Team Teaching – The Future of Education

Team teaching, what’s that?


Technically, this is when teachers work together with equal responsibilities concerning classroom management, planning, teaching, and assessing.

Teaching Partner

This semester I’ve had the awesome opportunity to work with a colleague in a team teach situation. This happened just by chance. Our normal class sizes are 45-50 students per class, but somehow our 5th-period class rosters were really low.  She was scheduled 11 students and I was scheduled 20 students. We thought this would be a great time to learn from each other and give our students the best of each of us.

This is Leslie!leslie-circle

She is the wonderful educator I have the pleasure of working with this year during 5th period. She brings a totally different viewpoint and strengths to physical education than I have. She truly sees each child as individual, wants to make sure every student succeeds, and brings a perspective to teaching that a lot of our students have.


We knew from the beginning that it would take a lot of communication and give and take on both our parts. We’ve both been teaching for a long time and are not used to sharing students and lessons. True team teaching is hard work, but truly a learning experience for both us and the students.

It’s obvious the more effort you put into planning, deciding who’s teaching what, the better the lesson and learning will be. We have had some lessons that we planned way in advanced and other lessons that were planned an hour before the class.


What we called a lot of communication wasn’t enough. We could tell from facial expressions, body language, and amount of talking when one of us wasn’t happy with what was going on.

I know from my side of the team, I have to get out of the way a little more. I don’t know everything and there are areas where Leslie is a lot stronger and I need to let her go so the students can benefit.

I know that there have been times when I’ve been a little too pushy and I need to listen better.

The Future

For second semester we are going to do our best to plan together better. We know with better planning more learning will take place. For both the students and us.

I’ve also been thinking about trying to team teach with our other teaching partner. I think it would be a great experience for us all.


Have you ever been in a team teaching situation? How did it go? What strategies did you have in place to make sure that there was equal planning, teaching, and assessing?

We really want to hear your thoughts!


Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!


Wow, Wow, Wow!!

Have you ever been so inspired?

npessi-logo1This past week I had the incredible opportunity to attend the National PE Institute in Ashville, North Carolina. All I have to say is wow!

I’ve gone to conferences and workshops in the past that have been great, but this conference was different. It was less about the workshops that were offered and more about the community of learners that was in attendance. Artie Kamiya and his team have discovered how to provide what physical educators really need, purpose, motivation, and FAMILY!

This conference had workshops just like all other conferences. The workshops that were offered though were definitely different. All of the workshops were student centered and standards based. None of the workshops were teaching new games just to be able to offer new games to your students. Every game had a true learning purpose.


podiumThere were also 5 AMAZING keynotes: Sarah Gietschier-Hartman, Dr. Greg Dale, Dr. Martha James-Hassan, Jo Bailey, and Naomi Hartl. 

It was inspiring to see how all of the keynotes messages related together and they didn’t even get together to prepare. The message of the keynotes seemed to be UNITY and MOVING the profession forward.

I took from their talks that physical educators need to come together and start doing what’s best for students and making a positive change in our pedagogy. If we do these plus all the hard work behind the scenes we will be as accepted as any other content area.


workshopI also went to some amazing sessions.

I’ve been wanting to try to figure out how to incorporate nutrition into my movement classes. In California our physical education standards don’t include any health or nutrition. Alex O’Brien had a fun and fabulous workshop called “Nutrition with a Mission”. He gave me several ideas how I can do exactly what I’ve been trying to do for awhile.

Here lately I’ve been studying a lot about Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). Sarah G-H and Seth Martin had a great session showing how to use world games in the TGfU model. They called it TWGfU and made us all realize that all games are world games.

Along with the TWGfU Sarah also hosted a session called “Ki-O-Rahi”. This is a fun new world invasion game. Sarah broke it down into layers and let us play. Definitely a game I’m going to use in my invasion games unit.

Jo Bailey presented a breakout called “10×10: Community, Cohesion, and Cognition”. Basically she was showing us how she helps the students in her classes build relationships with each other and how she gets to know each one of her students on a personal level.

