Today I want to give you the background behind Mr. Physical Education and why I started it.
IN THE BEGINNING
At the beginning of my career I taught at a couple of different schools. At each school I was the only one in my department. I was young and I knew how to use the internet to look up resources to use in my classes. I also had a lot of my own ideas coming right out of college. What I didn’t realize though was the culture of each school. One school was a small country school. The other was a private Catholic school. Both schools had huge parent involvement and the students were incredible. I was able to teach whatever I wanted with no complaints from the students. It was like teaching in a lab school. I was allowed to take risks and fail and start again.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was developing an ego. I truly thought I was the best physical education teacher in the nation. I thought this because I knew what I was doing and I knew what a lot of other physical educators were doing. I was not just “rolling out the ball”. Most of the people I knew were.
After almost a decade of teaching in Missouri I had the opportunity to move to Los Angeles. The school that hired me pumped up my ego even more. Of course, they didn’t know this. They hired me from an over the phone interview and told me they were hiring me to be the department chair of a 10 teacher department.
A MENTOR WAS FOUND
Once I got to my new school I saw a lot more of the same. Teachers rolling out the ball. There was one teacher though doing things I had never seen done before. His lessons were awesome! His students were engaged. Learning was taking place and he was incorporating technology like I’ve never seen before. I started to figure out that I might not be as good as I thought.
I learned a lot from this teacher. Unfortunately he was displaced to a different school. I had to figure out how to continue growing on my own.
I truly believe I was a good teacher, but I wanted to get better. I wanted to be great! I wanted to have the impact on my students that I saw from my colleague.
MENTEE BECOMES A MENTOR
Somehow I stumbled onto Twitter which led me into reading blogs then writing a blog. I was also encouraged to join Voxer and start listening to podcasts. Then I thought to myself, “If I’m in this situation, there are probably others”. I’m sure there are those who want to be better, but don’t know where to start. I want to be able to help those teachers who are looking to become better. I want to get them on the right track right away. They shouldn’t have to stumble around wondering if what they are doing is leading them to where they want to be.
The hero of my story is the teacher who wants to be better, but is not sure how to get there. They start their journey by going to college and receiving their credential. From there they get their first teaching position and they are doing an ok job. Maybe even above average. They know there is a better place for them to be in as a teacher. Unfortunately there’s no help in sight. Mentor teachers and administration are not able or willing to give this teacher the tools they need to improve.
After awhile the frustration drives them to do something for themselves. The only thing they know to do is to go to Google and research topics to make them better than they are now, but maybe not as good as they could be because they don’t know exactly what to look for.
If this teacher is lucky they’ll find a blog or lesson that will inspire them and they think they are going in the right direction. The research is just so time consuming and the high quality resources they are looking for are few and far between. Eventually they will give up and believe they must be doing as good as every other teacher in the nation. Maybe even be one of the best.
What Mr. Physical Education has to offer is a one-stop shop for teachers that want to be better. We have resources in the form of blogs, videos, podcasts, and different personal learning network (PLN) challenges. We have a personal touch. If you ask a question it gets answered. If we don’t have an answer we’ll get an answer for you. We also know we are not the only place for great resources and can direct you to a place to help you get what you need.
At Mr. Physical Education we allow our fans to learn and grow in a small intimate community where people get to know each other and can rely on their new found colleagues and friends. Our fans have had a chance to find what they need to become the teacher they want to be.
Our fans can describe success as taking their professional development into their own hands and having confidence that they know how to become the best they can be for their students.
So, what does Mr. Physical Education have to offer?
We have a lot to offer, honesty, integrity, respect, and commitment. I think the content and resources I’ve been sharing shows that I’m not a “super teacher” that has always or even now has everything together. I’m still learning and growing, trying to get better. I’m right ahead of some and right behind others. I ask a lot of questions and get to answer a lot questions. If you want someone on your side when it comes to becoming a better teacher and human being. We have your back.
I see Mr. Physical Education changing how teachers perceive what level of teaching they are at. I think a lot of teachers have a ton of knowledge about good pedagogy, but don’t understand how to implement what they know. I think physical education teachers don’t realize how hard good teaching really is. I want to resource and inspire teachers. I want it to be easy for teachers to find all the tools they need all in one place or be directed where to go to get what they need. I don’t want teachers to struggle to find high quality tools.
Our students need us to be the best we can be!