An Open Letter to Student Teachers – The Future of Our Profession

Dear Physical Education Student Teacher,

You are about to undertake a challenge that many people undervalue and most misunderstand.  Sadly, you may actually be one of them.  Despite having spent your last four years in professional preparation where faculty have attempted to instruct you about what it means to be a teacher, you will still enter the profession aspiring to emulate the teachers, coaches and programs that molded you as an adolescent.

At this beginning stage of your career, you still see physical education teaching through immature eyes: the eyes of a successful mover, athlete, leader or team player.  You aren’t seeing the challenge ahead of you through the eyes of a teacher: a mature professional focused on helping all students.  You mostly see only those students that reflect your image and are blind to the less skilled students who are awkward, shy and hesitant to engage.  You see success as the number of athletes that gravitate toward you, rather than the number of physically literate children that grow up to become health conscious adults.

Join PHE America in Supporting SHAPE America’s 50 Million Strong by 2029 Commitment

What are you doing to support 50 Million Strong? PHE America has published many essays illustrating what 50MS is and what some teachers are doing to support it. Just type "50 Million Strong" in the Search box to get a listing. But how about YOU? What are you doing? PHE America will continue to share insights and opinions about 50MS but we can't succeed alone. As others have said, "It depends on US" to advance this vision of transforming the physical activity and health habits of the nation's 50 million students by 2029. Join the team and let us know what you are doing so we can share ideas with colleagues around the country. Success will only happen if each one of us takes responsibility for changing the activity and health habits of the students we teach. Added together that's how to reach 50 million lives!