I was hit right between the eyes with this lesson. She was telling us how she has had students in her class not know each other by the end of the semester. I have the same situation only worse. My students are with me the entire year and there are some that don’t even get to know all of their classmates names. I came away with several ideas on how to overcome this.

The last session I attended was all about standards based instruction and assessment by Adam Metcalf and David Gusitsch. This was a great reminder for me to keep going in the direction I’m going and how to streamline grading during class.


Overall this convention was world class! I would recommend it to any physical education teacher, health educator, or administrator in charge of physical education. I know I plan on going back!

Remember to leave a comment below to further the discussion!


The Conference and Workshop Blues – How to Keep the Hype!

Here are some easy steps to keep the hype.


Every year most states, if not all, states have a weekend long physical education conference. In these conferences you get to see keynote speakers and awesome workshop leaders. By the end of the weekend everyone is pumped up, ready to go back to their schools, and teach like they’ve never taught before.


You’ve learned all these new great skills and you want to implement them into your classes right away. This is great!

It is awesome to see teachers going to conferences learning and trying new activities in their classes, but what happens when the conference is over? You’re 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks past the conference and things start going back to normal. What can you do to keep the hype? What can you do to not get the workshop blues?



This is a great question for all of us! I even have the workshop blues this year. That’s mainly because I didn’t get to go to my state’s annual conference. So what do you do? This is where your personal learning network (PLN) comes into play.


Hopefully you have a person or two in your PLN that are in the same state as you. They may be even went to the conference that you went to. You got to meet your PL in member in person for the first time. If you are able to connect and share and collaborate with your PLN post conference, that hype that you came away from the conference with will hopefully not disappear.

Even if the members of your PLN are not in your state or did not go to the same conference as you, you can still debrief with them about it. Tell them the highlights. Tell them the things that you heard that you didn’t quite agree with. Anything that can help you grow is shareable.

I know throughout the years I have learned things from teachers that I thought were excellent teachers and I’ve learned things from teachers who do things a little different than I do. You have to think back to that conference, take that one big idea that you really learned, and implement it.

Like I’ve said in a previous post, don’t try to do too much all at once, you’ll get overwhelmed. Then like a lot of people, you may even give up. And that’s what we don’t want to have happen. You have to be proactive in finding that next mountaintop experience.


From conference to conference and in between conferences you are on Twitter, Voxer, reading blogs, and listening to podcasts.

twitter       voxer logo       blog       podcast-image

You are connecting with your PLN whether it’s through telephone calls, emails, Google hangouts, conference calls, whatever it might be to keep that fire going. After conferences and in between workshops, that is where your PLN is crucial.

These are the people who keep you motivated. Who keep you accountable. Who encourage you! This is why it’s so important to build your PLN.

I hope everyone at CAHPERD had a great time this last weekend. And I can’t wait for San Diego next year!


If you want to learn how to build your PLN check out these blog posts; Taking thing into your own hand!, Are you serious?! Why should I do that?, My phone can do that?, Blog, blog, blog!, and Have you ever heard anything like this before?.


My phone can do that?

Have you ever had a conversation with 30 people at the same time on your phone? Look at this…

Last week I ranted and raved about how good Twitter was. It still is great. I love it! It’s really my to go to social media site for professional development. But guess what boys and girls? Twitter has a big brother and it’s name is a Voxer.

voxer logo


Voxer can do everything that Twitter can do, but there’s a cool twist. You get to actually hear the voice of the teachers that you have been collaborating with on Twitter. Also, you’re NOT limited to 140 characters. You can talk pretty much as long as you want. But there are unsaid Voxer rules. No one wants to really listen to a 10 to 20 minute vox. So we try to keep them to 2 to 5 minutes at the max.

Voxer is a different kind of beast. You can get into several different Voxer groups. Such as:

  • secondary education
  • elementary physical education
  • Google Classroom
  • standards-based grading
  • SOLO taxonomy
  • general PE group
  • Hack Learning

I’m sure I’m missing some. There are groups for pretty much every content area.

Outside the group

You can also do what they call a side-vox. This is basically when you want to go more in-depth with a single person from a group about a certain topic or lesson and you just want to vox them alone, one-on-one outside of the group.

