Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lot's of time on my hands, maybe not such a bad thing

The last couple of months have been a very interesting time. Just before Christmas, I decided to leave my job at Innovative Fitness after a year and a half. I left to find out what it is I really want to do. I have always had things to keep me busy such as going to College and University, working full time, or a little mix of both. I must say, it has been a real change and I have had a lot of time to think about life and what it is I truly want. I had a lot of family visiting from far away places for a few weeks over Christmas and it was really nice having that time to spend with them. I was having a conversation with my wise and eldest uncle, Steve, at Dutch Christmas and he gave me some great advice and words to live by- "Follow your bliss". I also beleive in creating your own opportunities and not waiting for them to happen.

Yesterday, I had a great meeting with Gary Rupert in the Education Department at U.B.C. We chatted about the options I have and I only have 7 courses to make up before I can apply into the P.E education program. Let me rewind 6 years- I first went to Capilano College to become a Physical Education (P.E) teacher. In my 2nd year at Cap College I coached a U17 girls soccer team with a friend. This experience made me rethink becoming a teacher. I guess I had forgotten that teaching might be a lot like babysitting (that's what I felt like most of the time coaching). When I went to U.B.C 1 year later, I switched specializations to the Health and Fitness program.

My most influential teachers growing up were my High School P.E teachers and my guidance counselors. I quickly found out that the subject I was most interested in was psychology. Wow! I thought, this is interesting stuff. I loved learning about all the various abnormal disorders and the psychological processes that go on in the brain. I got my first 'A' ever in my first psychology class I ever took, and was hooked! That didn't seem to help me any, because psychology is not a teachable subject. Looking back, taking psychology wasn't such a bad thing because a background in psychology is perfect for guidance counselors.

So, what made me re-think this whole 'teacher' thing. Well, I was at Sutherland Secondary School last week working out with 2 friends, one of whom teaches there. The workout space overlooks the gymnasium. I started watching a particular P.E class. It must have taken the substitute teacher 10 minutes to take attendance and then another 10 min to set up the gym (with bowling pins and soccer balls) and another 10 minutes before the girls even started to move. I just started thinking about what a waste of time this was and how there is more to physical education than knocking bowling pins over with balls.

I guess as a health and fitness professional, you just want to do more. It is early on that these teenagers develop their habits and you can teach them things they will hopefully remember for the rest of their lives. It astounds me how many adults and children are overweight and inactive. I think a lot of it comes down to a lack of health education(and of course many other variables). I sure don't remember any of the skills I learned from grade 9 line dancing. The only thing I remember is being scared that someone was going to think I had sweaty hands.

I think there is a lot of potential for growth in the P.E curriculum. I think school kids should be taught about functional training (core, balance, flexibility, strength) as well as everyday activities, biking, hiking, swimming, running. I am not saying they should cut out teaching soccer, volleyball, football, and basketball skills, rather prepare kids for activities they are most likely going to participate in once they have left high school.

That is my little rant for the day. Have a great day!

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