Recently, I was fortunate participate in SHAPE America’s “Speak Out Day” in Washington DC, representing Arizona Health and Physical Education Association. “Speak Out Day” is when educators head to Capitol Hill to advocate for full funding of the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which helps support and fund health and physical education programs and professional development of teachers. ESSA identifies school health and physical education as part of a student’s well-rounded education, giving health and physical education teachers an opportunity to elevate their program and gain support from their school and local community.
On Capitol Hill, Shape America Senior Program Manager Michelle Carter and I were able to sit down and talk with the teams of Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally, as well as Congressman David Schweikert. We made great strides in helping them understand the value of quality health and physical education has on developing the “whole child”. We know how health and physical education helps benefits students physically, but much of our discussion focused on how it benefits students mentally and emotionally. Michelle and I showed them pictures and videos of lessons where teachers embed social emotional learning in PE, specifically SHAPE America’s “Health Moves Minds” program. They were a bit surprised when they saw students learning practical skills like self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making in an emotionally safe PE class. With social media growing, many students are struggling with self-esteem and how to handle stress. Teaching students coping skills and how to best handle their emotions can make a huge difference in their lives moving forward.
Please see my attached blog for more information on how to embed social emotional learning in physical education. Also, please see resources from program and ways to advocate for health and physical education.
Click here to see how you can help advocate for Health and Physical Education
Arizona Health and Physical Education