Why Physical Education needs a John Muir?
If you ask people about important figures in United States history, most people think of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Henry Ford. We have many important figures in American history but one that has always interested me the most was John Muir.
Who is John Muir? Well if you have ever visited a National Park such as Yosemite National Park in California then you have been touched by the impact of Mr. Muir’s love and passion. John Muir was a simple man that loved the outdoors. He understood the importance of conservation and protecting things that can’t be quantified by numbers. His spiritual connection with nature and enthusiasm helped develop empathy and understanding for the land that he enjoyed over his lifetime. He believed that our historic lands were worth protecting and worked tirelessly to protect them for future generations. He petitioned Congress and in 1890 the National Parks bill passed. He is considered the “Father of the National Parks” with 417 National Parks across the United States since the signing of the bill. His simple movement has grown into one of our biggest national treasures. I am thankful for his work each time I visit a beautiful national park, monument or local county park.
I am thankful each day when I step into my gymnasium or outdoor space at school. I believe his movement is fundamental and spiritual. When we are physically literate, our moods improve and minds are challenged. Each day I struggle with the balance of standard based learning and assessment. While I can assess students growth, I am constantly questioning if we have gone too far to the left with electronic and meta data gathering assessments. Do we want to be like the other educational areas of learning that focus on the test or should we be looking at the spiritual side of education? I believe we need to see Physical Education through the eyes of Muir. We need to stop trying to quantify our impact on student learning and focus on what is most important which is the love of movement. All kids love to move but does our own profession hurt our growth with teaching traditional sports using the sport education model? While I played team sports growing up, I never felt a connection to the sport when transitioning into adulthood. I would rather be outside riding my bike, running or paddling. My love of nature and movement now continues into parenthood with my own family. I enjoy watching my own children play and hope that they too will continue to move and be active into adulthood after their graduations in 2030 and 2033.
Physical Education needs a John Muir to advocate for our profession. We need to channel our love of movement and create a grass roots advocacy campaign to protect our programs. We need to share our knowledge with each other and protect Physical Education and Health in schools. We don’t need a infograph outside our gymnasium with our power six learning goals/concepts. We do need to create models of physical literacy for our communities and campaign at each school explaining the importance of Physical Education. We need to act like John Muir to protect our national treasure called Physical Education.
I am thankful for John Muir and will be opting to go outside on Friday as a part of the #optoutside campaign. I am thankful for my #physed family, and their continued work on social media. Are you ready to protect your passion? Please share what you are #physed thankful for and ideas how to protect our national treasure this week with the hashtag #PhysedThanksU and also tag educators that have helped you over the past year.
A New Hope: The Last Jedi's in PhysEd
I have always liked Star Wars and the idea of the force. I believe that the light side and dark side exists everyday in our teaching. We can choose to teach towards the standards and positively impact student achievement or we can choose to roll out the equipment and play inappropriate activities. The path to the light side and dark side of Physical Education comes from your teaching experience and previous knowledge learned in local Jedi temple (University). Your path into the universe is led by a master from one of two sides; the Master Jedi, who uses the force and prepares you for future adventures and challenges while the Dark Sith Lord leads the apprentice to a fixed mindset. We have watched the growth of the dark side for many years in the physical education community with the introduction of fun based curriculum products and too much focus on MVPA. This has led to poor teaching practices and the growing replacement of quality programs with storm troopers in each classroom. A storm trooper is best described as an educator that plays games and activities, focusing on inappropriate tasks. They enjoy shooting Death Stars of negativity towards students with lower skill levels. Each year the Empire continues to grow with popular sites like PE Uberverse and questionable Facebook, Twitter and Youtube posts.
We are watching the empire of fixed minded educators control our universe. We are at the same point of Episode VII of Star Wars. The battle of ESSA is apocalyptic to the remaining Rebels and they need help. We are at the tipping point which could force the light side to disappear and the rule of the Sith Empire to continue for the next 25 years in physical education. The Last Jedi Masters are spread across our physical education universe and are trying to protect the rebellion. While these Jedi can protect the past and the knowledge of the profession, there are too many battles to sustain the push again the dark side without help.