The craziness of Voxer

Being in Voxer can be very overwhelming at first, especially if you’re in a lot of groups. If you miss a day or two you could easily be a couple hundred voxes behind.

I know when I first joined Voxer it made me want to quit. I wanted to hear the whole conversation, but I just didn’t have the time. I had to learn to just join in where the chat was at and go on from there.

Response time

One of the nice things about Voxer is that it seems people respond a little quicker then they do on Twitter. I think this is because people have their phones on them and they can just throw out a quick message whether they’re in between classes, in the gym, or whenever they have a free moment.

Your phone is basically turned into a  supercharged walkie-talkie.

How to sign-up

The screen shots I’m going to show you are from a phone since this is the main way you will use Voxer. There is  a desk top version which allows for a few extra options, but using only your phone works just fine.

1. Download the Voxer app from either the app store or Google Play.


2. Here’s what the app looks like from the front.


3. Allow Voxer to access your microphone.


4. Then sign up.

IMG_1519                             IMG_1520

click “create account” after filling out all of the information.

5. You can set up alerts if you would like.

6. Next you can setup your profile by uploading a picture and customizing your username.


7.Your opening screen should look like this. The Voxer people have left you your first three voxes.


How to get into physical education Voxer groups

The best way to find all of the physical education Voxer groups is to use this QR codes created by Spencer Barfuss @physed on Twitter. His website is After you have the Voxer app on your phone all you have to do is scan the QR code with your phone and you are pretty much added automatically.

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Closing things up

Turning your phone into a walkie talkie is the cool thing to do! I highly suggest you get involved with one Voxer group to start out. Get a handle on it. Then join another.

If you were encouraged to join or you know someone who would be interested, please share this with them. 

Make sure to comment below to tell me about your Voxer experiences. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!



Are you serious?! Why should I do that?

So many people just don’t understand that there is a trick to it…

It was two years ago when I discovered that I wasn’t as good at teaching as I thought I was. I got onto this little social network site and started searching for physical education. Come to find out, there are a lot of physical education teachers and teachers in general on this amazing social media site.

What site am I talking about? None other then Twitter!


A little history

Before Twitter, I was only smart enough to get on or just Google a certain game and rules or skills, things like that to get any new information. I would also just create my own materials.

I got on Twitter when it first came out. I wasn’t too interested in it. I could only type 140 characters and no one really read it. It seemed it was mainly for celebrities back then. On my original account I still only have 52 followers. Most of them I don’t even know. My family doesn’t even follow me.

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 11.12.18 PM

For some reason though, I decided to give it another try, just to see what would happen. And the results were amazing. I got so much more than I ever expected.

You might be asking yourself, why is it so amazing now and not when you first tried it? To tell you the truth, I just didn’t give it enough time.


I saw all these amazing pictures, videos, and links to websites and blogs. I didn’t know you could do all that.

So when I got on for the second time, I was really nervous about typing anything in case somebody actually saw what I typed. So, I just looked at what other people were tweeting.

Through Twitter I learned that I was doing a lot of things correct, but I was also needing a lot of improvement. I was using portions of the sport and model, the teaching games for understanding or (TGfU) model, and the fitness education model. I didn’t even know these were models that were already out there invented. I was just piecing stuff together.


Being able to find resources through Twitter I became more effective in my teaching strategies. I do, however, still combine the different models of teaching together. I’m just used to it that way and I feel it’s really effective.

I also started to learn more about standards-based teaching, lesson planning, and assessing.

standards based grading chalk board

I also learned about a new assessment model called solo taxonomy. As one of the greatest tools ever invented for education.


Most importantly though, I was able to make friends on Twitter and have a great deal of collaboration. I’m doing things now that I know I never thought I would be able to do. Now all I do is throw a question out on Twitter and within just an hour or less I have answers waiting on me. 

To put this all in one short sentence, Twitter is the best professional development I’ve ever had!

So where do we go from here?

Here is where I challenge you, if you’re not on Twitter sign-up for Twitter. Right below I’m going to show you exactly how to sign up for Twitter and I’m going to give you the top 30 names to follow on Twitter to get you headed in the right direction.

