After last week’s readings about The Physical Education Hall of Shame I thought about my own experiences in gym class. I always thought the more nerve-wracking or embarrassing aspects of PE (being put on the spot, competition, punishment, and allowing the best to run the class) were just accepted parts of PE we had to endure. I find it hard to think of any game/activity from my childhood that now does not fall into a ‘shameful’ category. Even trying to come up with an activity for our group teach is proving to be difficult as all of us can only come up with games/sports based on our past experiences in gym class. This reminds me that what we teach children in PE class really sticks with them and influences how they understand and view physical education. People that did/do not enjoy physical education probably have not had a positive experience and most likely endured some shameful teaching methods. I feel the Hall of Shame guidelines are something teachers need to consider when creating PE activities.
Secondly, my idea of a physically educated person is someone that is not just active, but also has an understanding of nutrition, is physically literate, and understands mental wellness and why it is important to be physically educated. To hear that Canada received a D- as an overall grade is disappointing. As a future teacher, I am hopeful that my fellow teachers and our schools can promote a better understanding of physical education and begin to value PE and daily activity as much as other subjects are valued.
I thought the group who lead the “Target Game” on Friday did very well. Their activities were well planned and the timing and transitions were great. They also did a fantastic job of explaining the readings, such as the history of PE, and they came up with interesting discussion questions. The part I liked the most was how they demonstrated that games which use humans as targets, such as dodgeball, are not appropriate to teach in PE class. When Steve mentioned this last week I was very surprised, because as a kid, I loved dodgeball and had always enjoyed playing it. My other thought was, it’s just a game so why do we have to take it so seriously? However, from last class’s games and discussion, I realized that no matter how well the instructions are explained, students can still unintentionally hit people in the head. If this can happen with us adults, it will be even harder to prevent it in a younger class. Also, I agreed with the point mentioned that maybe we can just laugh it off when we get hit, but kids might feel bad if he/she is the first one out. Therefore, I liked the revised version our teaching group came up with. In the modified version, the targets were not people, no one will be out alone, and the underhanded throw prevented hitting people above their shoulders. If I have a chance to teach PE in my practicum, I will definitely consider using this activity in my classroom.
Shaming games. Whoever thought that some of the most beloved games could bring tears and sadness to children in P.E. classes all over B.C. (or the world, who knows?). I was shocked to see that dodgeball was a shaming game, as well as red rover or duck, duck, goose. Nonetheless I can see why this is so. The modification that the group made to dodgeball was insightful and awesome. The premise of the game is still there but taking the human aspect out of the game takes away the shame as well. The modification to dodgeball also probably matched more PLO’s than regular dodgeball which is icing on the cake.
Last week was great as well. Coming into P.E. class I was excited. Besides doing a running activity or testing of some sort, I really enjoyed P.E. class as a child. I was always involved with extra-curricular sports and also played soccer outside of school. Learning to teach P.E. and doing P.E. are two totally different things. I never really thought about the thought process that goer into a lesson and selecting games and activities to meet certain goals or the PLO’s. How naïve of me!
I am excited to see what I learn in this course and how I can be an effective P.E. teacher while also playing the typical fun games and doing the regular sports. Don’t get me wrong, there will be time for dance and yoga or maybe tennis and swimming. The biggest idea that I have taken away so far is getting the kids active and keeping them active for as long as possible.