Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Why Part 2

This is a first. I have more to add to my blog titled Why I am a Physical Educator. Doug Timm asked me why did I choose Physical Education as the avenue to teach the dimensions of wellness. The real answer is that I don’t know. I loved every subject in school with the exception of Art and Spanish. Sorry to my Art and Spanish pln members. I knew a traditional classroom and I didn’t mesh well. I didn’t like sit and get and didn’t think I would do well in that environment. I loved all kinds of games and activities growing up. I enjoyed physical education and always knew that I wanted to teach. I don’t remember when I consciously decided those two things could join together.

I do know that I did not enter the Health and Physical Education teacher program with the philosophy of the dimensions of wellness as my mission. I believe that my college has a solid Physical Education and Health program but they did not shape my mission either. This was not the college’s fault because I did not really put in the time and effort required to reflect on the Why.

So how did I arrive at my Why? It was through years of experience with students coupled with the fact that I see our school system as a power structure that has many holes in it. Little by little I moved away from being the one telling the students this is what we will be doing to becoming more of a facilitation role. This happened because I truly want my students to find their joy when they come in my class. I can’t force my joy on them. We all know that doesn’t turn out well.

The idea of teaching with the dimensions of wellness came about when the #whyphysed started in 2014 to bring awareness to the Physed Summit. This was the first time anyone in education was using Google Hangouts to unite the world in professional learning!!! I reflected on my Why and came up with the 7 dimensions as being my reason Why. That was a full 8 years after I had graduated from college and taught in 3 different schools. What I am saying is that I was never intentional about my Why before then.

Moving forward this brings up a lot of questions. How do we get our preservice teachers to think about their Why? Is it even possible for them to have a Why before they have taught and understand the What and the How? Will my Why change throughout my teaching career? My Why has already changed from enjoyment and movement to the 7 dimensions of wellness. Does the Why really have to go first? Mel Hamada commented that some people have to do first then reflect. This may be a reason I didn’t have a solid Why when I first started teaching. Follow up blog is over. Next blog get ready to learn about how my class works on achieving and maintaining Physical Wellness!!


Why am I a Physical Education Teacher

“Why do we want Healthy Lifelong Movers?” is a quote that Nate Babcock asks in his most recent blog entitled WHY Physical Education? And why DID you want to teach it? I think that is a great question to ponder. Our national organization, SHAPE America, states, “Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives.” This doesn’t answer the Why, though. It only tells us the what. Why is it important that my students become lifelong movers?

For the purpose of this blog, we are going to look at the Why from the perspective of me as a Physical Education and Health teacher. As a teacher, I am naturally a leader in my class. (notice I said a leader, not the leader) Due to the fact that I am a leader I would like to look at my Why from the lens of the Golden Circle. I first heard about the Golden Circle when I started researching Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. It has 3 major tenets, the What, the How, and the Why. Sinek argues that before you get to the the What and the How you should start with the Why.

If we were to give actions to the Why, How, and What it would be Think, Act, and Communicate in that order. Doesn’t that just make sense? Figure out your motivation and reasoning before you do anything else? That is why businesses make mission statements and base all decisions on whether that will help them achieve their mission or not. 

That brings us back to the earlier question of why am I a Physical Education teacher. My answer to this is that I want to help students to learn how to achieve or maintain wellness. In order to be well, they need to possess seven dimensions of wellness. Those wellnesses are physical, social, emotional, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and spiritual. Some areas add financial to the list and make it eight dimensions of wellness. This is not something at this time that I care to do. 

The problem with me stating that I want my students to achieve and maintain wellness is that again begs the question Why is that important? I am going to answer that question from a personal view and not a systemic school view. I personally feel that students need to leave my school with love. Jorge Rodriguez stated that during a conversation about this very subject on Voxer. I want them to love movement, love each other, love themselves, love their surroundings, love their job, love learning, and love life. If you look at that list it matches word for word the dimensions of wellness. If we loved everything I just listed above I can safely say we would be well. 

