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We are Headed to Seven Springs!

We are Headed to Seven Springs!

 As our organization celebrates its 100th year, we are taking time to pause, focus and celebrate. The landscape of Health and Physical Education has been challenged and changed drastically in recent times and is more than ever a priority needed in our schools. After two school years of navigating this new landscape, we are more than ever grateful to celebrate our teachers, membership, and those who have served our organization.

So, are you ready to join us in person to celebrate?!

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Finding The Summit

Finding The Summit

By definition a summit is:

  1. the highest point of a hill or mountain.
  2. the highest attainable level of achievement.
  3. a meeting between people who are interested in the same subject.

When we tried to think of a name for the relaunch of our professional journal, it only seemed fitting that after a year of what seemed like uphill climbing, we landed on the name, The Summit. While we saw metaphors in the first two parts of the definition, we had our “A-HA!” moment with the third...a meeting between people interested in the same subject. Over 6,300 of you supported our efforts in advocating for Health and Physical Education this year when proposed legislation threatened to cut programs in lieu of athletic substitution. Hundreds of teachers join us monthly, (virtually!) while watching live webinars, or catching up with the recordings later. For the past 100 years, HPE teachers have rallied together at our conferences and workshops to ensure they have access to the most up-to practices, content, and resources to continue their own professional growth. So yes, The Summit just felt right.

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How Could We Ever Thank You?

As teachers, we constantly have little reminders that remind us why we do what we do. An email from a former student now pursuing a degree in education because of you. A handmade card from a student. A phone call from a parent thanking you for the support and encouragement you gave their child. Those little moments have BIG impacts. 

As we were gearing up to launch our online learning series, we wanted to find a way to say THANK YOU to you, our membership for standing by. As an organization, we've faced a lot of challenges and changes. You were there with us through it all.  

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New Year begins with Last Year's Lessons

If anything we learned anything in that year that shall remain nameless, it’s fair to say we learned A LOT, and perhaps, are still processing those lessons. One big take-away as an organization we have is the gratitude for those teachers, former board members, and volunteers who helped us get here. Where is here you may ask? To our 100th year!!! It’s time to celebrate (big time!) our past, present and keep building a strong future. So guess what? We are going to do just that. 

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The Importance of Creating a Health “Re-entry” Unit

It is our time to shine and it is important to seize this moment. 2020 has made it glaringly obvious that our mental, physical, and social health are at the core of what determines our quality of life. Finding that balance and maintaining wellness while navigating through these unprecedented and unknown times has been challenging personally and professionally. To say that I have experienced self-growth is an understatement, and I say that humbly. It required self-reflection, feeling uncomfortable, needing help, an abundance of new learning, and accepting change. 


I will say it again. It is our time to shine and it is important to seize this moment. And yes…I am speaking directly to Health and Physical Education teachers. We must be vocal about the importance of our curriculums while advocating that Health and Physical Education is an essential component of an in-person, hybrid, or online schedule. We must also be intentional in our instruction and content by creating a Health “Re-entry” Unit.

WHY?

SHAPE PA re-entry guidelines suggest that health education reinforce habits that prevent the spread of communicable disease, hygiene habits, health skills related to emotional and mental health, managing stress, and risky behaviors. While these topics naturally surface in the PSAHPERD (soon to be SHAPE) and SHAPE standards, it is essential that we should be intentional in the 2020-2021 school year regarding our re-entry response prior to re-visiting our regularly scheduled curriculums. Our students need to know that we are willing to address their needs by focusing on topics that are relevant and specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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20/20 Vision

Oh, the irony that a rollercoaster of a year marked 2020 shares the same numbers as what ophthalmologists use to mark normal vision, 20/20. 

I don’t know about you, but personally, for me looking back on the past 4-ish months I somehow feel that time has flown and it’s also stood still. How is that possible? 

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A Letter to the Class of 2020

To our College and University Seniors,  

We know this was a graduation weekend for many of you and things are not ending as planned. As you make this monumental transition into your professional career, you springboard into adulthood as well. Scary when you think of it that way, right?! Sometimes these big life transitions come at us like the seeker in hide-and-seek. Ready or not, here it comes. Don’t worry, you are prepared and ready. You got this.

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2020 PSAHPERD Awards Update

2020, a new decade. Time to reflect, make changes and look for new ways to improve what we want to do heading into the future. That is exactly what PSAHPERD did as it assigned an Ad Hoc Awards Committee to review all our awards and protocols to meet our mission. We wanted to continue to recognize our deserving Health Education and Physical Education teachers throughout PA. We are also striving to streamline the application and evaluation process by updating our criteria, applications, and rubrics. 

Cindy Allen, Judy Conroy, Fran Cleland Donnelly, Craig Kemmlein. Colleen Wegimont, and Margie Wuestner have been working over the past few months on this task.  As the chair of this committee, I have been blessed to work with these amazing and dedicated professionals.

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Relationships Go Virtual

The classroom buzzes with project-based learning as the teacher walks around the room checking on progress, answering questions, and keeping students on task. For me, the real reason this approach to teaching works so well is it also allows relationships to be established with ALL students while learning is in full action. Thomas Murray says it best, "Culture is built 30 seconds at a time.” Students need to feel valued, understand vulnerability, and stretch themselves for learning and growth. Spending time with each and every student is imperative. As teachers, we have the ability to ignite the spark, shine the light, and fan the flames.

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Why Blog? Why Not?

Has this conversation happened in your faculty rooms? “They don’t understand what we do in our physical education classes.” “They” could be administrators, school board members, or parents. “They” often make assumptions about what physical education is like based on their own experiences in school. “They” are often decision makers whose very decisions can make it hard to grow.

What if you could offer insight into your philosophy and what happens in your class? Sharing what you do creates opportunities for learning for all stakeholders. “They” would gain an understanding of your thoughts, how you help your students, and what your students are learningGeorge Couros says about blogging, “When we see ‘sharing’ as something that both supports and pushes us to be better, the big winner will always be the students.” I think we can all agree the students are why we do what we do.

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