Three years ago, I had the pleasure to invite some of my favorite elementary physical education friends to share the center stage at the 2014 National Physical Education Institute. Included were three of the biggest names in our business – Dr. George Graham, Dr. Bob Pangrazi, and Jean Blaydes. Rounding out this trio were three younger professionals – Dr. Guy Le Masurier, Baker Harrell, and a young third year physical education teacher from Canada – Joey Feith (pronounced “fight”).
Each of the keynotes were web-streamed live for the broader physical education community to watch. Bob Pangrazi ended up with a huge number of off-site viewers (5,900+), Jean was next (5,200+), and George and Guy each had 1,500+ views. Baker, our lone non-PE person had less than 500 views. However, Baker’s keynote was probably the most insightful and provided us (in my humble opinion) with what really needs to happen to make physical education a “cause-to-action” in the United States.
The top view-getter turned out to be the youngest person there – third year teacher Joey Feith (now at 6,400+ views). Think about this for a moment, 6,400+ views is more than the total number of attendees at this year’s SHAPE America Convention in Boston. Even if there wasn’t any snow! So what does this mean? To me, this means that we have entered an entirely new way to be connected to our craft – the Internet!
“The New PE” Journey
It has been over 40 years since George Graham and his colleagues coined the term “The New PE” to describe those physical education teachers who were seriously engaged in the mission to “guide youngsters in the process of becoming physically active for a lifetime.” Today, we would likely refer to this as the “physical literacy” movement. Personally, this 40-year journey has been one of many ups and downs, a wild roller-coaster ride of upward progress, coupled with dips of dismay or even terror. At least that is the way I typically feel about our professional adventures together.
Handing off to the Millennial Generation
The very next year (2015), about 500 physical education teachers from around the world again gathered in Asheville, North Carolina for #PEInstitute15. This time it was to learn from Joey Feith’s generation of 30-40-something millennials.
We invited five of the most gifted individuals that the “New PE” generation as ever produced. These so-called “PE Geeks” were a part of a new vanguard of grassroots physical education leaders who connected using email and the Internet: Educators who shared information via social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Voxer.
Significantly, these social-media-connected millennials have created a new alternative professional physical education society independent of traditional structures and lock-step thinking. And this growing and energetic “PE Geek” culture now offers our profession the very best while the “New PE” movement is quickly becoming a part of the fabric of today’s “New PE Teachers.”
Five of the best-known self-proclaimed #PEGeeks include:
- Jarrod Robinson from Australia – https://thepegeek.com
- Nathan Horne from Singapore – https://www.iphys-ed.com/
- Joey Feith from Canada – https://thephysicaleducator.com/
- Andy Vasily from China – http://www.pyppewithandy.com/
- Ash Casey from England – http://www.peprn.com/
These five individuals have incredible reach and influence around the world. Want to see what Andy Vasily or Ash Casey are up to? Easy! Just click on the links above to read their latest thoughts about physical education. When I say “incredible reach and influence,” I’m talking about the ability for this Fantastic Five Collective to write something today that within a few days will be read by 50,000+ physical education followers around the world!
This summer’s Institute has been designed to highlight another cutting-edge group of #PEGeeks called PHYSEDagogy. The PHYSEDagogy Team –https://physedagogy.com/ – consists of seven US-based physical educators including:
- Adam Howell – a middle school physical education and health teacher in Hood River, Oregon
- Collin Brooks – an elementary physical educator and SHAPE America Board member who will soon be pursuing his doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado;
- Jonathan Jones – an elementary physical education teacher in Bowie, Maryland
- Sarah Gietschier-Hartman – a middle school physical education teacher in Clayton, Missouri
- Jorge Rodriguez – a physical education teacher at Harvard Elementary (an IB and STEM magnet school) in the Houston, Texas ISD
- Matt Pomeroy – a health and physical education teacher in Meron, Wisconsin
- Naomi Hartl – the PE Development & Technology Specialist for SPARK.
Serving Responsibly, Selflessly and Wisely
In closing, each of us need to applaud the efforts of the Baby Boom Generation and our emerging Millennial Generation so that we all can serve responsibly, selflessly, and wisely. To learn more about the 2017 National PE & School Sport Institute, please visit our website – http://nationalpe.com/ and be sure to contact me directly with any questions – Artie Kamiya firstname.lastname@example.org . Look forward to seeing you this summer in Asheville NC, July 24 – July 26, 2017.