Hello Everyone ~ I hope you are ALL having a great weekend. With such beautiful weather I hope you took a chance to play outside, to turn off you air/heat, throw open your windows and let the fresh air flow through you house. I spent part of my time enjoying the weekend but the other time reflecting on the importance of Physical Education. Now, before you say, why spend you weekend reflecting, I did have a reason; I have recently been nominated for the NFL Network PE Teacher of the Year and I had to complete my award packet over the weekend! Out of the many questions the two that stood out the most  were, what are the challenges and issues facing physical education and how would I encourage others to support the needs of physical education. 

As I answered those questions I asked myself, why not voice your opinion about something you are passionate about now? Why wait to see if I am chosen as the award winner? While it is a great honor to be nominated, and would be totally awesome if I won, it doesn't matter if I win or loose, what does matter is if I stand by my beliefs as a PE teacher and share my ideas with others.

Those in charge of education in our country frequently talk about the importance of educating the whole child by implementing many types of academic integrations but they often time overlook the importance of physically educating a child. They are being pressured so hard to achieve high scores on standardized tests that everything else in the school (PE, Music, Art) gets pushed to the wayside. If we could convince our politicians and education professionals that physical education is a vital part of improving the standardized test scores I think we could see a turnaround in the amount of time each child will spend in physical education classes each week as well as more funding for physical education programs.

Studies have shown that students who participated in programs where daily physical education and activity was increased the students either maintained or even improved their daily classroom grades as well as maintaining or raising their scores on standardized tests compared to their counterparts who did not have an increase in the amount of time they spent in physical education

.I am truly happy that I teach in a school where Physical Education is still an important part of the elementary curriculum. I am truly blessed to have been given the funds to purchase a wide variety of equipment and to have a gym to teach my classes in every day! There are many schools throughout the nation where PE is outside all the time or in a tiny classroom. I am very lucky to have great facilities and an administration that supports my physical education program. 

I would encourage everyone to remember their childhood and their experiences in physical education. If they were positive experiences I would encourage them to crusade to keep physical education a vital part of our education programming and to encourage their peers to do the same. For those who did not have positive experiences I would encourage them to seek a change for the current generation of students. As a child I did not enjoy my physical education experience so it is my goal as an adult and a physical education teacher that all children have an enjoyable and relevant physical education experience. Change cannot be made without the voices of many, so I encourage everyone to help change physical education programming for the better.  I would also encourage everyone to look at the studies showing the importance of physical education for the child as a whole and that removing it would be detrimental to their educational experience.  

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Physical Education and the importance it plays in the lives of our students. I do hope my students love physical education as much as I do and that it will encourage them to live lifelong active and healthy lives!