Over the past few years, I have been on a quest to meet some of these Master Jedi’s in our physical education education universe and have noticed the same problem at each place I visit; we are losing some of our Master Jedi due to retirement and death. Our once powerful Jedi template called AAHPERD has become an organization called SHAPE America with less influence and has been affected by the dark sides lust of power. We need the next generation to step up and join the rebellion to push the movement of physical literacy forward. We need a rebellion that will change the momentum against the dark side and provide enlightenment for the next group of apprentices.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda
Master Yoda understood the powers of the force. Do you commit to the future of Physical Education or choose not to commit? Each one of us needs to make the decision to commit. We the Jedi on social media need to evolve into the Master Jedi to lead the profession into the future. We need to continue to grow, but also share our knowledge with apprentices to educate another generation. We have two major factions leading the rebellion SHAPE America and OPENPhysEd.org. Please consider join these two organizations and help bring friends to quality professional development locally. To reach all 250,000 physical and health educators in the United States, we must believe and have hope in the rebellion.
“Save the Rebellion. Save the dream.” – Saw Gerrera
This week I am going to talk about the ass in education, no not Betsy Devos and her crazy idea of cutting funding to public education, but about single point rubrics in physical education. I first saw this concept in a Twitter post from Sarah G-H on social media. She read about the concept from a blog post called the Cult of Pedagogy. When I first heard of another rubric in school, I got my pencil out, ready to make five hundred check marks similar to PE Metrics. While I love PE Metrics standardized checklist and video camera graphics, I hate checking every column to mark for student understanding. The good news is that I have classes of 24-28 students compared to the unmanageable 100+ cat herding classes. While PE Metrics is still two years behind schedule and still sitting on Joe’s desk at SHAPE America, it’s time to push a new type of rubric to the physical education community. This concept is easy to crowd source and can be simply designed using the National Grade Level Outcomes book from SHAPE America. This concept doesn’t need sample assessment activities with rubrics, just the critical elements for GLO attainment.You can use the single point rubric during culminating activities and at the end of lessons. The single point rubric template that I modified from the original blog post focuses on use with multiple grades. This means that educators could use the assessment with any grade level that has similar criteria for learning. The assessment can be used with students as a self assessment or peer assessment with video delay recording. It can also be used as a teacher checklist for formative and summarize assessment. This transformation can occur with the easy use of classroom numbers with single point rubrics. If you are already using plagnets, heart rate monitors and pedometers, this is a simple addition to your assessment routine. Using simple number systems with single point rubric allows you to monitor a whole class of students on one sheet of paper. This type of rubric would be an easy transition into Google Forms too. I have created a few templates using Standard 1 of the SHAPE America for my students. Download a copy and start playing around with single point rubrics. Please shoot me share them on the Global PE drive too.
Single Point Peer Sample
Single Point-Class Numbers
Single Point Templates
I have been on the road presenting over the past two weeks and this blog post is a reflection of inspirational stories and challenges facing our profession. Without discussing our problems, we can’t continue to grow and educate the millions of students that we service in the United States. We are at a critical time for our profession and we must challenge the status quo for the future of physical education.
Learning From Physical Education Titans
I had the pleasure of going to the 28th Annual Lake Conference in New Jersey. This is an amazing event held on a campground in northern NJ over two days. The event is based on the Camp Caesar model from West Virginia. The legendary Gregg Montgomery is the chair of the event and he is supported by a small group of NJ educators. They work hard to develop an incredible schedule of presenters and develop coursework to meet the NJ accreditation requirements for recertification. The attendants of the convention can receive up to 13 Continuing Education Units by participating in one hour whole group presentations by national and state presenters. The experience is awesome and the quality of material presented can be compared to that at national conferences. This event should get about four hundred educators but instead it only had about one hundred NJAHPERD members. The event is very empowering for the educators in attendance and provides quality best practices for educators in a summer camp approach.
The challenge of the event is low participation and marketing. How does the NJAHPERD convention get 1,500-2,000 participants, yet the Lake Conference only has about 100 participating members? This seems like a support issue from an outsider's perspective. The event needs support and resources to be successful. I believe member feedback and cost analysis needs to be done by the state organization after each event. Realistic budgets need to be set by the organization and work cooperatively for the needs of all educators. All NJ educators need quality PD, not just educators located near urban/suburban centers. Also, use the knowledge of the old titans like a Gregg Montgomery and John Smith to teach another generation of educators to continue this great professional development conference for another 25 years.