If they love all the areas stated above they will shine. They will be the beacon of light that strengthens the community. They will reduce their risk of developing certain diseases. They will want to be physically active with other people in the community. They will feel better about themselves as well as have a positive outlet when dealing with their feelings. They will want to live in a safe clean community. They will be positive people who bring happiness with them to work and be absent less often.  They will constantly better themselves through reflection and learning. They will work hard to give back and help those less fortunate.That is what the school system wants for them. It wants to create people who will contribute to society. That is why taxpayers bear the burden of schools even when they don’t have students in the system. We all benefit from productive members of society. The problem is the way the system judges its students is wrong. It focuses solely on test scores and ignores all the other dimensions of wellness. When did test scores become the best way to identify whether schools were best serving students to become productive members of society? 

In the upcoming weeks, I am going to really analyze how I am helping my students achieve or maintain each of these dimensions of wellness. I will post one blog per week dissecting each dimension of wellness and how I go about working on my that part of my Why in our Physical Education and Health classes. I may find myself coming up short in some areas but that is fine. At the very least I will have a clearer understanding of how closely aligned my teaching is to my Why. I can also use the self-reflections to see which dimensions I need to concentrate on more to improve my teaching so that my students can achieve and maintain wellness. 

My final thoughts on the Why are that it changes my entire view of my scope and sequence, how I view what I see on social media, and what value I place on the various aspects of my class. Some will say that moderate to vigorous physical activity is the most important. Others will place more emphasis on having their students become competent movers. As teachers, we have to find our Why and then design our classes based on that. Hopefully you have started to think about your Why.


Grammarly is Our Friend

I read the most interesting blog. titled Do the ‘Grammar Police’ Lack Communication Skills? It was written by Dr. Peter Dewitt. I had no idea who this man was so I googled him like every other good cyberstalker would. His bio is very impressive! He has penned four books, runs a consulting agency, and has over 20,000 Twitter followers. I would consider him a leader in the education field.

His blog started strong right out of the gate. He writes:

We all have them in our lives. A few of them will be reading this blog with disdain. They have spent years perfecting their craft on correcting the way they…and everyone else around them…talk. And they want to be able to use their grammar intelligence on anyone they can.

I know these kinds of people. They correct you when you mispronounce a word. They hit you up when your blog has misspellings. They tell you the word you used didn’t exactly mean what you thought it meant. He calls them the… GRAMMAR POLICE! I use another name for them. English teachers. These are the people that dedicated their lives to the teaching and learning of a language that has been so bastardized by social media. One of them reading this right now will email me or comment that I use the word bastardized wrong but gosh it’s a funny word so I will sneak it in here twice!

Back to the blog. Dr. Dewitt goes on to state:

The truth is, I make many mistakes when writing blogs. Guilty as charged! On average I write two blogs a week, and I’m bound to make mistakes. I enjoy when my editor contacts me or even a friend to say some word is misused. Why? Even after reading and rereading the posts, we as writers, are bound to miss mistakes that we have made. However, because we write professionally we are fair game and should be corrected.

Yes, I am in total agreement. When we write multiple books, are an educational consultant, and publish blogs consistently we are held to a higher standard. (I use the proverbial we here. Although I don’t even know if I used proverbial in the previous sentence correctly.)

He then starts to lose me. He states:

If we focus on how well someone uses their words, don’t we miss out on the meaning they’re trying to convey? The grammar police are actually, in my mind, quite elitist…but I don’t know if all of them mean to be so elitist. Unfortunately, they seem more concerned about using big words and correcting some silly grammar instead of actually listening to what their family member or friend may be saying.

Isn’t that presumptuous to assume that they missed the message? Can’t an English teacher understand the message and be annoyed by the basic writing mistakes that a middle or high schooler would make?

His next statement completely flummoxes me. (had to make sure that was the right word there. Oh, no! Is that the right there! Is that the right right or is it write?)

