COVID-19 has created the largest disruption of education systems in history. While many new strategies are being utilized to meet educational goals during the pandemic, what remains constant is that education must be designed to meet students’ physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive health needs. Physical education and physical activity are a critical element of a whole child education. COVID has illuminated the importance of prioritizing health and well-being. Active Schools’ advocacy statement, Physical Education and Physical Activity are an Integral Part of the Education Process During COVID-19, addresses the need to safely and effectively physically educate our children during the pandemic. This school year will involve various instructional approaches: in-person, remote, and hybrid teaching and learning. Meeting students’ needs and instructional objectives will require prioritization, planning, flexibility, and creativity.
Each community’s circumstances are different and may change throughout the year, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are some basic tenets that all schools and teachers should follow.
- Make decisions based on what is best for children’s health, safety, and educational needs.
- Focus on what can be done rather than what cannot.
- Ensure that teaching and learning are taking place during all lessons and assignments.
To help physical education teachers focus and prioritize, the Active Schools National Physical Education Task Force has developed the Physical Education Teacher Self-Assessment for Providing Safe and Effective Physical Education and Physical Activity During COVID-19. Because there are circumstances beyond one’s control, a teacher may not be able to conduct all actions in the assessment However, by using it, teachers can challenge themselves to do whatever is possible at any given time and plan for more as the year progresses. Teachers should do their very best while being kind to themselves and celebrating their successes.
HOW TO ACCESS AND USE THE SELF-ASSESSMENT
In addition to what you, as a physical education teacher, can learn from your self-assessment, both physical education professionals and school administrators can increase their understanding of what physical education teachers across the country are doing and not doing during COVID and what types of training and support are needed. As such, Active Schools requests that you share your self-assessment data with us by using the online version of the assessment (link below). All data will be de-identified for analyzing, summarizing, and sharing. You will be asked for your name and email address so that we can encourage you to complete the assessment three times during the year: fall (now), winter (January), and spring (March) and can link the data from your two or three self-assessments to measure progress. To be clear, your name and email address will not be included in the data set that will be analyzed; instead, your data will be assigned a unique identifier such as a number (e.g., 101). However, please note that you can choose to not enter anything in the fields for your first name, last name, and email, and we will still be able to use your data for the overall sample of all respondents. If you are choosing not to share your data with Active Schools, use the downloadable version (link below).
Online Self-Assessment — We encourage you to use this online version so that Active Schools can analyze, summarize, and share de-identified data to help physical education professionals and school administrators understand what types of training and support are needed. You will be able to print it out when completed.
Download the Self-Assessment — If you are choosing not to share your data with Active Schools, use this downloadable version. We request that you also register to become an Active Schools champion (takes only 1-2 minutes) at www.activeschoolsus.org/join-the-movement. You will receive a monthly newsletter that contains only free resources including grant opportunities.
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