Maryland My Maryland
I believe that Maryland has some outstanding professionals. The knowledge of this core group of educators that I work with on the state board is amazing. Each year they put in many long hours planning and designing an incredible one day convention. The convention grabs the attendance of about 500 of the 3,000 physical educators in the state. I am happy to see these 500 physical educators each year at the state convention but wonder is this the best use of our budget each year? Are we reaching all the educators in Maryland that need professional development and support? Do we really need to hold events in a hotel convention center? Does a one day event need to cost between 45k-100k?
I believe the ways of doing business twenty years ago do not match the current budget requirements and needs of our educators. We need to stop wasting money on pointless purchases and put every dollar to practical projects. We need to support equity for all educators. I would rather have a convention at a high school that is 25k and use the rest of the money to support PD locally. We have 23 counties in Maryland that need support and resources too. If we gave each county five hundred dollars that would be 12K towards professional development. We need to build partnerships to get educators with limited resources the equipment and supplies they need to be successful. We also need to inform the membership of the loss of funding coming from AHA/SHAPE agreement. When we choose not to talk about tough topics we continue to be the status quo. If change doesn’t occur, be prepared to be challenged by another professional development organization in Maryland which can become the leading organization for health and physical educators in the state.
Stop Giving All The Money To Athletics
Why does athletics get all the money and physical education get zero dollars from sponsorship deals? When will companies learn that physical education has the possibility of creating more future customers then sponsoring teams. With the Sagamore deal, can Under Armour protect and provide resources for all the educators teaching physical education in Baltimore City and the state of Maryland?We could be a great business partner if you choose to stop looking for professional athlete endorsements. It is time to Protect this House.
Please fight for what you believe in physical education friends. It’s time for a revolution.
My summer project: Replacing the dirt around my dry well from erosion from increased rain fall in Maryland this summer. Mike Rowe would have been proud of this dirt job.
I am huge fan of 60 minutes on Sunday night. When I was younger I got mad when NFL football games would run long and delay the start of the show because I always loved the storytelling of “A Few Minutes” with Andy Rooney. I have always liked old curmudgeons from the greatest generation. He worked hard at CBS and didn’t have a problem speaking his mind in front of millions of viewers. He received positive messages of support and negative letters of disagreement all the time from fans but he would always continue writing a new story each week. I hope Andy Rooney would appreciate this blog post.
Calling Bull$h!T(BS) In Physical Education
Each week I put in 50 plus hour work weeks for the profession that I love called Physical Education. I start the morning with coffee and the Twitter feed to see the creative posts of my friends and positive echo chamber. I then Vox after getting ready at home with my small group of PhysEd Republic before heading to school. At school each lesson is designed using a backwards design model with quality and appropriate practices. Each lesson could be used as a formal observation for my rating. I do this because my students deserve quality instruction so that they learn and comprehend the skills and concepts needed to grow into adulthood. After school I respond to emails from other educators and companies that are making progressive changes in our field. The work continues throughout the evening after the kids bath and bedtime. I love my profession but I am growing tired of the BS. The types of educators and organization below, it's time to call out your BS.
The Michael Jordans
These are the educators that know more about their shoe game and fantasy football teams then the content that they should be teaching. They waste their planning time checking ESPN and worrying about plays for the amazing varsity sports team that is 5-5 this season. We need these educators to change or get out of our profession. Please use your time wisely before your ESPN addiction leads you to a casino addiction like Mike.
American Help It Self Association
The association that help support our profession for many years has gotten greedy. They have chosen profits over helping our profession and our students. While SHAPE does need to clean up their mess in Reston, AHA just put the knife in the back of our professional organization and business partner. We need to work out a new contract or find another partnership that values health and physical education professionals.
Your job is help produce quality future candidates for the field of physical education but you choose to focus on what you like and the educational models from thirty years ago. You stress the importance of punctuality and quality instruction but you can’t communicate with mentor teachers guiding your interns in the school based setting. Purple ditto copies from the 80’s shouldn’t be your tools loaded into Google Drive for interns. Also, students need to learn all current teaching models not just the models from thirty years ago when you were in graduate school.
