How to Collaborate with Teachers to Increase Classroom Activity [Interactive]

Episode Transcript:

One way to be a school wellness champion is to promote active learning and activity breaks in your school community.

Welcome to the PE Express podcast. Two to three times a week, a PE expert will share a tip activity idea or teaching strategy to help you become a better PE professional. Today’s host is Jessica Shawley, a national board certified teacher leader from Idaho and a Shape America national teacher of the year.

As a health and PE teacher, active learning is what I do. When I go to professional development, it’s what I learned about and what I know about my colleagues is that they totally believe in this. They know their students need to be active. They know their students have a lot of energy, but their professional development opportunities don’t always address the active learning needs of their students. And so I build relationships with my colleagues and I serve my school, by bringing the research and activities and resources that I received through my professional development to them. And it doesn’t come across as a way of, oh, you should be doing this and I know you’re not. Rather, it’s, I already know you’re doing this cause I talk with them about it and I hear all the great ideas that they’re already implementing in their classroom and it’s, I already know you’re doing this and here’s some other materials to further enhance and support what it is you’re doing.

And so it’s a very collegial approach to the active classroom and active learning philosophy and it’s a great way to enhance your school wellness program. And so I support it in a variety of ways as the health and PE teacher. One I facilitate and I lead collaboration and sharing of ideas. So at the start of the year I email the staff, especially the new teachers and I invite them in to collaborate so that I can share with them the resources that we’ve collected, any neat new resources I’ve found over the summer or at recent professional developments. And I’m able to connect teachers with each other because they are the best sharers of their ideas of what’s working.

I also put together a shared Google Drive folder that houses all these documents of ideas and so that they can link back to them at any time. And then I developed a free Weebly website of all the hot links to the online video resources that teachers can access right away and utilize with their students. This website is linked on our school website directly so that teachers can bookmark it. So there’s two different ways the ideas are shared via Google drive and a school wellness website. And then facilitating conversations through collaboration time. And I know not everyone’s able to make it always at the start of the year and so I’ll host a second sharing session where I bring in new ideas, we try out new ideas and again we, you know, build relationships one another part way through the year, probably at mid year.

And then another thing to do is to teach it to the students, you know, introducing to them and teaching them about the importance of active learning and how to take breaks and how to listen to their body and teaching them little activities that they can try out at home or even in the classroom with the invitation from a teacher.

You know, I can share at a staff meeting, Hey, we have taught the students a couple of new activity breaks. Go ahead and ask them about them, see if they want to lead them. And it’s a great way to further enhance the school community.

And then lastly, I like to help meet the needs of my teachers by asking them what it is they need and the Fuel to Play 60 school grant program is a great way to meet teacher’s needs. There’s an activity breaks play as part of the program and it helps fund active learning. So we have been able to get for our teachers active learning materials such as quiz buttons and spinners to review content and then active seating options for those students who like those wobble chairs. It’s been really neat to be able to go out there and get funding to meet the needs of your teachers to further enhance school wellness. Then there’s just a lot out there that teachers can access, so be that leader and facilitator of that up to date information and then be that positive force for your colleagues. Thanks for listening. Thanks for teaching and have a wonderful day.

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