Concordia Lutheran High School

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Putting the 'mental' in physical education

There we were. I was frantically searching for some way to get the technology to work properly in room 104, and Pam Rusher was trying to figure out how we were going to present if we could not get the technology to work. Our presentation begins in 10 minutes.

Each day, I fearlessly stand in front of students and deliver information about Health & Physical Education, but doing the same in front of peers is a different story. At the end of September I had the opportunity to stretch my comfort zone and present (co-present) at the LCMS Teaching Conference hosted by Concordia Lutheran High School.

Last spring, Pam Rusher, Mark Koehlinger, and I worked together to create a fitness unit for our Physical Education classes. Many fitness units involve students doing exercises, but not really understanding why they are doing them or how to recreate them at home. Our goal was develop an educational experience that would allow students to research and create — not just “Do.”

We introduced the students to four components of health-related fitness (flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular endurance) and asked them to find exercises that worked those components. Once those exercises were approved, they created informational slides for each of their stations. These slides would then be printed and used to create a fitness circuit. During the final week of the fitness unit, the students would perform the circuit and provide feedback about each of the exercises.

So there we were. With our technology issue resolved, Mrs. Rusher and I presented this information to a full classroom of Physical Education teachers at the end of the first day of the conference. We were able show our fellow teachers how we developed this unit and give them examples of student work. A few even stayed after to ask more in-depth questions about our presentation.

I felt like we were able to give our peers something valuable that they could take away from the conference. This was the first time I presented at a professional conference — and I think it went pretty well.

Andrew Stout,
Health & Physical Education Teacher