1. Go to and sign-up.

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2. Fill out the following form.

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3. You can then either enter your phone information or skip it.

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4. Choose a username. You can change it later.

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5. Click “Let’s Go”

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6. Check off what you’re interested in and continue.

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7. Follow the 40 suggestions they have for you if you want. You can pick and choose from the list.

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8. You can add a photo for your profile.

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9. You can use your email to find friends on Twitter.

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10. There you go! You are all set-up.

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OK, now you’re signed up for Twitter. That’s the easy part!


Week one – sign up for Twitter, follow top 30, make tweet to @mrphysicaled, look  at what other people are posting.

Week two– ask a question on Twitter on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Week three – keep asking questions, reply or comment to at least one tweet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.


#1 mentions – @mrphysicaled

What that means is you are you putting in the Twitter handle of the person that you are wanting to tweet too. By doing this it will send that person a notification that someone has mentioned them in a tweet.

#2  hashtags –  #

Hashtags will put your Tweet into that category. So, for instance, if you use #PhysEd everyone who follows that hashtag will see your tweet.

If you want more people to see your tweets you have to use mentions and hashtags.

#3 lists

Another handy tool in Twitter are the list. You can put people into a list that you want to follow. That way you could just go to that list to see what those people are tweeting. This little trick gets you around the clutter of your Twitter feed. You might not want to see what everyone is saying. But you may want to focus in on what a few people are saying. And it list is a great way to do that.

People to follow on Twitter

@mrphysicaled     @pewithmrt     @physedapps     @physedagogy     @andyvasily     @joeyfeith

@mradampe     @mrrobbo     @bodepe     @alicekeeler     @kymmballard     @thepespecialist

@jcouvy     @ncpe4life     @terridr99     @rizzutoed     @sarahdateechur     @imsporticus

@mrhorne101     @arit_choke     @coachpirillo     @markbarnes19     @smartintahoe     @johnjonespe

@mrpicha_pe     @mrhairphysed     @schleiderjustin     @drashcasey     @physednow

@physed_pomeroy     @physedreview     @rickwormeli     @adamphowell     @misshartl

@ghsaysrockchalk     @movelivelearn     @mrmetcalfpe     @penathan     @lovephyed

To end up!

I hope this story of my Twitter journey has inspired you to sign-up. I hope to see you in the twittersphere soon!

If this post inspired you, please pass it on to a friend. Make sure to tell me about your Twitter story in the comments.

Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!



Pay it Forward!

I was listening to The PEGEEK podcast the other day and Jarrod Robinson asked a guest where he first learned about incorporating technology into his physical education classroom. I thought this was a great question! It made me think about the question. Then I remembered.

Here’s a little back story. I’m from a small town two hours North of Kansas City, MO. In the two schools where I taught, I was the physical education department. No one to lean on, no one to tell me if what I was doing was any good or not. This was between the years 1997 to 2005. A lot of what we have today didn’t exist then, but that shouldn’t have been an excuse to not even try using the tech of the day in my classes. Honestly, I never even thought about it. I guess if a stop watch and a CD player with a remote is counted as technology, then I did.

But then in the fall of 2005 I moved to Los Angeles, CA. and was part of an 11 person department. I soon found out that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. There were a couple people in particular who were doing really great things in their classes. Because of similar educational beliefs and wanting to give students physical education not only physical activity I gravitated to a certain teacher and we became good friends. His name is Mark.

I started to notice that Mark spent quite a bit of time on the computer. So, I asked him what he was doing. He had me come over to his desk and he showed me his class website. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen for students. He was able to post announcement and assignments. He even had his students subscribe to his website so whenever he posted something new it would automatically send his students an email letting them know that there was something new for physical education.

I WANTED THIS!!!inspire

So, over the next few years I would set-up my own class website and incorporate it into my class and since Mark was in the office, I had my own unofficial tech support. After awhile Mark wouldn’t help, he would just tell me to look up the answer I was looking for. Of course he would tell me where to look it up and if I was having a lot of trouble he would still give me the answer. Might sound mean, but it was really great! I learned so much by searching for answers to the tech questions I had.