The Blind Administrator
These are the administrators that believe their programs are awesome and current when in reality their programs are a hot mess from the 80’s. They think GaGa ball is an appropriate practice since they are still listening to the Lady Gaga CD from her world tour a few years ago. Please use your dial up modem and search AOL for current best practice of the SHAPE America website or other great publications. Just please stay off the PE Central Facebook page.
We need to address this BS before we are all working at Planet Fitness as a grunt monitor in 2029 or in a cubicle like Office Space.
Did anybody see my red stapler?
If you are at the beach, fences keep people off the dunes to prevent erosion of sand in the event of hurricanes or tropical storms. Farmers use them to control livestock and to show property lines. In neighborhoods, they keep dogs in their yards and neighbors leaves on their side of the fence. These simple barriers typically made of wood and metal last for years and control access to different types of properties and areas.
I spent a good amount of time this summer thinking about fences. I have a rental property in a small townhouse community about 5 miles from my current house in Maryland. I never wanted to be a landlord but thanks to the 2008 market collapse, the choices were simple, rent the property to tenants or try to stuff my growing family into a 990 sq ft townhome. While the tenants have changed over the years, the fence in the backyard is the original fence from 2000. Each summer I perform maintenance on the property and the fence is always on my list of repairs as it’s always in a constant state of repair. I believe that deck screws, mending braces and Sherman Williams textured paint can keep a fence up many years past its replacement date. Each year, I try to justify keeping the old fence because of the profit to loss on the property but I know replacement is imminent. While I don’t live on the property anymore I still have responsibility to take care of the property and advocate for improvement projects that will keep my community safe and functional.
The state of our organizations are similar to my old fence. Should we continue to maintain old outdated programs like a money pit? Or replace them with modern programs with realistic expectations?
Let’s start with our oldest property fence; SHAPE America. SHAPE America has been the leader in the field of physical education for 100 years. It has contributed to many advancements in our field but can it rebuild its membership after the rebranding of the organization? While some programs like journal distribution, podcasts and advocacy are mending an old fence, will it be enough to keep the fence from falling into the past? The old fence has many loose boards at the moment and the repair costs are starting to grow. The transparency of monetary funds and questionable purchasing of online management systems are starting to see a tilt. Will the partnership between AHA push the fence to square or knock the fence over? Only time will show what happens to our oldest fence.
The next fence that needs to be mended is the state AHPERD association's financial budgets. With the new calculation and formula for JRFH funds, will our local associations be able to fund current programs and conventions? Every September, state associations sign a partnership agreement with SHAPE America/ American Heart Association. This agreement funds many state organizations’ budgets and advocacy programs. While this partnership has been successful over the years, the calculation for distributing funds has changed in favor of SHAPE America and AHA. This affects local advocacy and professional development plans for educators by decreasing the amount of funding allocated towards membership programs. What would happen if JRFH partnership was not renewed in the future? Would our state organizations survive like a dune fence after a hurricane? We need to make sure all state organizations can survive the hurricane by building up reserves and make sound financial decisions.
The last fence that needs to be replaced is the inappropriate practices shared on social media and at conventions. With another school year starting for many of us this week, we want more best practices and creative ideas shared on social media. Also, we want six months without the PE Central Facebook page having a discussion about dodgeball. We don’t want videos of students playing questionable activities and videos of just games. We want ideas that spark quality teaching and lesson planning. The same should be true for state conventions this fall. We need exhibitors at the conventions that know what standards are taught and can develop connections to our physical education classrooms. We don’t want to waste an hour of our time. We might need to replace some fence posts before they damage the next generation of physical educators.
The field of Physical Education and Health has many invisible barriers that need to be addressed. We all need to address these invisible barriers in our schools and within our profession. If we choose to live within the fenced in areas designed by social norms then we will never break any boundaries. If we continue to challenge these barriers, we can affect change for the most important stakeholders for our students.
"Better Together" by Jack Johnson
There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart
And they are made out of real things
Like a shoebox of photographs
With sepia-toned loving
Love is the answer.
At least for most of the questions in my heart.
Like: "Why are we here?", "And where do we go?",
"And how come it's so hard?".
