An “aha” moment I had during our first class was learning that Dodgeball and various other activities like Capture the Flag are classified in the “Hall of Shame” category. It came of a shock to me initially, but after it was explained in class that it is seen as a form of bullying, I can see how that is the case. As an active participant in PE classes back in elementary and secondary school, I never saw dodgeball from this perspective. In my view before, I just saw it as another fun activity where we had the chance to run around and throw things. However, looking back at it now, the remaining players on either side of the gym are always the individuals who were athletically gifted and the ones who were less gifted are eliminated immediately. Being able to see this issue in wider scope, it does make me wonder why dodgeball and other types of elimination games are allowed to be an activity that exists in school. It does not promote sportsmanship or teamwork in any way, and it literally puts a target on everybody’s back. As future educators, I think one of our challenges will be to derive lesson plans that encompass all the positive aspects of physical education, and that means creating an inclusive and comfortable environment among the students; the level of respect expected inside a classroom should be the same inside a gymnasium. The gym should be seen as an extension of a classroom and should not be a daunting and fearful space for students.
I am not a very athletic person, so when I found out that I have to participate in physical education (PE) class after many years I was very nervous and worried. In Korea, students always know their standing in every class because they get ranked. During evaluations, students perform one by one in front of the class. Therefore, this gives me the knowledge of my terrible standing in PE class, causing me to be very passive and inactive. Other female students in Korea have a similar dislike to PE class as opposed to the male population. This is why our first PE class made an impression on me since all girls actively engaged in the activities: playing volleyball, basketball or Frisbee. I still have fears about teaching PE class because I am worried that my bias could affect my students. I do not want my students to perceive PE class negatively as I did. Physical Education is very important since it provided an opportunity to explore the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle by encouraging students to develop physical abilities as well as cognitive skills. One thing I have learned in the first class is that it is not a subject where we just teach sports. The ideal PE class I want to create is one where all girls and boys actively participate and do not think of PE class as intimidating.
This week, I decided to create a Video Blog. Enjoy!