Preventing The Threat: Be Proactive
The following are a list of things that might be helpful for physical education teachers to do to detract those who might want to eliminate or cut physical education programs.
1. Publicize Your Program
Often times, a physical educators busy schedule does not allow time to share the good things they are doing with their students. Unfortunately, this is a crucial step in staving off threats because often times principals, parents, and legislators do not know what is new and good about today's physical education programs and curriculums. In all likeliehood, they may still remember the inappropriate practices of choosing sides, dodgeball (see NASPE's Position on this activity) games that involved elimination, fitness tests where they were identified as unfit, and other practices that are too numerous to list. Therefore they don't give much credence to what a quality physical education program can offer to students. It is up to the individual teachers to share as much of that as possible. Here are some ways that teachers may consider publicizing what they do:
There is no doubt there are other things you can do to promote your PE Program. These are just a few to think about for now. To learn more subscribe to a number of great PE Journals that are out there that have a number of articles listing other ways to publicize the good things you are doing.
Use written assessments in your program. Share this student work with your schools principal, other classroom teachers in the building, and parents. You can send these home in newsletters, post on a bulletin board in the hallway, or bundle and put in the principals mailbox with a note from the class who did them. What this shows is viable evidence of learning and it lets others know what you are doing in class. Share your ideas and innovative practices with PE Central. Through our Best Practices Program you can easily share with others the quality things you are doing with your students and/or parents. Call the local newspaper and/or TV station and see if they would like to do a story on a particular practice or program you are doing with your students. You may have an interesting and educational field trip that your kids take, or an afterschool PE program for kids, or maybe a family fitness night that is innovative and successful. Send a letter or newsletter home with your students indicating what topics you are covering and invite the parents to come and visit your classes.
2. Use Appropriate Teaching Methods
Our profession has identified several teaching practices and skills that many successful physical education teachers use on a daily basis. These practices encourage success, practice, and creating opportunities for students to learn in a positive and caring environment. Here are some resources you can learn more about these teaching practices:
Developmentally and Instructionally Appropriate Documents from NASPE What Constitutes a Quality PE Program Position Statement National PE Documents, Guidelines, and Position Statements
State, District, and Nat'l Conferences (outside link to PELINKS4U.org)
3. Developing Professionally
E-mail Listservs (NASPE-Talk, etc.)
Physical Education Journals Join State, District, and National Associations