It's not always easy,
And sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing:
It's always better when we're together
I have enjoyed the music of Jack Johnson since 2001 when his original album Brushfire Fairytales was released. His songs have simple melodies about life, love and the water. Jack was a professional surfer and filmmaker before becoming a singer/songwriter. Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing him perform in Columbia, Maryland with my wife for a date night. His song “Better Together” has always had a special place in our hearts since it was the last song at our wedding. So how does this relate to the field of physical education?
Last week, I spent a few days at the Physical Education and Health Institute (HPIA) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. James Madison University is located near the Shenandoah Mountain Range with postcard images and beautiful scenery. The three days at the institute created many shoeboxes full of memories with many amazing professional educators. The HPIA is a cost affordable event for professional educators in Virginia and brings in some of the best presenters in the nation. The event has become one of my favorite professional development events of the year. The partnerships between the Department of Education, JMU PETE, VAHPERD and all other volunteers make this event a huge success. Virginia is a true leader in the field of physical education and health. One of the key points of the Institute is the teamwork with other educators in their fruit groups. Each person is grouped into a small team of 10-15 people and work together to complete cooperative challenges and to build interpersonal relationships. When Virginia’s educators work hard they are better together.
To finish off the HPIA, Aaron Hart gave a keynote on “It’s All in Your Heart”. Before his keynote Jack Johnson was playing and this got me thinking about the physical education community and the current challenges facing our profession. Lately, It seems like the social media movement has created some interpersonal relationship issues. In “Better Together” by Jack Johnson wrote:
Love is the answer.
At least for most of the questions in my heart.
Like: "Why are we here?", "And where do we go?",
"And how come it's so hard?".
We are all participating on social media because we love our profession. Many of us put in long hours to grow our profession and to better ourselves for our students. This is why we are here but where do we go? And how come it’s so hard? Our dreams can be real things if we choose to be better together. We are the movement making waves of change in our profession and we must continue to work together for the future.
We need to stop questioning people's motives and look at the positive impact people and groups are making upon our profession. All these movements are spreading messages of hope, love, and action. Our profession needs all three of these things at the moment to grow and evolve. Our movement grows with your love, hope and action and that impact could reach 50 million students by 2029. Revolutions are built on hope.
Aaron’s keynote ended with an action plan for LOVE:
Own Your Actions
Enjoy With Enthusiasm
Let’s continue to support one another and find ways to build relationships to foster stronger bonds. It starts with us and we can change the future of #physed. Hope to see everyone at the National Physical Education and Sport Institute next week in Asheville, North Carolina.
A moonshot, in a technology context, is an ambitious, exploratory and ground-breaking project undertaken without any expectation of near-term profitability or benefit and also, perhaps, without a full investigation of potential risks and benefits.
When I think of moonshot thinking, one name always comes to my mind, Elon Musk. He is a billionaire that continues to invest in companies that are impacting change in the world. He is the founder of Spacex, Tesla Motors, and co-founder of Solar City. He is working on developing reusable rockets for space missions, cars that don’t run on combustible fuels and working on lessening our dependence on fossil fuels. He is always exploring groundbreaking concepts and is working to stop the development of artificial intelligence. Musk has even questioned if we are already living in a computer generated world created by machines. His ambition keeps pushing science and technology past the current standard set by humanity.
If “50 million strong” campaign by SHAPE America is a moonshot idea for health and physical educators, then how will we achieve this moonshot goal? Shape America states “Approximately 50 million students are currently enrolled in America’s elementary and secondary schools . SHAPE America wants to ensure that by the time today’s youngest students graduate from high school in 2029, all of America’s children are empowered to lead healthy and active lives through effective health and physical education programs. What is our functional tool that will measure growth? What instrument are we going to use to gather data? Are they going to create developmental milestones for this campaign? Finally, what happens if we don’t have success by 2029?
The problem with Moonshot thinking is that ambitious projects and ideas need framework and funding. Our organization has funding to reach the goal but the money needs to have focus like a sniper rifle. We have adopted more of a shotgun approach to fixing physical education. Some believe that if we shoot enough rounds of ammunition we can say that we successfully hit the target of empowering students to live healthy active lifestyles. I believe for this moonshot project to succeed we need to act like bootleggers of moonshine.
