Recess. The school doors fly open and students race out to the playground. Whatever they choose: kickball, tag, or playing pretend, is of their own volition. This segment of a child’s day, they are self-directed, decisions are purposeful, and problems are solved independently.
Likewise in our careers, there are choices we make. Some paths we avoid, others are familiar and effortless, and finally there are those, which serve as the springboards propelling you to the next level.
As an educator, I have 22 years of accumulated lessons, and unlimited
pedagogical resources to pull from. Therefore, I asked myself, why was I going to move forward, if everything seemed to be working just fine? Complacency is underappreciated, right?
Initially, blogging was a way for me to catapult myself into the world of technology. Sure, I would tweak lesson plans and update fitness findings each year while adding ideas to my skill and game inventory, but it wasn’t enough.
Students would enter the gym wearing the latest Fit Bits, Garmins, or other “Smart” technology, and as I glance at my analog watch, I realized it was time. Time to brave the digital world. To meet the students, where they were.
So, over the last two years, I developed the blog, Keeping Kids in Motion, a platform where I share my passion for keeping kids active, and teaching, while building a community engaged in contributing their best practices.
BLOGGING: 5 REASONS WHY
1. Build a Community:
Find your tribe and connect.
For several years, I held a conference at our school inviting other physical educators to share successful lessons based on the annual theme. The conferences were successful, but I knew I could reach more
people, and intermesh additional ideas. By starting the Keeping Kids in Motion Blog, I have been able to strengthen my professional learning network. Immediately after publishing a post, I receive feedback from like-minded peers who share similar stories, and voice their opinions. As much as I am sharing with my community, I am also learning, and as a result, I have become more motivated to write.
Archives warrant value.
Many of my posts share videos and descriptions of games I play with my students relating to a certain topic. I regularly refer back to many posts to watch a video or read through a description as a reminder of what I
have previously taught. The older I get, the more reminders I need. It is my hope other educators utilize my blog as a virtual file cabinet filled with the lessons and information I have posted since the beginning of the blog.
3. Professional Development:
Growth comes from effort, struggle, and collaboration.
My blog has reignited my passion for seeking the latest and effective teaching strategies for my students. I’m like a chef in search of the best recipe. Each ingredient should complement the next with hope for an incredible flavor for customers. The better it tastes, the happier the clientele. Don’t we all want the best recipes for our students? The best suggestions I receive come from other teachers all over the world. They may simply add or subtract ingredients from the lesson making it the perfect recipe for their students.
4. Write your story:
Put your words out in the world consistently.
You never know when an idea will present itself. Whether I’m driving to work, going for a jog, teaching a class, or lying in bed, an idea can suddenly pop into my head. I’ll quickly grab a piece of scratch paper and jot the idea down for a future post. Although my posts relating to PE receive the most views, some of my least popular posts are the ones I enjoy writing the most. They allow me to express myself in a way unrelated to my profession. This is where writing for my blog becomes more therapeutic. Well-known blogger, Seth Godin Says, "Everyone should write a blog, every day, even if no one reads it. There’s countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason it’s a bad idea…the best practice of generously sharing what you notice about the world is exactly the antidote for your fear."
5. Celebrate what my Colleagues and I are Doing in PE:
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Helen Keller.
I am so fortunate to work with three other amazing PE teachers. Brian Balocki, Jedd Austin, and Laura English and I have been teaching together for eleven years, and we consistently bounce new thoughts off
of each other. Some of the ideas we come up with are just too good to keep confined within the walls of Trinity School, and must be shared.
Overall, blogging has helped me grow as an educator, parent, and professional. As a medium, it allows me to be myself, and share what I have learned with a myriad of people who so kindly impart their comments and ideas with me.
According to Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic Monthly, “Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.”
So, find your outside voice, and mirror the freedom children have when they run out to recess every day. Choose a topic, queue it up and blog it. With each step we take and word we share, we will keep our bodies and minds in motion!
Justin has been teaching physical education for 22 years. He began his career teaching in Washington, DC before moving to Atlanta, Georgia to teach at Trinity School. Nothing makes Justin Cahill happier than kids having multiple opportunities to physically move throughout the day. He is a firm believer that recess is a right and NOT a privilege.
Justin is happily married with three beautiful children who are constantly KEEPING HIM IN MOTION!
Follow justin Cahill on Twitter: @justybubpe
Check out his Facebook group called Keeping Kids in Motion!
Click to his Youtube Channel