We are sometimes the reason why parents don’t come to school to meet about their child. They hear the judgment when they can’t use the big educational words that the grammar police can use.

While someone who speaks eloquently may turn off the parent it is again bold to think this is the reason why they don’t show up to meetings. I would imagine it has to do more with acronyms, their association with school, or fear of being judged as a parent than our lexicon. Assuming that parents can’t understand our words is elitist in itself.

He gets me back on his train with his closing paragraph, though.

What I am saying is that there are more important things than just grammar, and we should think about that the next time we want to show our friends how important we are by using the right words or chastising them for not knowing the right words to use.

There are more important things than grammar. There is starvation, murder, abuse, and corruption. People of Color are still being discriminated against and women are still being underpaid for the same work as men. The LGBTQIA community is being harassed worse than ever before. Hate crimes seem to be appearing all over the country. There are many, many more important things than grammar.

It’s not that grammar is the most important it’s that it is important. It is significant to English teachers. That is what they do. They live it, eat it, and breathe it. (breath or breathe uh oh) People notice grammatical errors. In the end it is about how we are told that we are wrong that makes all the difference. Was it done to knock us down or help us?

Blogging is a very personal endeavor. I have done it faithfully every Sunday for over two years. This is on top of being a dad, a husband, working full time, working three extra jobs, being on the state board of NJ for health physical education recreation and dance, being on the EdCamp NJ planning committee, and presenting all over the country. My blogs are filled with errors because I write them, proofread once, and hit publish. The fact that anyone with a family and a job blogs at all is amazing. We do not need to put them down in order to feel better about ourselves. At the same time, we can not let our students believe that publishing to the world with mistakes is acceptable. I am grateful when people hit me up on the SIDE (hint) and tell me where my mistakes are. We are judged by the quality of our work and I would like mine to be as top notch as it can be.

If you want to avoid the Grammar Police I would recommend using Grammarly (thanks for that tip Dr. Stanec). It is the greatest writing tool out there. The free version is awesome. If I was a professional blogger who made a living on people reading my blog I would pay for the professional version. Think of it as the radar detector for Grammar Police. It has corrected 27,045 errors for me in this blog alone. 

In the end, it is about pushing education forward. That can only be done when we are all respectful of each other as well as help push each other. So English teachers be nice and hit someone up on the side if you see a mistake (again another hint) and bloggers don’t get so defensive when someone calls you out. After all as Eric Sheniger says, “we are all in the same sandbox together.”


Final SHAPE America Reflection

Here are my final thoughts on the SHAPE America conference. Overall it was a fantastic conference that I would recommend to anyone and everyone. Now that we have that understood let’s look at some of the glows and groans (stole that from Jorge Rodriguez) of the conference.

Let’s start positively with a glow. The wifi was the best network that I have ever been a part of. Bar none. I have been to Google Summits that had worse wifi. This network was quick and strong. You never lost a signal or had your internet slowed down the entire time. They had two access points for each room mounted to the ceiling. It was so flawless that Mike Ginicola hadn’t even thought about how great it was. I would compare the wifi to a referee or umpire. They are at their best when you don’t notice them. That was the case here. No one noticed it.

Now to a groan. The sessions were poorly spread out. You had multiple sessions of the same thing going on at the same time. That makes no sense. TGFU was a major theme this year. Someone on the committee should have asked if the presenters could level them beginner, intermediate, and expert. They could have staggered them in that order so that people could go on a learning journey. This could be true for technology, sports education, or any other major idea. They put Mike Kaczala at the same time as Paul Zientarski. That doesn’t make sense either. Both of these speakers are going to attract the same audience. A solution to this would be a committee that could solely be used to look at the accepted sessions and give feedback on when they should be spread out. If this is not able to be done make sure people on the committee are social media savvy and can identify which sessions will be the highest attended and spread them out. Even if they do make the recommended changes I am sure someone will complain about the scheduling.

