Reflections from Asheville - The Top 10 Unique Qualities of the PE Institute

I just returned home to Georgia from attending the “action-packed” National Physical Education & School Sport Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. The three day conference that began on July 22, was an assemblage of physical educators than spanned the globe and took place at the Sherrill Center, on the University of North Carolina Asheville campus.

At the PE Institute, I was able to meet many passionate physical educators and reacquaint myself with some I had met at recent

conferences. I also was able to physically meet several friends that I have made on social media, but never had the chance to talk to in person. During the PE Institute, I was fortunate enough to be able to present to three packed sessions. I even got a chance to be a judge during the PE CHOPPED Challenge. That was a lot of fun and a highlight of my week!

The National Physical Education & School Sport Institute is much different than other conferences I have attended. It has many unique qualities and a personality that certainly makes it SHINE! I would like to highlight these qualities with a top 10 list to help describe what sets it apart from the fray.

The National Physical Education & School Sport Institute is…

1. Intimate and Personal: From the very beginning you walk into the corridor of the Sherrill Center on the campus of UNC Asheville, you feel welcomed and appreciated. A welcoming committee is there to greet you and “cheer you on” as you enter the facility. This feeling of belonging sustains throughout the entire conference as it never feels “stuffy” or “industrial”. There is always someone manned at an information desk and the head man himself, Artie Kamiya is always willing to answer your questions and make you feel at ease.

2. Engaging: The PE Institute was designed with the physical educator in mind. From the fun and movement-based socials, to the activity sessions on the giant gym floors, to the large dance studio room overlooking the mountains, this conference provides ample opportunity to move your body (in a variety of ways) with some of the most qualified professionals in the world.

3. Cutting Edge: Artie Kamiya intentionally seeks out physical and health educators that are breaking barriers and changing the landscape of our profession. A lot of what is presented at the PE Institute is not the same old things you might see over and over again at other functions, but new and inspiring ideas and resources that can be used immediately in your gym and classroom.

4. Inspirational: The breakout session presenters and the keynote speakers that become a part of the PE Institute are in Artie’s words “hand-picked motivational presenters who have tremendous drive, passion, and ability!” You can’t help but be inspired to take the knowledge you gain at the PE Institute and boldly make it a new part of who you are as an educator and a person.

5. Passion-Filled: When you are a participant in a session at the PE Institute, whether it be an activity session on the gym floor, a movement session in the dance studio, or even a lecture-style discussion in one of the state-of-the-art classrooms, you immediately sense the passion the presenters and the participants have for our field. There a very few people that do not get up and move or take a part in the discussion. Those that aren’t moving, are furiously taking notes so that they can use the ideas in their own programs when the school year commences.

6. Enlightening: The presenters at the PE Institute are intentional in what they do and are not there to show off random, time filler games. Nor are they there to tell you what they do in their programs but not give you the means to practically use their ideas and strategies. The presenters there are interested in providing participants with the What, Why and How of their ideas, solutions, activities and concepts. At most of the sessions I attended, the presenter referenced the SHAPE America Standards and current Grade Level Outcomes or tied their material to their state standard requirements.

7. Exciting and Fun: The PE Institute provides many exciting opportunities for socializing and hanging out in some very cool and trendy spots in Asheville, NC. An Activity and Dance Social is planned for every night at either the Crowne Plaza hotel or at local Brewing Company. The socials are all interactive and bridge some popular presenters and Phys. Ed. companies with the attendees. A 2018 CHOPPED Challenge (replicating the TV show CHOPPED) was planned for PE teachers to show off their ingenuity and creativity with PE equipment: and it did not disappoint. The group lesson outcomes were outstanding and fun to watch.

8. Motivational: I found all of the keynote speakers to be very enthusiastic and really connected with the attendees with their personal stories of perseverance, conviction, appreciation, and optimism for the future of physical education. The 2018 keynoters highlighted approaches for impacting students’ lives, explored new methods to measure student needs, and discussed some future directions and trends for the field of physical education.

9. Successful: The National Physical Education & School Sport Institute began back in the summer of 2012 and has grown to be a true physical education and health teacher favorite. It’s unique style and focus on “out-of-the box” thinkers has made it a sought after conference for those that want something a little different. Artie Kamiya and his helpers work very hard every year to make the PE Institute current and relevant so that it stays a place teachers want to return year after year.

10. Visionary: Artie Kamiya had a dream seven years ago for a new style of professional development training for physical educators. He has and will continue to design a unique experience for excited and dedicated educators who are unwilling to accept the status quo within physical education and sport. He has geared everything for those that continually ask “is there a better way?” Artie has never lost track of his dream and continually moves forward in making the PE institute experience unique, personable, inspirational, valuable and fun for all!

Are you looking for something a little different for your professional development and really want to network with some passionate physical education and health teachers from around the globe that truly want to make a difference? If so, then put the National Physical Education & School Sport Institute on your bucket list and pencil it in to your calendar for next July. Next year’s institute will take place on July 22-24, 2019 and will feature a powerhouse set of key note speakers including: Joey Feith, Michelle Hillier, Andy Hair, Andrew Milne, Mel Hamada, and Andy Horne!

For more information, click this link:

Many thanks to Linda Rucker, Ami Gibson and Betsey Caldwell for supplying the outstanding pictures for this blog!!!

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