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An important responsibility of any teacher is finding ways to contribute to the overall goals of the school. The goals of good physical education programs should be compatible with the overall goals of the school. Helping children to learn and feel positive about themselves and school and working cooperatively with others toward common purposes.
As a discipline, the term physical education is used to describe all learning (education) that occurs about human movement and through human movement. Physical fitness involves using movement to strengthen the body systems (the heart, lungs, and major muscles and tendons of the body) in order to lead a healthier life. Skilled motor performance involves perfecting the basic movement skills (e.g., throwing, running) and applying them effectively in specific situations (e.g., playing baseball or softball). Thus learning about movement occurs whenever children are practicing their motor skills or developing their physical fitness. Learning about movement also occurs when the knowledge content associated with physical fitness or motor skill development is taught (Kovar, Susan.).
Today physical education is taught in a relaxed manner where the students are given a task to perform individually or in groups with guidance from the teacher. I believe that every student can learn but I also believe that learning occurs at different levels. The movement educator is responsible for understanding the stages of performance of the children in the class and meeting their needs at their particular stage of performance. Progression through these stages is independent of age, yet all learners progress through the distinct sequence of stages of beginning, intermediate, and advanced learner for skills unique to their level of readiness if quality instruction is provided. Educators must understand that certain health issues and risks and rules of the games that they play will have an impact on the outcome. Some children will be athletically superior to their peers; therefore, some children will have to be taught at different levels according to their ability. For example, if soccer is being taught, some children will have to learn how to run and maintain control of the ball while others will be able to run and pass the ball at will. Teachers should always acknowledge small gains in a skill and celebrate with the student and remember that children can work at their different physical, mental, and emotional abilities. The classroom teacher, physical education teacher, and special education teacher can also work together to share information on a specific disability and learn what types of modifications might be needed to help the student be successful in all of his or her learning environments.
Students also need to understand what it takes to be physically fit. Education is important because children need to know how to come up with the best solution when they are faced with difficult decisions or problems. Students will learn as they are taught. If a child is pushed to do his/her best, then that child will succeed. If a student is always praised, he/she will strive to succeed because that student will know that they are special and that it is very important for him/her to do their best. It is the educator's job to be sure that all students develop a positive attitude towards their physical health and towards exercise so that they will maintain a healthy lifestyle in the future. If children are active early in their life, they are more likely to be active throughout high school and later on in life.
The surgeon general documents the benefits of regular physical activity for people of all ages. These benefits include reduced risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and certain cancers. Although these benefits are most salient later in life (during adulthood), other benefits are more immediate, such as improved movement skills, improved physical fitness levels, reduction of stress, healthier mental states, feelings of success, improved cooperation skills, and weight management. In a speech given by George Graham, PH.D at Virginia Tech regarding the importance of Physical Education in a School Curriculum, he states, "what we do know, according to the 1996 landmark report of the Surgeon General entitled Physical Activity and Health, is that adults who have been physically active throughout their lives:
Have a reduced risk for heart disease
Have lower risk for certain types of cancer
Have a lessened potential for drug and alcohol addiction
Have reduced probability of depression
Handle stress better
Live healthy and perhaps longer lives
We also know that for youngsters, physical activity can be a positive alternative to gangs and crime" (George Graham Speech paragraph 5 - lines 4- 13).
This in itself shows every reason why physical education should be taken very seriously beginning with very young children.
In addition, brain research also suggests that gross-motor activities and physical education should be included in a child's daily schedule throughout the elementary years. Regrettably, school systems often cut programs such as physical education and music in times of budget crisis, even though research shows that these programs are essential to a child's complete cognitive development. (Morrison).A person who is physically fit and feels good about him/her self and their body image will most likely have a positive outlook on life. Teachers must let students know that all that is expected of them is their best. If a student is praised and guided by the teacher, they will succeed and become confident in themselves. Students will share their problems if they can trust the teacher to be supportive and understanding.
Children are inherently active, but do not let that fool you. Children do need to engage in organized physical education programs to promote physical activity. Yes, it is true that children are inherently active, and they can obtain a certain amount of physical activity time during recess and before and after school. However, several factors support the contention that children need to participate in physical education throughout their elementary school years.
Play is important; through play children inter act and develop an awareness of each other and begin to form social groups. Play typically is based on movement; consequently there is an impact on motor development as well as the affective, social development. During the early childhood years of 3½ to 4½ years of age, children emerge from playing in solitary and begin interacting with other children as play occurs. We are meant to walk, run, jumpâ€¦etc. Our bodies were not made to sit in chairs for long periods as many of us do when we sit behind a computer and or television screen all day.