The art of making moonshine has been around since the Revolutionary War and was founded in the Appalachian Mountains. Many that made moonshine weren’t happy about the government's taxation of alcohol. Many corn farmers that had unprofitable farming seasons turned to making moonshine to pay their farms expenses. When prohibition hit the 1920’s, moonshiners were making big profits and developed networks to distribute their goods to all the major cities. So can we take the 50 million strong campaign and develop a moonshine grassroots movement towards our goal in 2029? I believe for this goal to succeed we need to focus on three areas of improvement just like Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s The Profit. We need to focus on the people, product and process that will strengthen our brand to make our business successful and reach our moonshot goal.
The Appalachian moonshiners always had a partner when producing moonshine. One moonshiner would focus on making the moonshine with their copper still and the other moonshiner would be making sure they didn’t get caught by the local authorities. SHAPE America needs to partner with the bootleggers of physical education content on social media to give focus to the campaign. The innovators of physical education are on social media taking simple concepts and manipulating them to meet the educational needs of today’s learners. These educators are taking traditional education models and reinventing concepts with 21st century learning practices. We (#PHYSED) want to have a vested stake in the future of physical education but need a partner. Can SHAPE America be our partner in making physically literate learners in the United States? Can we get all the 200,000 educators working towards a single vision for physical education?
The finished product of moonshine has a 100 proof of alcohol content. To make sure the product has the proper alcohol content, many use fire to test the product's flammability since it has similarity to ethanol. We have the materials to make a propellant just not the right balance of chemicals to make a reaction to affect change. We have three key materials to focus on for the future. We need to focus on advocacy, program and professional development. If we focus with sniper rifle accuracy on our target we will hit our goal of 50 million strong.
The best moonshine came from people like Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. He made a good product that people appreciated and wanted in the Appalachian Mountains. He had a passion for good likker (liquor) just like most physical educators who want their students to grow and succeed but they don’t have all the steps to make the process develop into a quality program. Our current process in place is a S.N.A.F.U. with SHAPE America. Most people know we have five standards, yet most only use the trifold grade level outcome scope and sequence with their current curriculum or only align with their state standards. Many also just adapt their sports units that they have been teaching for 20 years and call it a standards based program. We need a bootlegging professional development series to educate our professionals and to adapt our teaching styles to current models. If the change starts with “US” then all of us need to be working towards the same guidelines by 2019 to meet our goal in 2029.
Processes that need to be in place by 2019:
If we adopt some moonshine techniques with our moonshot concept, we could possibly reach our goal with the proper leadership and guidance of SHAPE America or we could see the death of our profession by 2029. Which directions will we choose as a profession in the next two years?
“SHAPE America’s Commitment: 50 million strong by 2029”
Currently, approximately 50 million students are enrolled in America’s elementary and secondary schools. SHAPE America is leading the effort to ensure that by the time today’s youngest students graduate from high school in 2029, all of America’s young people will be empowered to lead healthy and active lives through effective health and physical education programs.
I am a pragmatic person working in the field of education. I grew up with both of my parents working in public education and I followed in their footsteps hoping to make an impact in the classroom. I have both blue collar and white collar friends from my childhood. I have worked in the outdoor industry for most of my adult life while teaching and know every small detail between bikes, boards, and hiking gear. I love being outside and on the water. I have two children that will be in school during the 50 million strong campaign time period and I don’t believe that it will succeed.
Over the past two months I have watched two outdoor industry businesses close their doors due lack of sales and poor profits. The first business to close was the bike shop that I worked at in a small town. They had a great business model and great brands that supported the shop through the good years but as e-commerce grew they couldn’t compete with cheaper prices on the internet and now the lack of people’s interest in bicycling. I worked at the bike shop during the Lance Armstrong era and continue to follow the trends in the industry today. The bike industry is having a similar image issue as is SHAPE America. SHAPE America wants to be the voice of physical education and advocacy in the United States but can’t function with their current business model from the 90’s. They have seen membership numbers decline for the past decade and continue to not meet the needs of the progressive educator. SHAPE America’s villain is social media just like my small bike shop. While SHAPE America wants to be the expert in our field, the average physical educator is being a shopper on Amazon reading reviews of products and making their own decisions based on other educators views. This has led to the popular growth of the PhysEd Twitter and Voxer communities that allow educators to be in the driverseat of setting the trends and making curricular choices. SHAPE America needs to find ways to reduce costs of membership and get educators the goods and services that are required to meet to the goal of 50 million strong. Each year I question why spend the money for membership to both SHAPE America and MAHPERD. In the past when funds have been tight, having a SHAPE membership didn’t make sense financially. I believe this same fight occurs with many educators around the country. When paying your dues it should feel like performing yearly maintenance for your amazing bike not a questionable experience at Rob’s rip off bike shop. These are things that should be part of my membership with SHAPE America.
