The “Y” In You

I just started reading a fantastic book called The “Y” In You penned by the loveliest of people Dene Gainey. What stood out from this book is his C.L.I.M.B.E. philosophy. If you would like to purchase Dene’s book click the link below.

Journey to the “Y” in You

C stands for cultivating the quality of the knowledge seeker. Dene talks about creating an environment where his students are able to explore their passion and creativity. In #Physed, I allow this by using inquiry-based learning coupled with a negotiated curriculum. Instead of giving my students the answers I set up the activities so they can figure out their own answers. My questions may look like, “why did that pass not succeed” or “what allowed you to be successful and score that goal”.

One of the favorite thins I like to do is allow my students to either draw a picture, share a doc, or post something on Seesaw that they want to do. This allows me time to make sure i have the equipment and modify the activity based on our needs. For example, if they want to play Nukem and we are working on the overhand throw I might add multiple balls to the activity and have them call out the name of someone on the opposite side of the net before they use the overhand throw to toss them the ball.

L stands for student leadership. We know that students need to learn leadership skills if they are going to be leaders in the workforce. What better way than to give them a taste of leadership in school! One way that I accomplish this is when students create the games they have to explain and modify the game for class. They stand in front of the class and explain the game to them. They field the questions and change anything that doesn’t make sense before we start playing. Speaking in front of your peers is difficult. The earlier we allow them to start the more comfortable they will feel.

I stand for Inspire. My job is to help students see how movement can help their lives. I do this by allowing the students to see how movement will benefit them. I want them to understand that I am not the reason they should move, they are! I tell them that when they get their heart rate up they are creating new brain cells. We talk about movement as a source of social interaction. My goal is for them to want to move because they find value in movement and not because I force them to.

M stands for Motivation.  I provide the motivation for my students. Usually, this comes in the form of you give me 40 minutes and the beginning five minutes of the next class are games you want to play. For those of you who are confused about motivation vs. inspiration here is the difference:

Motivation is comes through imbibing external factors like rewards, gifts etc. Inspiration comes from within! (link)

I motivate by going around and being positive. I motivate by pointing out when students are succeeding. I motivate by hugging a student when they are struggling. My job as a teacher is to use my power to motivate not hate.

B stands for build. Our job is to build students up. As teachers, it is easy to break kids down. We point out their weaknesses, yell at them when they mess up, give them negative consequences when they aren’t compliant or use our power in a number of detrimental ways. I choose to build my students up. I tell my students of color how handsome or beautiful they are, comment on how I love their natural hair, and ask them if they have looked in the mirror and told themselves how awesome they are.

I am a non-tested area. That means that I can focus more on the affective than the cognitive. Don’t get me wrong. I am a teacher of content that I expect them to learn and master skills but that is secondary to them feeling good about themselves. I focus on making them laugh, pointing out their successes, and explaining how the students that may be physically ahead of them practice that skill outside of class on a soccer team, basketball team, or baseball team. I am there to lift up my students. I am creating self-fulfilling prophecies that will allow them to succeed now and in the future. If I had to choose my favorite letter of this chapter B would be it Fo Sho!

E stands for Enrich/Empower. The main way I do this is by introducing iterations to my gameplay. I will present activities. We play a bunch of rounds with me changing the rules, equipment, distance, or teams. My final builds/iterations are left open to the class. They vote on the rule changes that they come up with. This allows the students to feel that they have a say in the class. In all honesty, their rules are usually better than mine. They come up with twists that make me wonder why I didn’t think of that!

When we allow our students to take control of the activity we are empowering them. They are using the 4 C’s. If we really want thinkers we have to give the students the opportunity to think! Too often we spoon feed them because that is easier for us. The class runs smoother. There are fewer arguments. What we are doing is thinking for them though. That is a problem.

I would highly recommend reading The “Y” In You. This was only one chapter of the book that I broke down!! Think about everything else that we didn’t learn about! As always join our Voxer group if you want to continued the conversation further.

I would like to thank Dene Gainey for being awesome!




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