The summer of 2018 was a whirlwind of nearly 60 hours of professional development that has made a career long impact on my practice as a teacher.
Often times, as a physical educator, I suffer from feelings of isolation. Physical Education is a unique subject, with unique challenges that requires a unique set of skills. That uniqueness often isolates us from other content area teachers. I am the sole PE teacher to a population of over 700 students and staff. Often, I watch in envy as other content area teachers share their struggles, successes and collaborative efforts on a day to day basis.
One way I have made an effort to combat this isolation is to be involved in Kentucky AHPERD. Attending workshops, conferences and presentations always recharges my professional batteries. This
involvement has lead me to hold various positions on the KAHPERD leadership board. One of our main goals is to provide quality, content specific professional development opportunities to the thousands of #MyOldKentuckyHomies. Volunteering my time to KAHPERD is a sacrifice I chose to make because of the connections I have made with some of the best educators in the state.
The current KAHPERD board members chose to look beyond the borders of the bluegrass state to expand our network of inspiration.
Unanimously we looked a few hours down the road to Asheville, North Carolina and the National Physical Education and School Sport Institute.
This yearly event features an international network of the “best of the best” in our profession.
KAHPERD board members with the man himself, Artie Kamiya! Candace Young @CandaceYoung37, Chad Sweeney @ChadSweeney10, Robin Richardson @Walker1Hpe, LaDonda Porter @lporterPE. Artie and his team create an environment of #ContagiousPassion for the growth of our profession.
I was honored to meet and continue to learn from several people that are in my social media network of inspiration.
Mike Ginicola @PhysEdDepot
Ben Landers @thepespecialist
Mike Martinez @PhysEdFreak and Chris Walker @coachwalk and many more of the @OPENPhysEd National Presenters.
Connecting face to face with many of these #PhysEd social media rock stars was a true highlight of the conference. I learn day after day, post after post from these people and I loved connecting with them even more. Realizing that these educators that I admire so much, share many of the same challenges I do, drastically reduced my feelings of isolation.
Early August in Kentucky typically means the summer “break” is winding down and a new school year will soon begin. Crossing off the endless list of things to get my classroom ready for another year loomed heavy.
However, this past August, I had the honor of joining the team of OPEN (Online Physical Education Network) National Trainers. These passionate individuals travel the globe to spread the message of quality physical education! Each of the nearly 60 educators has a uniqueness and specialty they bring to the group. However, each and every one has a level of passion that cannot be contained! The fundamental OPEN philosophy of #teachershelpingteachers is awe inspiring and humbling to be a part of. I only hope I can live up to the responsibility that little blue whistle brings.
The OPEN trainer ceremonies were in conjunction with the inaugural @peconnections conference in Stillwater, MN. This conference was held in a high school facility that rivals many at the collegiate level. It offered session after session of high quality presentations that were on par with any conference at the national level.
The @peconnections team outdid themselves and definitely shared their #ContagiousPassion!
This past summer has really made an impact on me. I am currently in my 19th year teaching elementary physical education. It would be easy for me to rely on that experience and just “do it the way I’ve always done it.” However, I feel like my students deserve the best, so I need to learn from the best. The summer of 2018 provided me several opportunities to do just that.
My challenge to each of you is to EXPAND YOUR NETWORK! Seek out
those around you, online or otherwise (hence why all the twitter handles and hashtags) that inspire you to be better for your students. The #PhyEed world is filled with educators with #ContagiousPassion and many are willing to share that with you.
Daniel Hill teaches K-5 Physical Education at Tates Creek Elementary in Lexington,Kentucky. Daniel is a National Board Certified teacher and the President-Elect of KyAHPERD. He facilitates his school garden and provides mindfulness workshops to fellow teachers. He and his wife Becky have two sons: Clark (yes...named after Superman) and Elliot.