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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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CPR Mandate: What You Need to Know

Confused by the new CPR requirements? Thanks to Nick Slotterback of PDE for setting the record straight!

According to Act 7 students in 9-12th grade must be taught hands-only CPR as well as the use of the Automated External Defibrillator.  PDE will be working on a resource guide of suggested curriculums and programs schools can choose to implement.  According to the PA Academic Standards, CPR standards are required for the 9th and 12th-grade benchmarks.  It is up to the school entity to decide when they would want to present this curriculum to their students.  Best practice would be in 9th grade and 11th grade since if students are choosing to certified for this training, it generally holds for two years.  However, it is up to the schools to make this decision.  Here is a breakdown of Act 7:

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Pennsylvania CPR Update for High School Health Curriculum

Background:

State Senator (Killion) introduced a bill (SB521) for hands-only CPR instruction for high school students (PA State Rep R Lee James also introduced a similar bill, HB1097) that passed in the Senate and House. It is important to note that these bills do not state that CPR Certification is mandatory. 

Summary:

  • High School students should have CPR information/knowledge in their HS health curriculum
  • CPR is a component of the new 10th Grade Core Concepts within the PA Health Standards
  • PA law DOES NOT state that certification is needed, rather, it is a local decision if schools want to offer certification
  • Health and Physical Educators must be trained and certified (Red Cross or American Heart Association) if they offer a CPR certification to students.  
    • Schools also have the option of bringing in/paying the Red Cross, Heart Association, etc. under the supervision of a certified H/PE teacher.  

Benefits of CPR in High School Health Curriculum:

  • Career Readiness
  • Resume building
  • Supports Well-Rounded Education  

Funding:

If you are certifying students in CPR, this falls under ESSA- Career Education which contributes to a well-rounded education. As a result, districts may be able to access federal funds (Title II) to cover training costs affiliated with CPR Instructor training. Talk to your district today about including this in your PA ESSA Comprehensive State Plan to access funds! 

 

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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