Tuesday 17 October 2017

HPEC Words of Wisdom | Mentorship

HPEC Vision: Alberta teachers will provide quality instruction and programs in health and physical education to promote the development of healthy active lifestyles in students.

HPEC Mission: The Health and Physical Education Council, as a professional organization of teachers, advocates for quality health and physical education programs and provides opportunities for professional growth and development of its members. HPEC is committed to providing leadership in creating healthy active school communities.

HPEC is currently working towards providing Mentorship resources to our membership.   Please check out what we have developed here http://www.hpec.ab.ca/hpec-mentorship

This Blog Post highlights words of wisdom HPEC executive members would pass along to others.  A community fo Practice is a powerful tool in professional development and in forming a community of support and connection.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.   HPEC executive contact information can be found on the HPEC website http://www.hpec.ab.ca/current-hpec-executive

Task vs Ego-Based Motivation: I was struggling with what I was observing in a student fitness challenge day. The challenge consisted of a race between classes to see which class could complete a series of exercises first. What was eating away at me was the inability for everyone to feel successful in the activity and the poor technique the students were demonstrating and as a result the reduced benefit of activity the students were realizing. A simple change made all the difference, rather than a race first to finish first students were awarded a point for every time anyone in the class demonstrated quality technique or effort that pushed their personal limits. The points were tallied up after the fitness challenge as complete. The change in the student motivation and engagement was HUGE, everyone had the opportunity to be successful and this a great example of Goal Orientation (Task) vs Ego based motivation. Want to know more check out this podcast https://connectedpe.com/episode-23-nice-is-not-enough-with-dr-amanda-stanec/ 

~ Elisha O'Lain, HPEC President

Creating Student Learning Environments: Remember “How you teach each day is just as important, or more important, as what you teach each day”. Take the time to build a welcoming, inclusive and encouraging learning environment where all students have a sense of belonging. Think about the importance of teaching and infusing character within your daily lessons. A key resource on this topic is Donald Glover from the University of Wisconsin. Donald Glover presented on the topic of Character Education in Physical Education at the most recent HPEC/PHE Canada joint conference in Banff and the 2016 SPEA conference as a half-day pre-conference session. 30 years down the road, former students might not remember what you taught them, but the character traits you helped them developed as a teacher at a young age will help lead them through life. 

~ Sonia Sheehan, HPEC Vice President Communications and HPEC 2018 Conference Co-Chair 

Build relationships with students and staff. Be sure to connect with the people you find challenging too, 2 minutes a day with these folks! Be a team player, collaborate with colleagues, and most importantly have fun and foster your passion! Attend PD and try new things. Ask questions when needed. Keep the special things… the cards, notes, emails, etc. You might need them to remind yourself that you do make a difference! 

~ Shelagh McCracken, HPEC Vice President Leadership in Curriculum and Pedagogy 

Take time to explain the ‘why:’ Students are more likely to buy into a new activity if they know the why behind it. This year I have been continuously challenged by some of my students who want to know why they need to participate in PE and various activities when they would rather be active playing a specific sport. I have found that by taking time to explain my objectives, the concept of physical literacy and the benefits of being active (in student-friendly ways,) my students have been more willing to participate and try something new… They have even stated that they ‘liked’ the new activity!”

~ Kim Bates, HPEC Treasurer 

Student Leadership and Student Voice: As a teacher, you have been provided a gift; a gift to encourage, motivate and inspire young minds and bodies. You have worked hard in your teacher preparation program, you want to lead, you want to teach, you want to mentor! However, my words of advice are to step back, make sure you listen and learn from your students. They bring to the table a wealth of experiences and understandings that are relevant and contextualized from their perspective. Students voice, involvement, and leadership are key to engagement and learning. Some of your most difficult students in a class can be your most influential leaders when given the opportunity! Embrace this opportunity to let them shine!
~ Chris Shaw, HPEC Secretary

Have individual conversations with students outside of the classroom. This will help build stronger relationships with students and help teachers make classroom material more meaningful to each individual student.

~ Michael Hargas, HPEC Regional Representative Central West

Role Modeling: An Important Teaching Tool: It is possible students have difficulty valuing knowledge when they perceive that the teacher does not model the information being presented. (Dean, Adams, & Comeau, 2005). Role modeling is an effective teaching tool (Cardinal & Cardinal, 2001). With the skills, talents, and attitudes teachers possess or lack, they are perhaps the most important building blocks of the educational system (Yilmaz, 2011). Teachers, in fact, have the opportunity to impact students in a positive manner every school day (Vidourek et al., 2011). Teachers, for instance, who take pride in being physically active and demonstrate motor skills during physical education lessons can influence their students positively (Pangrazi & Beighle, 2013). There are several ways that teachers of physical education can be role models to their students. For example, role modeling active, healthy behaviours is one method that students will observe during the school day. Mixed messages will occur when teachers say one thing, and do another in front of students. What ways are you role modeling to your students this school year? 

~ Brent Bradford; Concordia University of Edmonton, HPEC Runner Editor & PHE Canada Liaison

Cardinal, B.J. & Cardinal, M.K. (2001). Role modeling in HPERD: Do attitudes match behavior? Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. 72(4), 34-39.
Dean, M.B., Adams, T.M., & Comeau, M.J. (2005). The effect of a female physical educator's physical appearance on physical fitness knowledge and attitudes of junior high students. The Physical Educator, 62(1), 14-25.
Pangrazi, R.P., & Beighle, A. (2013). Dynamic physical education for elementary school children. (17th Ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Vidourek, R.A., King, K.A., Bernard, A.L., Murnan, J., & Nabors, L. (2011). Teachers’ strategies to positively connect students to school. American Journal of Health Education. 42(2), 116-126.
Yilmaz, A. (2011). Quality problem in teaching profession: Qualities teacher candidates feel to be required of teachers. Educational Research and Reviews. 6(14), 812-823.

Put the students first - As a first year teacher, you are full of energy, enthusiasm, and a motivation to make a difference in your school for your students - Which is GREAT, a true reason as to why we joined the profession. 

I would challenge all new teachers to take 5 minutes, set up a camera or iPad and record yourself answer the following question, "Why do I teach?". Whatever the response may be, the hope will be that it will fall along the theme of putting students first.

At the end of each year I would then challenge you to reflect back to that video and ask yourself, "Would my answer to the question be the same as it was in that moment?". If it isn't, my advice would be to ask yourself why it has or has not changed; and what are you going to do in your practice to either get back to that answer or to continue striving for putting students first. Because at the end of the day those students deserve your best, and they deserve to be put first, always.

- Collin Dillon, Website and Social Media Executive-
Facebook - Alberta HPEC