Glow: The check-in to the conference was the fastest easiest thing I have ever done. It was well organized and I was in and out in 3 minutes.

Groan: They had sessions spread out all over the place. The social justice panel was so far away that I had to Uber to get there. (dramatic I know) It seemed like there was little importance placed on the panel. They also had sessions in the hallway. No idea what that was about but I would feel less than appreciated if I was put in the hallway. I don’t know if this was known going in and people were cool with it but I would have been too distracted to pay attention with people walking around and being loud.

Glow: The app worked well for me. In full disclosure there seemed to be problems leading up to the conference with it but when we were there it was flawless. Would recommend they keep that again.

Groan: Some great sessions were in really small rooms. I don’t know if this was poor planning or just a result of the schematics of the center. It was difficult to be in a TGFU session that had only one grid. Dr. Beighle and Dr. Pangrazzi were in a tiny room. Someone had to know that these sessions would be packed!

Glow: There was a fantastic makeup of people. I saw tons of black and brown people. Most people would not have noticed or cared but it makes me feel good that our organization is drawing teachers of diversity.

Groan: There weren’t backup plans for a storm. A lot of sessions were canceled. One idea that SHAPE could use is to waitlist people. Tell them they did not get in but if they are coming to the conference anyway and someone cancels they will be asked to fill the spot. With the quality of people at this gig, I am sure we could have rustled up 25 presentations easily asking people that day to fill in. I am sure there are always cancellations. I wouldn’t expect someone to come only if they are on the waitlist but I would imagine lots of quality sessions were turned down by people who still attended.

Glow: The SHAPE America Podcast! Finally, we are harnessing the power of social media and multiple platforms. Get the stars that are still teaching on the air! Celebrate and amplify how great SHAPE is. Collin and Matt did a fantastic job stepping up to the plate!

Glow: The speakers in every room were rocking. They were all hooked up to soundboards. The mics sounded great. This was a first class job well done by the venue.

Groans: Nothing to do Tuesday night. I know some may have considered Tuesday to be the preconference but judging by the quality of sessions given Tuesday you may have to rethink that. You had the National Health Teacher of the Year presenting! The standards-based instruction session was filled with thought leaders. If you are able to deliver this kind of caliber on day 1 set something up for people to bond right away.

Glow: The Sheraton. They let us use and abuse their hallway. We played PaddleZlam for hours and security was super cool. They didn’t even notice the dent in the wall thanks to Dave.

Glow: The Eastern District made us proud. They ran a fantastic conference in tandem with SHAPE. There were always people smiling and willing to lend a hand.

Glow: The vendors. Exhibit Hall was amazing. The sponsored events were amazing. Kudos!

Let me reiterate again how pleased I was with this conference. SHAPE America you know how to organize a group of people to celebrate and learn together. This was my first national conference so I don’t have any others to compare it to but wow was I impressed. The glows outnumbered the groans! That says a lot.

I would like to finish this final reflection blog of SHAPE Boston by thanking every volunteer who helped put this together. You are amazing people who will never get the accolades you deserve. Without volunteers, the best-laid plans go to waste. I can safely say I speak for every attendee when I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Now get started on Nashville!!

SHAPE America Reflection 3

The greatest session by far that I attended at SHAPE America was titled Self-Study of Teacher Education Practice in Physical Education Teacher Education. I chose this session simply because I was walking around and bumped into Shrehan Lynch (@misslynchpe). She told me she was running late for a session that she was presenting for. I had previously participated in her TGFU and Netball and had a blast. We were playing games and moving for the bulk of the session. I had left sweaty and happy from that one so this one had to be similar correct? I probably should have looked at the title of the session before I made that assumption.

I sat down at a table and listened to a professor read the most boring research for at least 30 minutes. He barely made eye contact with the audience and only paused once every five minutes to make a statement that wasn’t written down directly on paper in front of him. It was all I could do to stay awake and not click Yahoo to find out what President 45 had done to upset another group of people that day. I had no idea what the session was about and was just hoping to hear Shrehan speak so I could leave quickly after.

