Why Do You Teach PE?

By: Mark Banasiak @MoreThanGym

When I enter my classroom everyday, I stand firm in my conviction that I teach more than gym…

I teach PHYSICAL EDUCATION!

That is, I teach children how to:

  • move and increase their heart rate
  • work cooperatively
  • think creatively
  • use offensive and defensive strategies
  • try new challenges
  • persevere when frustrated
  • act with integrity
  • listen and follow directions
  • dribble, throw, strike, pass, dance, catch, and much more!

Most importantly…I teach children the skills to be a lifetime mover!

Each class, I open the doors and the students literally enter the gym skipping and asking the question, “What are we doing today?” That excitement is music to my ears.

Now that you know what I do, let me enlighten you as to WHY I teach Physical Education.

To do that, I have to reflect back on my childhood. As a child, I loved playing with my toy figurines and building blocks. However, I also loved to play outside. I recall being with my neighborhood friends and participating in a variety of activities. It may have been tag, hot box, around the world, backyard football, army, or simply riding bikes. We would play in the front yard, back yard, neighbor’s yard, and even in the street. When we got hot, we drank from the hose and sat in the shade for a little while. Our parents could find us by either yelling for us or looking for our bikes in one of the neighborhood yards. We would modify whatever activity depending on how many kids we could round up that day. Most of the time it was just my brother, two friends, and myself. One bat, one tennis ball, and two gloves provided us with ample equipment for our old standby of tennis ball.

I recall playing just about anything that my friends suggested. I may not have been the best; however, I was willing to give it a shot. Why was I willing to participate in any activity? I was willing because I had practiced a variety of skills and developed the confidence to apply those skills and participate in the activity of the day.

That is exactly what I want for my students. My goal as a physical educator is to provide a safe and inviting classroom where all students can experience growth in their skill development. I want to equip each child with the basic skills so that when they see an activity at recess, in the neighborhood, at the park, or anywhere else that they have the confidence to say, “Hey, I can try that because I learned it in PE!”

So, why do you teach PE?

What is your goal as a physical educator?

What do you hope to instill in your students when they enter your classroom?

If you have never scripted answers to these questions, there is no better time than now to do so.

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