Have you ever been so inspired?
This 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.
There 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.
I 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!
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