Since that initial inquiry into technology for teaching, I have introduced many different tech things into my class. I’ve used pedometers, plickers, kahoot, ipads, and student brought devices. This year I have been able to streamline my class website and I’m going to introduce Google classroom. I have even become a Google Certified Educator. I love being able to use tools in my class to make learning more engaging for my students. I’ve been really blessed in the fact that I never incorporated tech just because it was new and shiny, but to enhance what I was teaching.

I have learned a lot over the years and I’m not afraid to try new tech in the classroom. I owe all this to my great friend, Mark! My goal now is to pay it forward to anyone looking to do what I have learned to do.

If you have had a mentor in your life, I’d love to hear about your experience! Please share and comment.

Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!



2577432 I am totally inspired by my @Twitter friends, no, I mean family! I asked two simple(not really) questions today and received so much feedback. It was incredible! So, what are the questions you may ask? Here they are:

When do we expect students to turn in homework on time and not accept it late?

I am teaching a swim unit right now. I have students who refuse to swim. They fill out an observation paper during the lesson. How much credit do I give to these students who refuse to get into the water, but will dress in their regular physical education clothes and fill out the paper?

After I posted these two questions I got off Twitter because I had to do this little thing called teaching. Which I love! When I logged back on a few hours later, BAM 20+ notifications! I was blown away. I usually only get a couple of responses. After reading and responding to the tweets I was totally ready to share everything with my colleagues at school. We work really well together as a team and we all want to get better at our passion.

So, out of this I remembered the #physedsummit. Then I thought, “What if I do a mini-physed summit with my colleagues at school over Christmas break?” We have three weeks off. Surely, we can get together two or three times for a few hours. So, that is my job for tomorrow, to have a schedule of possible meeting days, a workshop itinerary, resources ready to give them so they can prepare, and get permission from the principal to meet on campus when we are on break.

Before I started using Twitter I thought I was doing pretty good as a physical educator, but since January of this year, I can see a whole lot of areas where I need to improve and push my colleagues to improve.



2559693 Well, it is coming up on my first semester break at my new school. We have one week of classes left, then one week of finals. I know I am going to enjoy the break, but I think I can actually keep going. I have a few goals for the break. Let me see if I can keep them. Hopefully I am not going overboard, but I want to be a better dad, husband, and teacher.

My first goal is to get some rest. I am not sure if this will happen. I tend to stay up later on breaks and get up just a little later than normal and I get to be more active than I get to be during the school year. I LOVE being active!

Talking about being active, I try to get in a little more mileage running, especially on the trails. I will get some more time on the archery range and hiking with the family. We love to be active as a family.

Finally, I plan on creating some standards based assessments and Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) lessons. My colleagues and I are also planning on getting together for three days of professional development focusing on grading and TGfU. We are calling this a mini #physed summit. I will report on this after we complete our days together.

I have had a lot of fun in my first semester at my new high school. It’s great to work at a school where other physical educators want to get better, not only for themselves, but for the students as well. It is fun to be in a place where we can have great collaborative dialog everyday.



1160764 A couple of people or a team working together to reach a goal. This is the basic definition of collaboration. This is a great word, but actually doing it is much better. I am in the middle of three great teams right now and it is amazing.

The first team I am working with that is going so incredibly well is my work team. I am working with two other fantastic physical educators. Just today we started talking about how to get our students the best education possible for the next school year when this year is not even over yet. We looked at scope and sequence for course one and course two to make sure that there was no overlap except for review where it was needed. From there we decided on what equipment we would need. Then we looked at a common daily and weekly lesson plan. Then we had a short meeting with our principal and explained what we needed to become one of the premier departments on campus and she said, “Okay, I’ll give you $10,000. AMAZING!

The second team that I am working with is a team that was selected by the people from Physedagogy. We will be presenting at the #physedsummit 2.0. Our group will be speaking on the topic of assessment at the high school level. We have been communicating through Voxer and Google Hangouts. Specifically I am working with William Bode, Adam Llevo, Jo Bailey, and Charlie Rizzuto. These four are doing amazing things in their schools. They are like the All-Stars of high school physical education teachers. You definitely need to register for our session if you are a high school physical educator. You will learn from many different perspectives. It is going to be great!

