The Best Advocacy Is a Job Well Done.
"You have to do a good job, do a good job, do a good job… AND THEN TELL SOMEBODY!" ~ Unknown
Although I don't have a name to go with this quote, I can tell you where it came from. In the 1980's AAHPERD had an advocacy division called PEPI (Physical Education Public Information). As a new, very enthusiastic physical education teacher I was eager to become involved in my state organization so when the executive board asked me to be the PEPI coordinator I jumped at the chance. That year, I was able to attend the Eastern District Association Conference where I represented our state at the PEPI session. I'll never forget the presenter's message which was that "You have to do a good job, do a good job, do a good job AND THEN TELL SOMEBODY!" Delivered with passion and a strong southern accent, the message was clear. With all that physical educators are up against, not only do we have to hold ourselves accountable to do an OUTSTANDING JOB, we also must make an effort to be sure the public knows about it. And with the technology available today we don't have to stop at telling, we must do what we can to show people what is happening in our classrooms.
Educate Your Administrators
Administrators all have different experiences with physical education and physical educators that color their perceptions of what is supposed to be going on. Take every opportunity to get them into your teaching space, talk with them about your objectives and share student learning. I have been fortunate to work with outstanding administrators who truly "get" what physical education is and should be. I came across this letter written by one of them on my behalf. It has been tacked to my bulletin board every since she gave me the copy. She really "got" it!
Our Students Are Our Biggest Advocates
It's great to have advocates at the state, district, and national levels but I honestly believe it comes down to each teacher in each community working to educate staff, administration, parents and community members about our goals and what we're doing to accomplish them. And above all of this it means that we have to plan outstanding experiences so that that kids are walking through your doors excited about what they will learn, walking out having had a positive experience, and then running home to tell mom, dad, grandma, grandpa and all the other members of his/her family. Your students are your biggest advocates. And by purposeful planning, teaching the way the brain learns, and being in tune to the needs of our students we can insure that this is happening. For there really couldn't be anything more important than helping kids develop skills, knowledge and habits for healthy and active futures.
Physical Education Is Affordable Healthcare
Tony Morano wrote an excellent article titled Physical Education IS Affordable Healthcare published in the July/August 2011 edition of Strategies. After reading it I remembered a poem I had once read about prevention by Joseph Malins called A Fence or an Ambulance. Great food for thought
PE - TV Videos
PE-TV Videos - These great keynote speakers at the National PE Institute are fabulous. In 2013 Judy LoBianco's hits a home run for advocacy. Worth watching!
“Intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong.” John F. Kennedy
In the words of the PHYSEDOGOGY Team, "The mission of the #PhysEdSummit is to provide digital professional learning opportunities for health and physical education professionals by sharing, discussing, and reflecting on best practices." And that is exactly what they do. This group of committed professionals work to provide use with an annual online conference and then archives the sessions so if we are unable to attend we can watch and learn at a later date. Thank you for all that you do to connect like-minded professionals for the purpose of creating better physical education experiences for all children. Here is an example of one of the sessions from PhysEdSummit.
Connect With The Community
Take every opportunity to connect with parents and community members through my website. I try to do so through my school website. Each time I add something I send an email to parents, faculty and administrators encouraging them to take a minute to look. I have provided the link if you would like to take a look.