Posts Tagged ‘pe blogs’


Sharing the Good News…

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

I want to share an enjoyable moment with you.  Recently, I was in Sacramento to film a discussion on physical activity promotion in schools organized by the California Department of Public Health’s Project LEAN.  When the video is posted online, I’ll let you know.

While we were waiting in the “green room” before the filming I had inspiring conversations with my fellow panelists whom I had just met.  A former teacher of the year who works in a small town was talking about his efforts to improve physical education in his new position at district manager of physical education, health, and sports.  One of his goals was to use a common curriculum so students would benefit from a cohesive approach throughout their time in his district.  He also wanted teachers in elementary and middle schools to communicate about physical education using the same terms and principles.  I was pleased when he started talking about SPARK as his curriculum of choice.  Beyond that, he saw SPARK as a partner in his efforts.  He was enthusiastic about the support he received in planning his strategy, the quality of the training and the trainers, and that the curricula had consistent principles across levels applied in an age-appropriate way.  He was really surprised when I told him I am a co-founder of SPARK.  He thanked me for starting such a great program, and I thanked him for embracing SPARK.

The other panelist was a superintendent of a California school district.  Though she was not a PE teacher, she was highly committed to coordinated school health and very familiar with SPARK.  It was a treat to hear her impressions about SPARK and her appreciation for the efforts of the SPARK staff to support her efforts to improve the health of children in her district.  She had seen SPARK benefit those students, who are largely low-income and Latino.  Based on her experience, she recommends SPARK to others, and what could be more influential to school officials than a recommendation from a superintendent?

It was truly heart-warming to hear these unsolicited testimonials about SPARK.  These school leaders did not know my connection with SPARK when they enthused about it, so I know it was totally genuine.  This a good moment to thank the SPARK staff for their daily and nightly efforts to make physical education GREAT and to improve children’s health.

Jim Sallis

www.drjamessallis.sdsu.edu

Welcome to our first SPARK Blog!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: I heard this Cyndi Lauper song on the drive to SPARK this morning, and thought about how much we are asked to quantify and evaluate every little thing our students do these days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for assessment and having standards to guide instruction, yet I wonder if sometimes we’re losing sight of what makes kids (and Cyndi) want to be active in the first place — having fun?

Sure, that’s one of the differences between physical education and physical activity, yet, as physical educators, isn’t it possible for us to get so caught up in assessment and demonstrating student learning that our classes become counterproductive? Ultimately don’t we really want students to move and enjoy it without feeling we’re counting every little step they take (last pop culture reference I promise…)? And I think Cyndi knows boys just wanna have fun too. Please think about the mixed message and share your thoughts with us.

Fitness for Fitness Teachers: I always enjoy my annual trip to Florida AAHPERD and spending time laughing with Patty Lanier. Patty is one of our terrific SPARK trainers and after a 20-year career teaching elementary PE, she went to the University of Central Florida where she instructs methods classes to future teachers — among many other things. Patty and I workout together in the am before the conference and discuss our pet peeve: Why aren’t more of our colleagues in the gym with us? It’s obvious when you attend conferences that many of our best and brightest are not exactly scoring 10’s in the role model department. Patty and I think we need to walk the talk. What do YOU think? Should NASPE sponsor some type of recognition for physical educators who maintain healthy lifestyles (consistent training schedules, BMI”s within respectable limits, etc,)? Should we have to submit to testing like our students and achieve a certain fitness standard? Aren’t fire and police people required to stay in shape to do their jobs?
Let us know YOUR thoughts.

-Paul Rosengard