You may be asking yourself why would I go to a session without looking at the title? Better yet you may have clicked on the link and wondered why I was at a session that clearly stated it was for Postsecondary Instructor/Faculty. Here is my philosophy on attending sessions. If someone is a great presenter I will learn and be engaged no matter the content. A similar philosophy I have is asking the waiter what is the best item on a menu and ordering that. It opens me up to new experiences I would not have had before. But I digress.

When did this session that started out with someone with a similar affect to Ben Stein turn around?  It occurred right after they split us up and we sat at tables and began what became a light bulb moment for me. It was finally time to hear what Shrehan had to say. She began by telling us how she had struggled with teaching at the University Level in Alabama. She had come over from England and stated that her classes were more akin to high sophomores in England that what she had expected college students would be. Her lessons were not meeting her expectations and she wanted to find a way to change this.

This is where she started to use self-study of teaching and teacher education practices which we will now add another acronym to the long and ridiculous list and call it S-Step.

Self-study of teaching and teacher education practices, abbreviated as S-STEP, or self-study, is a genre of educational research concerned with examining and improving the relationship between teaching and learning in teacher education contexts. In self-study, the teacher educator him/herself is both the researcher and the main focus of the study. Self-study is concerned with the acquisition and development of teacher educators’ knowledge of practice and how such knowledge can inform and enhance learning and teaching about teaching. The process of knowledge development in self-study is initiated through the teacher educator’s capacity and willingness to publicly problematize his/her taken for granted beliefs and practices about teaching and learning; to be open to, and act upon, the curiosities, surprises, and challenges of everyday teaching practice; and to actively seek out alternative perspectives on practice. Link

She detailed how she used journaling,, critical friends, peer faculty interviews as well as other ways in order to get feedback on her class. The lightbulb of connection turned on when I realized that I was already doing most of these practices. I ask my students every trimester to rate me and use that data to change my teaching. Shrehan used Socrative to poll them every class. It is the same idea however she is more intentional as well as more frequent than I.  I do not believe that people with power, teachers or administrative, ask for enough feedback from the people they lead who do not have much power. If you are not asking the people who you are directly in charge of you are not serious about getting better at your craft.

Ms. Lynch went on to talk about how she journals and uses that as her reflective tool. I use Voxer as my reflective tool. Again the difference is she is more intentional about how often and how specific she is with her reflection. I usually just talk about what went right or wrong and how I can make it better with a group of teachers.

What I really enjoyed about the session is that she was honest about two parts of her reflection that were not helping her as much as she thought they would so she dropped them. She spoke about having a critical friend conversation once a month where they would go over her thoughts and together see what improvements she could do. I would venture to say that if she got on Voxer with other professors that were native to the United States this would have more of an impact for her.

The other point she made was that having another professor come in and interview her students didn’t seem to work well. They did not have a level of comfort with an outside professor where these conversations could be authentic.

After she told her S-Step journey we opened up the conversation to the table. I did not ask permission to publish their stories so I will not discuss them but the conversations were interesting. There was a professor from Florida via Turkey, a professor from China who works in a state in the US I can’t recall, as well as a professor from Tennessee. Everyone came up with an action plan and then we went around the table and gave positive and critical feedback on their plan.

My plan is to start my S-Step journey. I am already halfway there. All I have to do is come up with questions that aren’t so biased for my students and be more intentional about my reflections. The part of S-Step that I liked was that they wanted you to publish your findings in a journal. This would be done so that your journey might help others. I think this is a fantastic idea if you have the time and want to put in the effort. I would imagine most professors want that prestige. 

