Reflecting on our teacher talk time
If you didn't see the #physed article from the UK that I posted on Twitter yesterday, check it out here as it is worth the read. Despite disagreeing with the majority of the content in the article, it did get me thinking about teacher talk time in PE. I am very aware of the fact that we must keep our students active, but for those of you who read my blog from time to time, you know that I am big on slowing the class down to have important discussions related to big ideas and concepts in the units we teach in PE.
Although I try my best to keep teacher talk time to a minimum, I can easily justify the importance of having these critical discussions in class. The UK-based article claimed that research shows PE teacher talk time takes up on average 2/3s of class time!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I question this statistic but can only control what I do in my own classes.
Bearing this in mind, I thought that it was important to reflect on my own teacher talk time in PE. I am certainly not the first PE teacher nor the last to ever have had someone time their teacher talk in class, but it was well worth doing. I had a student who had to sit out due to injury use a stopwatch to time how much I talked during the lesson. Obviously I was aware of the fact that I was being timed, but tried to work as I normally do. I must admit that there was a sense of added pressure though.
Out of the 65-minute class, I talked for roughly 10min15sec. I had 4 whole class discussions lasting between 2-3 minutes each time. During this time we discussed important concepts in striking and fielding, rules, and player responsibilities in the mini-games we were playing. I loved the idea of being timed. It re-emphasized the importance of being succinct with what we want to say and planning our questions better. I'll certainly do it again, that's for sure!