Welcome to our first SPARK Blog!


Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: I heard this Cyndi Lauper song on the drive to SPARK this morning, and thought about how much we are asked to quantify and evaluate every little thing our students do these days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for assessment and having standards to guide instruction, yet I wonder if sometimes we’re losing sight of what makes kids (and Cyndi) want to be active in the first place — having fun?

Sure, that’s one of the differences between physical education and physical activity, yet, as physical educators, isn’t it possible for us to get so caught up in assessment and demonstrating student learning that our classes become counterproductive? Ultimately don’t we really want students to move and enjoy it without feeling we’re counting every little step they take (last pop culture reference I promise…)? And I think Cyndi knows boys just wanna have fun too. Please think about the mixed message and share your thoughts with us.

Fitness for Fitness Teachers: I always enjoy my annual trip to Florida AAHPERD and spending time laughing with Patty Lanier. Patty is one of our terrific SPARK trainers and after a 20-year career teaching elementary PE, she went to the University of Central Florida where she instructs methods classes to future teachers — among many other things. Patty and I workout together in the am before the conference and discuss our pet peeve: Why aren’t more of our colleagues in the gym with us? It’s obvious when you attend conferences that many of our best and brightest are not exactly scoring 10’s in the role model department. Patty and I think we need to walk the talk. What do YOU think? Should NASPE sponsor some type of recognition for physical educators who maintain healthy lifestyles (consistent training schedules, BMI”s within respectable limits, etc,)? Should we have to submit to testing like our students and achieve a certain fitness standard? Aren’t fire and police people required to stay in shape to do their jobs?
Let us know YOUR thoughts.

-Paul Rosengard

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  • Kyle

    As far as why not working out at the convention, perhaps to busy or they are looking at it as a break from work! Still not a great reason! Outside of it, perhaps it’s the costs, memberships are costly to join a club, some schools don’t have the means, after working we get tired! Some workout with their students, stay active with the students as I find it that students enjoy it when the teachers are active as well!! I think school districts and the community should provide discounts for their teachers to join the park districts rec centers or other clubs such as YMCA! As far as requirements, the police and fire departments,l their health is essential for their job and to others as they must carry a 200 lb man down 6 flights of stairs, control a 200 lb man who they are fighting with or pull off a victim! We pe teachers should present ourselves as healthy!! We should be examples for our students yes! But what if a teacher is disabled and that causes them to have more weight or limit them! Should they get fired as a result? Where as a person in a wheel chair can’t be a fire fighter but can be a teacher!

  • Kdub

    I definitely think that our PE teachers shouldn’t just “talk the talk”, but walk it as well. Isn’t one of the main reasons you become a PE Teacher is because there is some sort of passion for being physically fit and healthy!? I think that the ultimate way to learn is to learn by example. If students are not learning healthy behaviors at home it is up to Educators to be that healthy role model.

  • Bianca

    I definitely think PE teachers should practice what they preach! I understand that going to conferences there may a temptation to just relax and enjoy the getaway also, I don’t think it is asking too much to let them sleep in on such an occasion. But unhealthy or overweight teachers should lead by example and live healthier lifestyles. They should be out there playing with the kids and exercising with their students so its fun learning for everyone and not just barking orders. So yes, maybe some standards need to be in place.

  • Leticia

    I too think PE teachers should practice what they preach. I know that some conference presentations are pretty active and some don't always like the gym, so they do activities outside.
    Regarding standards for jobs, yes, employers should encourage all employees to live a healthy lifestyle. Whether you are a teacher, nurse, secretary, administrator, janitor- all should be encouraged to be healthy (lower medical costs, less sick days, look & feel better, etc.).

  • Jack

    While I agree that PE teachers should practice what they preach, I think holding them to rigid standards without accounting for injuries, disabilities and health conditions that prevent them from exercise will only discourage some really great educators from continuing in the industry. A better solution is to reward those PE teachers who excel at fitness themselves. Students receive Presidential Fitness Rewards. Why not do something similar for teachers? Those who meet the standards can be recognized nationally to inspire those who are not in to become healthier individuals and better role models.

  • Peggy Carroll

    I agree with Jack – most PE teachers are former athletes who may have been injured when young and are now suffering the consequences. Let it be a lesson to us – don’t push your young athletes so they can continue to stay in good shape throughout their lifetime.

  • miranda

    I really think that a good instruction starts with a healthy teacher not matting the subject.
    Schools should give a break, at least 15 min., during school day, for teachers to distress, streach and reenergize to continue our work.
    “Teachers should practice what they preach”
    I do not think is fair for me to pay the same amount for health insurance and a teacher that choose to be unhealthy.