Who better to advocate for quality PE; from the voices that matter most!
Today is our first day of school at Nanjing International School and I decided that the best way to start off the year was to initiate an important discussion with my students about the reasons why physical education should be a part of their school experience. I shared with them the discussions I have been involved in with fellow PE teachers around the globe related to positively advocating for quality physical education. I also discussed with my students the reality that PE time is being cut and/or reduced by many school boards around the world.
To get them moving around and discussing their thoughts, I asked them to walk briskly or jog with a partner and come up with reasons why PE should be a part of their school experience. They were instructed to be specific in their reasoning and try to highlight the real value that PE brings to a school's curriculum. I gave them no answers at all and made them do all of the work.
Bringing the voices of those who matter most, our biggest stakeholders, into important discussions about why we need to positively advocate for PE, is a giant step in getting an important message out to those who are in charge of making critical decisions about the future of PE. As well, getting students to reflect on just how significant PE is to a school's curriculum and to each and every one of them physically, mentally, cognitively, and socially also impresses upon them that PE is much more than just running around and playing games. It emphasizes that there is a greater purpose to physical education which helps set a very positive tone in our classes and in our programs.
I will endeavor to get all of my students in the first week to do the same activity and will create a separate visual for each of my classes. These visuals will be posted in and around the hallways of the school for parents, teachers, and administration to see. Advocating for quality PE is a journey that should be collaborative in nature and definitely involve the voices that matter most, our beautiful students.
Please see the ideas that my first class came up with in the picture below. Thanks. Should you decide to do the same activity with your students, I would love to see their answers. Please share with me.