My final thoughts on the session are as follows. The S-Step is an egghead way of saying create a PLN and be intentional with improving as a professional. Asking your staff and students for feedback should be a mainstay. Using that feedback is the key! We all know about the end of the year survey we get that is unfortunately too little too late. I also personally I don’t need to be published in a journal. I need to write a blog, hop on Voxer, or get a Youtube Channel going. I would venture to say that more professors would want to listen to a Podcast, read a blog, or watch a video. 

Educators who care do most of S-Step naturally! It is ironic that this is being presented as a newer idea. I also believe that this session would have been beneficial for every educator not just college professionals. Another wonder I have is why was this session was so needlessly dry to begin with. I usually don’t attend a session like this when I read the description because I would be bored. Presentations are lessons. Lessons shouldn’t be dull. I wonder if this is how professors teach in academia. You sit and listen and take notes. It’s interesting that the research doesn’t support this type of teaching when they are the ones who are the research experts. Use the research out there. Change your delivery style. Figure out a way to give us the research in a way that doesn’t keep the power of language in the hands of those who stand the most to benefit from it. Maybe it is just me but bring the study to a level that makes sense to the common person who hasn’t spent years doing research and writing papers. I am hesitant to think that everyone in the room understood or grasped that entire research history that was plowed through in 30 minutes. Then again what was I doing in a session made for professors anyway right?

SHAPE AMERICA Reflection 2

I just arrived home from the SHAPE America Conference. This was my first national SHAPE conference and it did not disappoint! This blog is going to reflect solely on the relationships that were formed or continued. It doesn’t matter if you are socially connected or not. When you are at any conference with passionate educators you will create bonds. There is an automatic common interest that allows conversations to start. Education conferences are more than just people with common interests, though. Educators live education. We think about it in our free time. It shapes our thoughts and language. It challenges us in all aspects of our life. That is why when educators get together bonds are formed so quickly. We share the same values. That allows us to go much deeper than hello we do the same job so we can engage in innocuous conversation.

Teachers are also used to forming bonds and relationships with people. This is a skill like any other. The more you do it the better you get at it. When empathetic people meet they are already open to communicating at a more powerful level. We have all the skills that come with forming relationships. When two parties are able to really talk and listen it should be no wonder we walk away with emotional connections to others.

This makes sense when we look at our lives from the spiritual dimension of wellness. I teach my students we are all connected. My purpose in life is to make a positive impact on the world around me. This can only happen if I am willing to engage with others. My mission can not be achieved by myself. As teachers, I would guess that most of us feel that same passion to make the world a better place. When like-minded people who are empathetic and great communicators congregate it should surprise no one that long lasting friendships are created. This is the reason that I feel a sense of sadness leaving this conference. 

This conference has not only allowed me to connect with new brilliant minds in the field of education it allowed me to continue the relationships that I have made previously. Some of those relationships blossomed at conferences while others started on social media. Either way, I walked into this conference with a comfort level of someone going to a family reunion. We may not have hung out in the same physical space over the past but we have kept in contact with each other. That contact allows an instant sense of familiarity. As Andy Milne says, Handshakes turn into hugs.”

Those social media friendships were taken to a deeper level. We created shared experiences that allow friendships to grow. There are too many people that this occurred with for me to name drop in this blog. I will state that living with Andy Milne for four days was the most pleasant of experiences. I have the utmost respect for him. Being in his presence morning noon and night only deepened that. I had the pleasure to present with him and was in awe of his timing and control of the room. It isn’t easy to make me look good!

One last relationship reflection was about my PaddleZlam crew. Paddle Zlam is an active game that was played by a multitude of people at the convention. It reminded me why we are teaching our students to be physically competent humans. Games are fun. Moving games are even more fun! We played for hours and burned tons of calories simply because we were enjoying ourselves. We didn’t care about proper form, the force we were moving with (except for Dave Gusitsch), or which muscle group was being activated. We cared about playing. We enjoyed the game because we were confident enough to step up and play. Some of us were competent enough to be super successful (Craig Kemmlein)! We need to keep that thought in our head that socialization is a key to moving. Playing Paddle Zlam is where I created the most powerful connections of the convention. I thank you all for sharing your time with me. 

