Our PE Future is Bright

Still Making Connections…a new passion from a “retired” PE Teacher.

Deciding to retire from my district last June came with mixed emotions.  I knew it was the right decision, but I realized teaching had been all I had ever known. 33 years of a gymnasium filled with students…where I created lessons, activities, and best practices that cultivated my LOVE of teaching.

Transition to College Teaching

I knew I still had more learning and teaching to experience. Still full of ambition, I sent my resume to an area college that I knew offered a Physical Education Program.  I was able to teach 2 skill classes, and I was hooked.   The class size was as big as the college students. These were not my littles that I was used to 🙂

Mentoring and Collaborating in Higher Education

Mentoring and collaborating with area teachers has been so incredibly rewarding.  My methods class this spring focuses on how to present lessons and their progressions while also teaching management skills.  These tricks were created through 33 years of good and some pretty bad failing lessons. My students became my guide to how best to teach lessons for success. The textbook assignments have been helpful, and I feel my experience has added to this course.  I can share my failures that actually taught me what are now my best teacher skills.

Hands-On Learning in Physical Education

I have also been fortunate to have several area current PE Teachers allow my students to observe their magic in the gym.  It is this hands-on experience that has sparked enthusiasm in the eyes of these college students. Each teacher we have observed has their own way to manage and give instruction.  These college students reflect on what they have observed and how it can be implemented in their future teaching.

Innovative Lesson from My Students

As much my students are learning about the profession of teaching, I have equally learned from them.  I want to highlight some lessons that one of my PE college students has created.  Lessons that I have yet to see in all of my years of teaching.

Examples of Innovative Lessons

“Rock, Mud, and Poles” Variation:

One student, C.Y., created a variation to Rock Paper Scissors.  He changed the instruction and label to Rock, Mud, and Poles” he said, “for students that might have an interest in Hiking, and not just your typical sports.”


Olympic and NASCAR Warm-Up:

The same student and his group also created an Olympic Warm Up.  Check out the prop that was created for their “Opening Ceremony” with the Olympic themed music as well!



Flags used for Warm Up: Green, Yellow, Checkered

Students complete “pace laps” around the gym. The teacher will stand in the middle of the gym with 3 flags. Each flag represents a movement.

Green Flag (GO)-  Jog

Yellow Flag (CAUTION)- Walk

Checkered Flag (RACE OVER)- Stop and come to the baseline.

C. Y. “felt some of his students could relate to this car race, to try to connect with students of different interests.”


The Robinson 500:

* Robinson is the name of the college’s gymnasium, so clever and a great way to connect with your pride in your school.

Instant Activity (10 mins):

Organization:  The teacher will ask students to come sit on the baseline. Teacher will explain and ask questions regarding the motorsport of NASCAR and demonstrate proper form for shooting a basketball. Students will be counted off and separated into 3-6 teams. Teams will be organized into designated baskets around the gym, each basket receiving one basketball. Students will be standing in a line at the foul line of their hoop. At the center of the court a track with 3-6 cars will be set up on the starting line.   

Equipment: Basketballs, Coated-Foam Balls, Basketball Hoops, Toy NASCAR cars, Poly Spots

Instant Activity:  Students will be split up into 3-6 teams and line up at the foul line of  their hoop. One student per team will shoot from any poly spot they want within 21 ft.  of their hoop. If the student misses they will pass the ball to a teammate and get to the end of the line. If the student makes it then he/she will pass the ball to the next teammate in line and jog over to the track and move their NASCAR. The color of the poly spot will determine how many spots to move. Colors will be organized by distance from the basket. Lay Ups= 1 Spot, Mid Range= 3 Spots, Long Range= 5 Spots. The goal of the game is to get your NASCAR around the track first. The game ends when one team finishes the race.

Differentiations for younger students:

Grade K- Simplified cues lesson, Gator skin balls, and small hoops will be used. Poly spots are removed and no longer have a point value. Each basket moves the car up 1 spot.

Grade 2- Poly spots are brought in closer the furthest shot should be no longer than 15 ft.


Shooting a basketball- BEEF

  1. Balance
  2. Eyes
  3. Elbow
  4. Follow through

Student Safety Rules:

Head up when jogging or rebounding

No throwing the basketball inappropriately

Gently push the car forward the correct number of spots

Respect each other’s effort and work together

Transition: Teacher says freeze and waves the caution flag or checkered flag. Students stop and look at the teacher for direction.

Teaching Philosophy:

Picture5 1

This has honestly been the best year while still staying active in the field of Physical Education.  I would encourage anyone to reach out to a local undergraduate college, and or local college to offer your experience in the field of physical education.

There is so much to learn from each other!

Another one of the PE college students JR wrote this in his reflection…“Also, I hope to welcome future educators into my classes to become better teachers.”  This has been a great mentoring experience.

Teaching PE is a journey not a destination!

About the Author:

One Response

  1. A good teacher inspires students in any class through their enthusiasm, respect for the students, and creativity! A great teacher teaches others to buy into those qualities and continue that creative trajectory. I feel Kim’s presence with all ages has led to fun learning and good teaching! Congratulations on an outstanding teaching career- you have made teaching better for all ages!

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