Barking and Talking

There’s this thing my friend Andrea Haefele says which I love. My paraphrasing is as follows.

We shouldn’t call it ‘gym’ because it implies the wrong paradigm of pedagogy. Would we call math class a ‘room’? Calling physical education ‘gym’ makes it hard to break free of old, tiresome connotations of mean, bellowing, whistle blowing teachers; period cramps; and getting picked last. Stuff that should be relegated to an 80s John Hughes movie.

In my efforts to explain to my students why we again wouldn’t be playing full court games of basketball in phys. ed. this year (it is exclusionary, inequitable, and makes us focus on esoteric rules rather than physical play, development, and exertion), and would, instead, be using a games for understanding model of learning to dribble, shoot, and pass a basketball, I had that moment of lingering doubt which all teachers feel when they’re attempting to swim…

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