equipment room without another adult monitoring the gym space.To me the solution to this problem falls with school wide planning. As a staff, we could decide that, for example, volleyball will be taught across all grade levels for a set of two or three weeks. If units were laid out like this in advance, then there would be no need to worry about set up/take down logisitics. I can already see some problem with this solution but at least it would start the conversation, how do we use equipment effectively and safely while supervising students’ safety in the large space of the gymnasium?
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