“There will be days where you don’t think you can run a marathon, but there will be a lifetime of knowing you have”
I am sure there are many teachers who would agree with me the start of the new teaching year has been fast paced and there have been plenty of days where we have all felt like we can’t get things done. When I start feeling like this I know myself well enough to see this as my signal to step back and look at the bigger picture. Over the years I have developed a strategy that works for me. I use this time to reflect and take some time for me. I find it is best to move ‘off-campus’ and head to the coffee shop down the road with my notepad so I can look at the positive things happening for me in education at that moment. This blog post is a result of the notes I took during my last ‘time out’
Even though we are at the start of the year and this month has been moving at a lightning pace, there are a lot of awesome things in education happening for me locally and globally. During my reflection I was able to identify they all seem to lead back to the concept of physical literacy. This was a pretty powerful realisation as even though I felt disjointed and all over the place, my actions were all working towards a single goal.
There are a few assumptions I can make because of this. Assumption number 1; my understanding of my goals has become strengthened and focused as I can now name and articulate what I am working towards. The second assumption I can make is physical literacy is an emerging concern for our students on a local and global level. This is a positive because we are slowly becoming aware of the powerful role movement plays in learning. Another positive is I have taken the time to develop my PLN and surrounded myself with educators who are leading the way to change the paradigm of physical education. Tapping into their knowledge helps me make informed decisions about my own teaching. This in turn positively accelerates my own learning.
When looking at the positive things that have been happening for me this year I was able to come up with a long list (maybe that is why I felt a bit disjointed):
- Leading the implementation of a Year 7 swim to survive program.
- Developing resources to ‘flip’ our year 9 and 10 PASS course to increase the movement opportunities/practical learning experiences.
- Continuing my classroom without chairs project.
- Expanding the school’s AM fitness club.
- Introducing a lunchtime activity program run by student peer leaders.
- Participating in the University of Sydney and Western Sydney Local Health District’s SALSA project. (Students As Life Style Activists)
- Setting up a ‘slow conference’ project to introduce PDHPE staff to the power of social media in education and digital learning.
While sitting having my coffee and reflecting on all the positive things happening for me in education right now, I asked myself the question, what was the most uplifting and rewarding experience so far? Without hesitation my thoughts went straight to a professional learning event that happened earlier this month. I came across the #physedsummit, which was a cool PD opportunity provided by the #PHYSEDagogy team. I was aware of this global professional learning concept and had watched videos from the previous #physedsummit but did not participate.
This time round I was keen to experience the 2.0 version as a live concept. I am always blown away by the ideas and content shared by the #PHYSEDagogy team. I must say the digital professional development experience was a first for me and it was so much more than expected. Watching the live Google hangouts, following the twitter feed and participating in the backchannel discussions made it a collaborative and informative way to do some professional learning on the weekend. The best thing was I was able to choose a session to attend and I could go back and re-watch the presentations to clarify my understanding. On top of this I could send tweets to the presenters to get more information on the content presented.
I finished the summit with 3 awesome takeaways:
- Google forms and autocrat can be used to improve student feedback.
- Physical literacy must have a reflective element that is transferable.
- You can use iPads to improve the workflow when using Peer/Video assessment forms.
Every person working in the field of education knows the feeling of satisfaction that comes when you have finished a long day at an EDU conference and walk away with a mind full of inspiration and a few key action steps. I am not sure everyone has been lucky enough to experience a conference that comes at the right time, seems to have all the relevant information from a range of perspectives, and you don’t even have to leave the house. I encourage all educators to dip their toes into this new kind of professional learning that is emerging and I can not thank the #PHYSEDagogy team enough for the opportunities they provide PE teachers around the globe. They are real game changers.
As a final note, my wish for everyone is that you put yourself first and are able to take time for you, so you can be your best. I hope you are able to seek and find the support you need when you have tough days and above everything else I hope you know that your passion is the fuel that changes so many lives. Well that’s it, let’s see what happens, let’s get kids all around the globe moving with confidence. Thanks for listening, I’m out!