This morning I arrived to campus early and treated myself to a hearty breakfast; all Canadian breakfast at A & W. It was a plate full of carbs and grease, bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, tomato slices and whole wheat toast that would soon take long to digest. Well, I met a friend and we walked to the Osborne gym together for the PE class. My GPS said we passed it when we didn’t. We panicked about being late & it felt like we wanted to run, but where? We were a couple minutes late. Not what we wanted to do be late. We walked into PE and it was so much fun. Free time. I didn’t know what to play with. So I grabbed a basketball because it was familiar to me. Then the strips of colors flying around in the air were so colourful and beautiful, what is the name of this? I had lots of fun. My legs were sore from the squats we did in the Mission Possible game.
Going to P.E. for the first time this term I rushed through the unfamiliar landscape of UBC, hoping that I’d make it on time. When I arrived I was surprised to see everyone at “free play” and instantly joined in the self-guided fun. Being free to do what I enjoy and feel comfortable with was a welcoming experience. As we moved to more directed activities, that comfortable feeling continued. I appreciated how this free, fun learning environment was created, and would like to replicate it in my own practice. I have a lot to learn as my experience is very limited. One thing I’d like to know is how to differentiate my teaching in PE to reach all kinds of learners. I’d like to create this fun, inclusive environment for children of all backgrounds.
Growing up I never really enjoyed PE, I had more negative experiences then I did positive. The only positive part of my experiences from PE was when it was time to leave. I wasn’t a very athletic child, this made it very difficult for me to be a valuable part of the class. Many of my PE teachers would make captains, and since I wasn’t very good at any sport, I was usually picked near the end. This brought my self-esteem down and those experiences still affect me to this day. Instead of having fun while i play sports, I am more self-conscious, I still have a fear that if I don’t play my hardest I will be last pick again.
I think that the most important thing we need to teach in PE is to stay active. Regardless of the child’s skill level we have a responsibility teach that individual to take care of their body. My concern is that I might be too soft on them and let them do whatever they please. I don’t want to force a child to do something and if they fail I don’t want them to feel like they are not good enough.
Sharing stories, and reflecting on our own experiences is valuable because it will help us develop a personal identity. This identity is important if we want to become an effective teacher. They can also aid us when we are trying to relate to our students. For example, because I know the feeling of being picked last, I will never allow my students to pick their own teams. This way I can focus on always uplifting my students. Finally, I am very excited to be in this class, and I hope that I receive plenty of constructive feedback so that I can be a great PE teacher.
On a side note, this was my first course in my post secondary career where I was expected to be active. It was quite a shock for me to experience that. It made me think that courses similar to these should be offered more and required for college student to take every year. According to “HealthLine.com,” 44 percent of college students in the United States suffer with depression, and 19 percent of young people either contemplate or commit suicide. Fortunately, researchers have proved that exercising and being active can decrease depression. One reason for why this happen is because, when an individual is regularly active, their brain releases neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids. These are called the “feel-good” chemicals. One of their less scientific purposes is to make the person happy. In conclusion, I believe that requiring students to enroll in courses similar to this will help reduce the percentage of depression in universities all across the world significantly.
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.
What is the purpose of physical education?
According to the new curriculum for BC, “Physical and Health Education (PHE) is designed to develop educated citizens who have the knowledge, skills, and understandings they need to be safe, active, and healthy citizens throughout their lives” (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2015a). I believe that the last three words, “throughout their lives,” is a critical component of this statement. I think that PE lays a good foundation for living a healthy lifestyle later on. I had great experiences in PE. Throughout my school life, I was exposed to so many different kinds of sports, games, and physical activities. In Junior High and High School I went on to play for various school teams. We also had a YMCA inside our High School, so I learned the fundamentals of weight training there. These amazing experiences shaped the person I am today. I could not imagine my life without exercise. I enjoy a variety of activities including weight training, running, yoga, dancing, and hiking. I never really thought about the significance of my positive experiences in PE until my adult life. I have many friends that do not want to go to the gym because they feel scared or insecure, or they are unsure of what to do. I feel that if they had had the same great experiences in PE, they would be more inclined to work out. It is up to us as future educators to make PE a pleasurable experience for our students so that they will continue to live healthy lifestyles.
In the new curriculum, there are four categories under curricular competencies: physical literacy, healthy and active living, social and community health, and mental and well-being (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2015b). I think that it is important that social and community health is a category. While other classes may involve some collaborative work, there is no other class that focuses on it like PE. You would not usually require teamwork to solve a math problem or to write an essay, for example. In order to play many of the games in PE, communication and collaboration is necessary. These are skills that are required throughout our lives, and PE provides the arena in which to develop them.
British Columbia Ministry of Education (2015). Rationale. In Building Student Success: BC’s New Curriculum. Retrieved from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/goals-rationale/physical-health-education
British Columbia Ministry of Education (2015). Learning Standards (Grade 3). In Building Student Success: BC’s New Curriculum. Retrieved from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/physical-health-education/3