“The Elephant Speaks”

IMG_1338Slowchatpe is being guest moderated by the great Lynn Burrows this week!! Here is her blog copied from: http://lovepe.me/2015/01/11/the-elephant-speaks/

Recently I was part of a conversation in which physical education teachers were discussing how much time students spend in physical education as required by their districts. Predictably the conversation went on to discuss the importance and benefits of quality physical education, which each of the professionals believe, as I do, is a daily necessity in the lives of all students. However, there was a giant elephant in the room (it was an online chat, so I’m hoping that metaphor might still apply.) The identity of the elephant? Could one very real factor leading to students not receiving daily physical education be the lack of consistency in the quality of product delivered?

When I think of a consistently great product I generally think of Starbucks’ Americano coffee. No matter where I go, local or across the world, when I order an Americano, it is great. Similar to the thousands of Starbucks chains across the world, there are innumerable outstanding P.E. teachers across the world. These industrious, caring educators make me proud to part of this profession. Like Starbucks, these teachers are delivering a quality product to each student, every day of the year. This high standard we all strive to achieve, but what about when a physical education program is lacking quality? “Ouch”, the elephant speaks.

“Ouch” is the feeling I get when introduced as a P.E. teacher and I get “Oh I love gym, I was the best at dodgeball”, or “I hated gym, all we did was run laps.”

I’d like my comeback to be, “Believe me, I don’t care much for Jim or the atrocities he induced either!”

My actual reply is always about how I absolutely love my job as a physical educator. I then go on to tell whomever will listen about how much physical education has changed (e.g. cooperative learning, differentiated learning, life time skills, fun, child centered learning, content infused games.) But recently I have been having this conversation with older teens, young adults. Wait a minute, shouldn’t they have experienced the “New P.E.?”

Q1: What role does lack of quality play when it comes to districts or states requiring daily physical education? #slowchatpe

Q2: What are we doing to make a difference in the quality disparity? #slowchatpe

Q3: How can we be part of the change necessary so students do receive a great product, no matter where they attend school? #slowchatpe

Q4: How do we approach and inspire others in our profession who might be using questionable practices? #slowchatpe

Q5: What are you doing to help change the ts that you work with who have taught the “old” way? #slowchatpe


1 thought on ““The Elephant Speaks”

  1. lovepe

    Thanks for the opportunity to share within this venue. By no means is my intention to point fingers. I truly believe we all have practices we could defend as top notch but likewise can’t imagine anyone, especially myself being above reproach. One of the most courageous steps we can take as individuals is to be vulnerable, ask for feedback from other professionals. Doug Gleddie’s article does a great job articulating this point http://goo.gl/k6t5GO



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