By William Jackson, M.Ed. #myquesttoteach – There are times when parents wonder why Physical Education and Health Education are important. Online instruction on this massive scale is challenging parents, administrators and teachers are adapting to new platforms of teaching. As a PE and HLTH educator of 32 years I try to share with parents there is a correlation of academic performance for students in elementary school being involved in physical activity and being engaged in health lessons that inspire thinking critically.
Physical activity requires knowledge how the body works, how the body moves, how the body aligns with skills that grow through engaged physical activity. Coordination is a physical activity that requires engagement of the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and other parts to allow the body to grow and develop. Parents should be encouraging,
modeling and working with the child to make it fun and rewarding to learn. Parents sometimes forget their past developmental needs, their past challenges and even the failures in learning new skills that lead to successes in the future.
I have seen students that cannot throw a ball grow into good kickers, their confidence builds and skills-sets in fine and gross motor skills develop. I have seen students that are uncoordinated in running or jogging able to jump rope, hop, skip and climb until their self-confidence and self-determination by will develop their abilities. I have seen students that are robust in size and weight move across monkey bars with ease, climb over the climbing bars and jump for heights that others half their size cannot do. Kids can accomplish great things as PE and Hlth teachers will tell when kids are encouraged and supported. There needs to be engagement, assistance in some kids and the building of self-esteem and personal confidence.
Students look forward to being engaged in physical activity and learning new skills to apply to other areas of their lives. To encourage them to think, reason, grow in areas of interest and importantly fun. There has to be fun!! To show that success will come even if they are scared to do the activities.
Structured physical activity teaches discipline, it builds self-esteem, self-confidence, creates a mindset that life-long learning of physical fitness and health is important.
The COVID19 virus is showing the value of Health Education careers in nursing, health care professionals and new careers that will be developed because of COVID19. The new models of educational empowerment should contain physical and health education models and resources in the future curriculums. Kids need PE and
Health education teachers have been teaching personal skills that are real-life lessons that have been done for years why hand washing is important, why being mindful of where you put your hands and why you wash your body regularly and eat healthy foods is important. Health education teachers teach students why you keep your hands out of your mouth is valuable for elementary kids. I and other Physical and Health education teachers have been teaching this for years, CORONA19 shows that health education and physical education is needed
This Pandemic gives clarity why more emphasis needs to be placed on Health Education and the value of Physical and Health Education lessons.
A passionate and purposeful Physical Education and Health Education teacher is very important in elementary education to start the foundation for learning, engagement and application of creating fun and enjoyable
moments for learning.
No longer can PE and Health education teachers be ignored, they are important parts of school curriculums, they affects school pride and cultivating a positive spirit in schools. They can build moral and contribute to a schools culture of acceptance of diversity in physical and mental abilities, diversity in gender and culture.
How important the profession is to keeping students’ knowledge growing and academically engaged? Physical activity is essential to academic performance of all students. Physical Education is not a goal to make every child an athlete, but to share the joy and excitement of physical exercise for their lives and create a value for healthy living and life-styles.
Health Education is not a goal to make doctors, nurses or physical therapist, although that would be encouraging. The goal is to teach and re-enforce the thinking of learning how to maintain a healthy body, how to care for minor
injuries, how valuable eating a healthy diet is to preventing diseases, illness and prevention of obesity. Health education even teaches preventing mental illness because exercise is important for the whole body.
Parents by using encouraging words, smiles, personal experience and encouragement can make PE and HE fun, exciting and build a life-long adventure of healthy living. It is hoped that children find pleasure and fun
in learning more about how to keep healthy in a times such as these while at home and limited outside activities.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s PE and HE teacher and let them know they are appreciated and loved.
By William Jackson, M.Ed. #myquesttoteach – Physical and Health Education Professional 32 years