作者 Eric Chernoff
Director of Sport HD Ningbo School
“A P.E. class will always end, but its impact can last a lifetime.”
Physical Education is traditionally viewed as a class that offers students the opportunity to improve their fitness, practice sports, and play games. As academic rigor and results are driving the education industry, specialist subjects such as P.E. are often overlooked and rank as a lesser priority than mainstream subjects such as Language, Maths, Science, and Humanities. While the intention of parents focusing on mainstream academic subjects may be innocent, it could prove to be vital turning point in a child’s life.
Above and beyond the visible and short-term benefits of regular exercise, Physical Education is the key to improving a child’s confidence, brainpower, and long-term health. At HD Ningbo School, we believe that Education Creates Character and we, the P.E. Department, work tirelessly to ensure our students understand how that message applies when having Physical Education classes.
The first task we set for ourselves is to model our love and passion for teaching P.E. to our students. Warm smiles, high fives, encouragement, cheering, and praise are all important practices that we establish from the beginning of a school year. Yet, the key word that the P.E. Team wishes to emphasize is the term model.
Young learners are greatly influenced by the role models around them. Children are constantly watching, studying, and learning – these are natural practices of growth. When surrounded by positive role models, students learn positive habits. These habits must be supported by all of the child’s role models. That includes teachers, coaches, parents, grandparents, and friends.
While the efforts to instill a love for P.E. and Sport into students is important, safety remains the number one priority for all students at HD Ningbo School. By educating our students on how to be safe in and around sporting environments, we aim to build levels of trust with our students and our community. As the trust levels between students and teachers grow, so do the levels of confidence in one another. Expressed in an appropriate manner, this kind of confidence building can greatly impact a child.
If you can get a child to love what they do and trust the person teaching it, effective development can actually begin. Physical Education offers a very unique approach to that development in that the learning can be physically practiced. While concepts such as teamwork, strategy, planning, and creativity are promoted across all subjects Physical Education classes put those concepts into action. A simple activity can be turned into a life skill practicing opportunity. Competitions, exercises, and games are used to teach humility, manners, thoughtfulness, kindness, friendship, and fair play. But, once again, one cannot simply teach these values they must be consistently modeled and practiced.
And that is no simple task! Competitions turn competitive, exercises become tiring, and games will become boring if they are overplayed. Every single parent acknowledges the exhaustive efforts it takes to raise a child. And we have 24 children of different backgrounds, who prioritize different values, who come from successful families who expect their child to exceed their achievements in one class. It is an awesome opportunity for each P.E. Teacher to embrace.
As a P.E. Team, we aim to model examples of what we expect our students to follow. That includes, but is not limited to planning, preparing, strategizing, visualizing, and executing. While we reference these terms from a Physical Education perspective, these skills are applied and practiced in all facets of life.
It is said that 80% of learning sport is mental, and these skills are all a part of that brainpower required to be successful at sports and at life. Only 20% of learning P.E. and Sport is physical skill and gameplay. As such, while improving our fitness, learning sports, and playing games do make up what a visual picture of Physical Education may look like, it would be inconsiderate to simply ignore all of the mental training and practice that is constantly at the forefront of the purpose for all of our teaching.
Long-term benefits cannot be realized without ensuring the short-term goals are met in a manner that is captivating, motivating and inspiring. Short-term goal setting requires cooperative efforts that only a true team can build. It also requires a broader vision as to the purpose of a lesson and/or curriculum as well as a platform on which to perform.
At HD Ningbo School, we are more than fortunate to have a professional and experienced team of P.E. Teachers who genuinely care for our students and seek to help each other reach exceptional standards. Additionally, it is worth noting that we also have some of the best facilities and resources in the province.
While the theoretical understanding that living a healthy, active lifestyle with regular exercise and sport leads to better long-term health, the theory is easier understood than followed. Therefore, the process of impacting students through modeling, sharing a teacher’s genuine love and passion for P.E. and Sport, building levels of trust and confidence, and teaching our students how to apply valuable life skills to their practices in P.E. Classes becomes a pathway towards best preparing our students for life. By drawing from the inspirations all around us, it is our sincere hope that our students learn that P.E. is not just a class, but one of the best experiences they have to prepare for the rest of their lives.