Commencing employment at a new school can be a daunting and overwhelming experience at the best of times. There is always an array of new information to comprehend and commit to memory, including the school’s curriculum and educational programs. The following is a brief passage on my journey, discovering the PYP, as a Physical Education teacher.
The IB was first introduced to me briefly at university. The understanding I gained is that the IB is an international educational program, common around the world.
I graduated from university and worked for a year before commencing employment at a PYP school, Mount Scopus Memorial College in Melbourne, Australia. I still had little knowledge of the PYP.
The PYP to me first seemed very large and confusing. There seemed to be a lot of jargon which I had never heard before. Staff at the colleagues ensured me, that it will all soon become a second language to me. These opinions turned out to be correct.
At first, I was unsure of how to link the units of inquiry, trans-disciplinary themes, concepts etc. to physical education lessons. The best approach I could think to take was to look at the PYP with open eyes, utilize the support of the staff around me and collaborate with other PE PYP specialists, not only in Melbourne, but around the world. As time passed, I began to find the PYP very inviting.
Within the first few weeks working at the College, I noticed how the PYP added another layer of depth to the teaching and learning at the school. This I had never encountered before. I saw how students questioned, inquired and explored different topics. This inspired me to delve further into the PYP in my physical education lessons.
This is when I started enlisting the help of the staff around me, and collaborating with other PYP PE specialist staff locally and around the world. We shared ideas, stand-alone units, games, activities, lessons etc. I was able to take this valuable information and modify it to my own teaching, and my own work program. I modified and used some ideas which worked well for me and I developed some of my own ideas, based on the knowledge of others.
This is when I discovered that there are many aspects of the PYP curriculum which I already incorporate in my teaching and learning. All I was doing now, was putting a name to it, and documenting it in the PYP format. This eliminated the time constraints of adding additional content to my lessons, and changed my focus to incorporating the PYP into my current work program content.
The IB creates international citizens, and sport crosses the boarders of almost every culture. Examples of everyday components of PE lessons, linking to the PYP include; sharing, risk-taking, balance, open-mindedness, reflection, structure, organisation, goal-setting, respect, integrity, cooperation, curiosity, commitment, confidence, appreciation, causation and responsibility. With these present in PE lessons, it is easy to create PYP links to classroom units and create stand-alone PYP units of work.
Once I had this realisation, the valuable PYP links I was able to make in physical education classes strengthened. This approach to incorporating the PYP into PE is one which I will continue to follow and wii strive to enhance in the future.