Getting lots of different perspectives on teaching is important to me when I ask people to be guest bloggers on pyppewithandy. I am particularly interested the journeys of teachers new to the PYP. I vividly remember what it was like to be in my first year of teaching in the PYP. At the time, there were very few resources available to help me with my understanding of the role of the PYP in PE. I felt lost at times and did not have many people to bounce ideas off or ask for advice which made my job difficult to say the least. Although I was trained to teach PE, I still felt as though I was at a disadvantage because I knew so little about the PYP at the time (2001).
I have asked Shannon Carroll, a first year PYP teacher from Melbourne, Australia, to be a guest blogger and describe the process that he has gone through in trying to learn how to apply the PYP model to PE. I believe that his perspective is a very important one to consider as he has fully embraced being new to the PYP and has actively taken initiative to learn as much as he can about it. Shannon makes a very important point in that we are never alone on the journey of trying to become better teachers, especially nowadays. There are always more experienced colleagues that can guide and lead us on this journey. With social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as the number of excellent educational blogs out there, we are always in a position to learn from others is that is our intention.
I thank Shannon for contributing to the pyppewithandy blog.
A bit about Shannon:
Shannon studied at Deakin University, in Melbourne and graduated in 2010. He is in his second year of teaching and his first year in the PYP. Shannon is currently employed at Mt Scopus Memorial College in Melbourne. He enjoys Australian Rules Football, surfing, tennis and golf.
Discovering the PYP – A First Year Physical Education Perspective
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.