2017 – The Year of New Beginnings – 10 Things I Learnt
2017 – The Year of New Beginnings – 10 Things I Learnt
2017 has been the year of new beginnings. At the end of 2016 I switched schools as there was a brand new opportunity for me to start up a new P.E program at a brand new school, no way was I saying no. I also was given the role as the ICT coordinator, which for me was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and develop more skills. In 2018 I’m staying at my current school and will continue to build on our programs in Health and Physical Education and ICT.
Now what did I learn in 2017?
Reflection continues to be one of the most important parts of my teaching and development. Whether I blog, talk about it or share my learning through social media posts, reflection is where I learn. But I also learnt reflecting can also mean to put your feet up, relax and enjoy what you have achieved.
- Switching off/slow down
As I blogged earlier on, I hit a brick wall back in November, as I wasn’t switching off from work, therefore I ran out of gas. Day by day, I’m learning the importance of switching off from work and social media and just enjoy the days and evenings by doing simply nothing.
If we aren’t organised as educators, the students will know. Being organised in any workplace is critical to achieve success. Set your ‘to do list’ but making sure your list is achievable and not putting extra stress on yourself. Ask yourself, can other people support me? Don’t be afraid to ask or to delegate to others. I know delegating more will provide better experiences for my students.
- Connect before content
This is my favourite. I learnt to this a lot from Sean DeMorton and Mark Collard, who are both well respected and who have taught me the importance of this. Making connections with your students and your students making connections with the class is far more important to begin with, to revisit to ensure your programs and student outcomes are successful. I also used connect before content with my Aussie Rules Football Women’s team who I coach. Before we began training I started off with a connection game that got my team warmed up, engaged and felt comfortable with their team mates. We ended up winning the premiership. I strongly believe connect before content was the main reason of our success.
As you know, I love incorporating ICT into my programs. So this isn’t new, but what I did learn even more is how powerful ICT can be for all students to ensure all have equal opportunities on and off the court. I have many EAL (English as an additional language students) who struggle to read sentences, identify words which would then affect their learning. This year I started to use more visuals, including GIFs to support all students. These GIFs demonstrated what was needed to be done and how to master a particular skill. You can see these GIFs on my website.
Every year I network with many educators from around the world and 2017 was no different. By networking my programs go to the next level, as these educators challenge me and motivate me. By networking I get to present and I made my international ‘debut’ this year presenting two elective sessions at ConnectedPE, which so far has been the highlight of my career. Without networking, I can guarantee you, I would still be playing dodgeball and kickball every second lesson.
- Connecting through social media
As spoken before with networking, the biggest teaching impact has been connecting with educators through my Twitter and Facebook pages. These tools for me are critical in making sure I achieve more success everyday. My Facebook page (Miss Physical Education) has recently reached over 2000 likes and 2200 followers. No it’s not all about the how many people ‘like’ your page, it’s about the impact you’re making and the support you’re providing for the educators who look up to you. But of course, don’t forget to switch off 🙂
- Go back to basics
I always thought when teaching different year levels students would just ‘get’ how to master a skill, play a particular sport etc, but this year particularly I learnt this is not the case. When starting at my new school this year I noticed a lot of my senior primary students really struggled with the basic movement skills including running, throwing and catching. So I went back to basics with them and unpacking our skills to make sure they understood how to do these properly. We even participated in rotational activities that sometimes you may see done with the juniors. I wasn’t afraid in doing this, as I knew my students needed this. There is nothing wrong in going back to basics, regardless how old they are. In fact, by doing this, it will benefit them even more.
- Don’t ignore Yoga and Parkour
This was one of my most successful programs in 2017, two units that are not really seen to be as ‘sports’, but did my students enjoy these! I don’t have a strong background in these areas, so I need to do some reading and researching to ensure these programs would be a success. I used Cosmic Kids a lot during Yoga and implemented a lot of poses, stretching and balancing into physical activities. Cosmic Kids is one of the best resources out there. Parkour was a hit with my senior students. They loved going outside and exploring what they could do without equipment and how to use various ‘things’ to be physically active. I must admit, implementing Yoga and Parkour this year has been the first time I’ve done this. I have been afraid as I wasn’t sure on what to do, but again doing some research and asking for some advice will always help you in the end.
I’m lucky enough to wake up every morning knowing I’m going to a job that I love. This job is my hobby and I’m just lucky enough that I get paid for this. It’s so important to walk into work with a positive attitude knowing that you’ll be making a difference. Enjoy what you do, because I know the students love seeing their P.E teacher and they love learning new ways on staying fit, active and healthy.
So 2017, you’ve one of the best, if not the best! So many things I have learnt and so many more things still to learn.
2018 you have big shoes to to fill in, but I have a funny feeling that next year will be another year of success and joy with my hobby.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Keep inspiring others and chat soon.
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