The final team I am working with only has one other member besides myself, my wife. If it was not for a support system doing all the things in the background that need to be done I would not be able to do the things I am doing. I have been married to my marvelous wife for almost 21 years and I see how she manages the household makes sure our four children get to every activity they need to get to. Her organizational skill are head and shoulders above anyone I know. Without her you would not be reading these words right now.

I know as physical educators most of us got into our profession because we not only like sports, but we loved the teams we were apart of in high school, college, or both. We do what we do not only to teach students how to live long healthy lives, but to try to give our students a little bit of what we experienced when we were apart of our teams.

Working with others to achieve a goal is an awesome experience. If you are not collaborating now you need to find someone with similar views and goals and work together to get to where you want to be a little quicker. The old adage is true, “two heads are better than one”.



It's not what but why you do itAs I was going from workshop to workshop this weekend at the CAHPERD conference and was talking to others I seemed to get the idea that people do without always knowing why. Why is that? So many people do do do and let the why fade away.

This got me to thinking. Why do I do what I do? For me, maybe I am weird, this is easy. I think about it a lot. Ultimately I love teaching teachers. I want to see teachers learn and grow. I like seeing teachers eyes light up when they understand a new concept, a new app, or a new meaning to why they do what they do.

So, I got to thinking, what can I do to influence more teachers. Hmmm, got it, volunteer for a leadership position in the state organization. And I did. With this position I get to set up workshops and awards banquets or develop leaders to do this. Just up my alley.

I asked a simple little question on Twitter.

I received some really good responses.

I believe that we have a good core of people who know why they are doing what they doing, but unfortunately we have a big population of teachers that have lost the “why”. I see so many teachers who need help finding their meaning again. I believe that it is our duty, for our students and our profession, to help them get back to why they got into education to begin with. We need to keep being good examples and encouraging them to try new things, even if it is hard to do.
Many of you may be saying, “It’s up to them to change”. You are correct! But we need to lead the way. Maybe they just do not know how to get to where they want to go. Let’s be world changers!



physical activity & academic achievementHow do we change the culture of physical education? Such an open ended question. There are so many aspects. There is the old school teachers who just throw out the ball, brain research (how physical activity affects learning), students-parents-communities-administrators attitudes of what physical education is, pedagogy being used, grading systems, faculty involvement and much much more.

Where to start?  There are many things that can start at the same time. For instance high quality teaching, administrator education, and faculty exercise offerings during lunch can all happen together. Even a change in grading could probably occur here. Though you do not want to start to fast.

Let me give a personal example. This story is actually happening at the school where I currently teach. The first thing that happened was that there were two teachers who were not doing teaching up to standards and two new teachers were hired. I was one that was hired. Next, the three teacher physical education department got together before school ended to throw around some ideas on how to be on the same page and start out the next school year well.

All three teachers then did a lot of planning over the summer and came to school at the beginning of this year ready to teach standards based lessons and have the students do a lot of learning. We had a really great start and over all the year has gone very well.

The three of us have had hours upon hours of discussion and debate over all things physical education. We have had a lot of agreement. We have all been pushing each other to be better. We all have had to make some concessions. We all want the students to understand the difference between physical education and physical activity. This has been a tough battle.

One of the best things we did as a department is go to our state conference together (CAHPERD). We not only got closer as a department, but we were also able to meet several people who are doing what we want to do. So we know changing what people think and expect can be done.

Some of the things we have accomplished are common lessons, assessments, and grading. We also decided to have the weight room open on Tuesdays and Fridays during lunch for students. Some things that we want to do are create a common syllabus, incorporate Google classroom, and do more common assessment. We also want to include parents in family fitness nights and do fun activities during lunch once a week for the teachers.

It seems that so many people do not know the research behind physical education and academic achievement. I would also like to see us do some presenting at the local district level to promote physical education and hold professional developments for our district.

It seems like so much to do and it is, but it will be so worth it in the end. What are you doing to change the culture where you are? How are you making our profession more professional?