Reflections of a Masterclass

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Hello everyone!! I know, it’s been a while! I originally wanted to do a post about starting the year off on the right note but how engaging would it be to hear I’ve been playing “catch up” for eight weeks?

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a Masterclass presenter at ConnectedPE. This event was the culmination of a year-long passion project I was working on: integrating Physical Literacy into concept/inquiry-based planning. Why? Because I felt that the international student community was not being serviced properly by standards that change from school to school. Focusing on Physical Literacy benchmarks (still connecting to the standards we have to use) ensures that progression of the fundamental movement competency (physical domain), knowledge and understanding (cognitive domain), motivation and confidence (affective domain), and the passion/value of physical activity (behavioral domain) that is needed to be active for life outside of a school setting. If you are interested, check out the webinar that deconstructs this process on ConnectedPE.

Now, this post is not about that project. It’s about the powerful experience of becoming part of an amazing professional learning community that has provided me with some amazing takeaways and direction moving forward.

 

When my wife and I moved to Dubai in 2015, I found that there was something missing from my professional journey. For years I was engaged with the Health and Physical Education Council of Alberta (HPEC) and Ever Active Schools and they provided some amazing opportunities for professional development and connecting with others who shared the same passion. It was through these connections where I experienced the most powerful moments of professional and personal development (HUGE shout out to my HPEC/Ever Active family!!). I was fortunate enough to meet up with some of my HPEC community at the recent ConnectedPE conference in Dubai and it just re-enforced how powerful these connections can be.

 

For me, being part of the masterclass was not about having the cutting edge research or million dollar fix to solve the words Phys Ed problems. It was about making new connections with others who shared the same passion for movement and reconnecting with an amazing group of educators. These are the connections that help me reflect and become a more effective educator for my students.

 

 

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Mark and Tracy Lockwood, Ryan Fahey and myself. The HPEC and Ever Active Schools connecting in Dubai at ConnectedPE. #CanadianConnection

 

For me, being part of the masterclass was not about having the cutting edge research or million dollar fix to solve the words Phys Ed problems. It was about making new connections with others who shared the same passion for movement and reconnecting with an amazing group of educators. These are the connections that help me reflect and become a more effective educator for my students.

To start off the weekend, Andy Vasily shared an amazing keynote speech about his journey and how physical activity saved him. A few weeks ago Andy reached out to me when he heard of my brothers passing and shared that he knows exactly what I was going through. The kind words and support were appreciated but I didn’t realize how deep his experience was until he shared it as a keynote speech. It was here, where Andy shared how he used physical activity to create an “armor” to protect himself from the grief and loss and how he used this to fuel his passion as an educator. It was at that moment that I didn’t feel like I was alone dealing with tragedy and that I was on the right track. Weeks leading up to the conference I was concerned that I was not handling the grief effectively and was hiding it by being active and working on some of my passion projects. Andy’s words reconfirmed the power of physical activity and that it is always there to help bring us back.

 

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One of my favorite slides from Andy’s keynote. It really set the tone for this weekend!

 

From there, it was days full of sharing and collaborating. I had the first block of masterclass sessions right after Andy’s keynote and was feeling inspired. I didn’t start off my session the way I originally planned to, I demonstrated my humanity and not my expertise by sharing my recent life events, the responses and support I have received from my PE connections and how it has re-enforced WHY I am an educator. I felt that this was powerful in establishing the future connections that I would make all weekend. I was able to help inspire others through the integration of fundamental movement skills in a cooperative games unit, be the ear for others to listen to as we discussed their unique teaching situations, deconstructing the tools I have created so they can be applied in everyone’s unique teaching style and personality, but most importantly I was helping others on their journey towards personal and professional excellence.

 

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The second-day masterclass session where I am trying not to focus on my varsity boys volleyball team playing in the semifinals right beside me!

 

The rest of the weekend was an amazing experience! The other masterclass presenters put on some top-notch sessions which challenged my understanding of developing game sense to promote sports literacy, the power of provocation and developing student-designed learning outcomes/benchmarks and the power of creating a program to encourage healthy living and wellness inside your school. The people who I shared this title with are truly those who are pushing the importance of quality physical education.

 

 

The rest of the weekend was an amazing experience! The other masterclass presenters put on some top-notch sessions which challenged my understanding of developing game sense to promote sports literacy, the power of provocation and developing student-designed learning outcomes/benchmarks and the power of creating a program to encourage healthy living and wellness inside your school. The people who I shared this title with are truly those who are pushing the importance of quality physical education.

 

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Little application in my Net/Wall Games unit. Having the students develop game sense and creating their own outcomes

In the end, the most powerful takeaway from this weekend is that we are all connected. It is through this connection that we can not only support each other in achieving personal excellence, but we all can support our students in achieving their personal excellence as well. We are all in this together, rowing in the same diretion and ultimately towards the same goal; quality physical education for all of our students.

 

One thought on “Reflections of a Masterclass

  1. Pingback: The PE Playbook – October 2017 Edition – drowningintheshallow

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