Service that should be given to all members:
The second company that is in the process of closing its doors is Eastern Mountain Sports. I grew up getting supplies for camping trips and kayaking adventures from them since the late 90’s. These regional outdoor companies helped many of us grow our love for physical activity and exercise in our local parks and waterways. They supported the conservation groups and could help you find the right piece of technical gear for your trip. Over the past few years EMS was purchased by different venture capital groups that didn’t have a clear vision for the brand. The brand was making quality products, developing amazing designs but had financial issues because of poor decision making by their parent company. By the end of the school year most Eastern Mountain Sports locations will be closed. Could this be the same direction of SHAPE America by 2029? SHAPE America is at a point where they must change and adapt or risk being extinct in the next ten years. Who will protect the profession? Will physical education still be in schools by 2050? The next CEO of SHAPE America needs to be ready to make difficult decisions that will transform the organization and our field or they will lay the groundwork for our demise.
Key points that need to be addressed:
SHAPE America’s 50 million strong campaign will not affect change without adapting to the needs of educators. I believe that we can change the future of our profession if we get our act together before 2019. This gives us 10 more years to move towards our goal with the proper tools and developmental milestones needed to reach 50 million students. I challenge the group of educators at Speak Out Day to have candid conversations with SHAPE board members and all stakeholders that have an impact on our future. Please share with state organizations and let's find ways to support each other and develop this concept together. Hopefully, 2029 will not be the death of Physical Education in America.
Have we over complicated Physical Education with social media? Each morning I get up and check social media for current trends in politics, education, and recreation, but lately I feel like the #Physed community is being pulled in too many directions. We have too many teaching theories being implemented, too many hashtags, a new #pechat each week and videos of so called best practices. How can we be posting so many videos when you are instructing students? We want people to get on social media and share but why? To be the next #PhysEd star? or help an organization or business grow their philosophy? or to make a difference?
My goal: To Make A Difference.
Lately, I have been trying to find a way to simplify physical education concepts and skills. I looked to our scientific background for some answers to my questions. We needed a simple tool to organize our elements of physical movement. We have used the movement analysis framework (wheel) for many years but the wheel was only two dimensional in a poly dimensional world. We needed to find an update to the wheel. I was sitting in a fellow educators room when the idea of a Physical Education Periodic Table was imagined.
Science has been organizing the basic elements of periodic table since 1869 when Dimitri Mendeleev started the development of the table. Since then 118 elements have found a home on the periodic table with Ununoctium being #118. Why don't we have our own periodic table of movement? Could we take the wheel and break apart the original concept and redesign the tool to better meet our needs?
Using the wheel, I broke down each section of the wheel and classified the elements into families. I started with the inner wheel and then broke down the outer wheel into families too. When I was finished I had six families/groups for the table. I did modify some of the manipulative elements to align better with SHAPE America Standards.
My original notes when breaking down the elements of the wheel.
My First Draft using Rocketbook App.
I then took my time and began the process of giving each element a symbol. As I created a symbol for the element, I also wanted to create a definition for most elements. This would be the helpful for instruction and the concept of building bonds (future post).
I grouped the elements by color and then worked my way through the creation of the table. I wanted the concept to be a growing idea of the community.
Could we add teaching styles? Maybe? or Could we have a technology family? Maybe? We need to build a blueprint for the physical education community's future and not that of companies and organization that want to direct our future. This is a simple concept that could impact our community. How could you use the table for daily instruction? Check out my notes below and see if you can take the project to the next set of evolution.
Can You Build A Bond With Students? Just a concept I need to explore more this month?
Look out for my monthly blog series this year. Please check out the PhysEdResource.com for all materials found in this blog.