That is all for now. I will write some more about my takeaways that I will be able to implement in my classroom soon.



SHAPE America Reflection

It is 1030 on Wednesday and I am blowing off the general session to reflect a little. Tuesday started off with a bang. The standards-based grading and instruction session with Jo Bailey, Rich Wiles, Kari Bullis, Wendy Jones, Lynn Burrows, and Dave Gustitch was fantastic. They briefly explained their journey into standards-based grading. This was helpful because they all were at different points much like the participants in their session. After their intro, we were up and moving. They had spread out signs on the wall that helped people to reflect on where they were on their journey. I loved how we were up and moving.

The next activity was a cool mission impossible game where we had to work together to put in sequential order how to create a standards-based lesson. When we were finished we were all had to stand up and pretend to row a boat or work in the garden. The main point of this activity was to understand that you start a lesson by picking the standard. You then move to determine the evidence of learning, followed by the assessment. The last thing you do is choose the activity. You can see how that differs from a traditional lesson in the graphic from their slideshow below.

The next part of the presentation I loved was the ability to pick where we wanted to go in our standards based instruction journey. I chose how to unpack a standard. Rich and Wendy made it a painless endeavor leading us through this complicated process. This made me wonder, though. Why does SHAPE America not have all these standards unpacked for us? Why do teachers who probably have no formal training in curriculum have to unpack standards? There are so many people doing this can’t we get together and create a resource for physed teachers? From everything I understand is that unpacking a standard is an inexact science. Some people may agree it was done properly while others may disagree. SHAPE needs to put teaching physed and health as a top priority and give the teachers the resources they need to create a quality physical education program. If you would like a copy of their presentation click here.

I had to leave the standards based session and facilitate my session on social justice. The room was packed and the energy in the air was palpable. Andy Milne with his silver tongue was at the top of his game. The crowd was attentive and engaged. My favorite part of the session was that I learned from them as much or more than they learned from me. They would chime in with resources and anecdotes that were amazing. We wrote the resources down on chart paper and people were taking pictures of it at the end so they could continue their learning journey. If you would like a copy of the session click here.

The next session I attended was with Dr. Harvey and Shrehan Lynch. Their session was how to teach Netball using TGFU. They showed us a great introduction to Netball video which you should watch by clicking here. Netball is a fantastic activity to play during Women’s History Month.

In England in 1895, ladies using broomsticks for posts and wet paper bags for baskets played the basketball game on grass. Their long skirts, bustle backs, nipped waists and button up shoes impeded running and their leg-of-mutton sleeves restricted arm movement making dribbling and long passes difficult. The ladies decided to adapt the game to accommodate these restrictions. Link

During the game of Netball you can’t move with the ball. This was because, as stated above, women did not wear attire that made running feasible. This is a great discussion you can have with your class about privilege and access to sports and activities. In addition to highlighting women Netball also shows that there are sports that are being played outside of North America that are awesome. We have to show our students that there is more to the world than just their town, state, or country. 

The session was very energetic and informative. They told a brief history of TGFU and showed how various builds were used to scaffold in the rules of Netball. The session was active and informative. I had a blast! The best part of the session was that Dr. Harvey and Shrehan played the game! If you want to learn more about TGFU or Netball contact @misslynchpe or @drstephenHarvey on Twitter.

After the sessions, we were finally able to play Paddle Zlam. This was my favorite part of the conference. We had about 20 people playing the games and having a blast. We were not playing to burn calories, work out, or continue their physical literacy journey. We were playing because we were having fun. This is why most people engage in sport and leisure activities. They want to socialize and enjoy themselves. I believe that in our attempt to be taken seriously we have lost sight of this fact. If students are not enjoying the activity we are losing an important part of our teaching.

Reflection over. Back to learning.