Where did the year go? Readings and reflections on 2022
As the end of the year rapidly approaches, we know that some if not all of you might (totally understandably) be counting down the remaining teaching days. We have one final consideration for you to test those final energy reserves.
While it might not seem ideal timing, now is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on everything you have achieved this year, as it not only allows you to process and make meaning of all the great (and not so great) learnings and experiences you have had. It also empowers you to make informed decisions about your personal learning needs, as well as your students’ needs for 2023.
We reached out to our HPE teaching community to understand what their thoughts were to these questions, and we encourage you to ask the same questions of yourself:
What were your teaching highlights this year?
Returning to face-to-face learning on a consistent basis and being able to utilise fun games with students that were missed throughout the remote learning years, as well as creating new games and activities (Josh Simpson, Pearcedale Primary School).
I have had many highlights this year but the main one is seeing the progress of students within my Physical Education program over time. Our 5/6 cohort have become a lot stronger in their skills and within interschool sport which I feel has been because of a consistent program over a number of years. The confidence of all our graduating students to be able to pick up a racquet or a ball and know that they can have a red hot go at whatever sport it is something I am really proud of (Tom O’Loughlin, Lucas Primary School).
What worked well with your student cohorts?
A differentiated teaching program that catered for the various needs of students, as well as themed units of work for the relevant year levels. EG: Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 students participating in a Ninja Warrior themed Gymnastics unit, and Year 5s and 6s taking on various sports-based roles throughout a Sport Education unit (Josh Simpson, Pearcedale Primary School).
Set routines – having instant activities set up for each lesson. Students being active while doing the roll and dealing with issues hung over from previous session or break times. This has allowed our students to be more physically active and become engaged much faster in what we are learning (Tom O’Loughlin, Lucas Primary School).
What is one non-negotiable you will do next year?
Sports Education unit targeted at the Year 5s and 6s. While I have done this in previous years, the ability to reflect and re-establish the unit following the remote learning of the past few years, meant that the program was completely stripped back and reenergized, which led to fantastic results, engagement and enjoyment from the students (Josh Simpson, Pearcedale Primary School).
Setting up my assessment and rubrics properly from the start of the year. I have always played catch up with creating rubrics and assessments throughout the year but through using idoceo and observing other Primary PE Teachers I have developed a few good rubrics that need only minor adjustments going forward (Tom O’Loughlin, Lucas Primary School).
What did you learn? And what are the gaps that you would like to develop next year?
That students don’t know what they don’t know. While social media is an amazing tool to see what other teachers are doing, it’s important to remember that the students will be amazed and embrace anything you put your efforts into, and to not compare what you are doing to others, as the students only know what you do for them. For me, the gaps I continually look to further develop myself in revolve around assessment and the best practises in assessing students' skills and growth (Josh Simpson, Pearcedale Primary School).
This year I have learned to prioritise. Working in two schools and being the Sports Coordinator for two schools (in a non-covid year) has meant a significant amount of juggling and time management. Deciding on what is most important to work on and what events to prioritise to maximise student participation has been challenging but necessary.
Next year I hope to revamp my PE program to be even more focused on utilising the themes rather than just sports or skills. I have always had a heavy focus on invasion games, net & wall sports and striking and fielding sports, however, I feel I have always neglected some aspects such as target games (Tom O’Loughlin, Lucas Primary School).
You might also like to reflect on the ever-familiar assessment/report data to begin identifying focus areas for next year, and start pinpointing what those first few weeks with your new student cohort might look like.
To help you along your way, we draw your attention to some useful reads/resources which are pertinent to the times we are in as we continue to respond to the ever-evolving impacts of the pandemic, such as re-engagement in physical activity, mental health, healthy eating and consent education.
As each year brings new challenges, we continue to develop and support high-quality HPE with our huge range of opportunities for you to grow as a teacher of HPE; everything from F-10 and VCE resources, to professional learning events (workshops, conferences and in-school workshops) all developed and designed with our teachers in mind.
We’re here for you. Be sure to check out all that is available to you as you consider what you need from your peak body in 2023. And you can always contact us if you need further help or assistance.