The Perfect Balance is a post that I have wanted to write for a long time. However with change this year I have struggled with balance and did not feel honest in myself to write this. In recent days though I have had a chance to look back at the career I have carved for myself and then peaked into the future to see what is ahead and a proud feeling came over me. Everyday I aspire to be the very best that I can and I am amazed at the content that appears on Twitter on a daily basis. There is my work program right there. If I never had an individual idea then I think I would be OK as the share factor that is the NEW PE today would be enough to deliver rich content to me students all year round.
To me this is not enough though. I love to be original and try to set the tone and try new concepts and teach from the gut. I once taught with a great PE teacher called Ben Dew (7 years ago) and when we first shared an office, (a very small office) I noticed that he would write in his diary after every lesson three things:
1. What was actually delivered in the lesson.
2. What was interesting in the lesson.
3. What needed improving in the lesson.
At that point I was still a believer that a detailed plan was still required in order to be effective, but the longer I taught with Dewy the more we developed together a curriculum that was student direct and in fact what he was doing with his diary after each lesson was at the forefront of the NEW PE. He was listening to the students and teaching at the point of need rather than the point of lesson planning. He new where he was up to but recorded the outcomes of each lesson so to direct him with his starting point for the next. This is a practise I adopted almost immediately after seeing his theory in practise.
Moving forward 6 years I plan a curriculum in such detail that I am able to teach a terms work bouncing of student ideas. Having a plan of attack is very important but teaching to the point of need is much more effective. I have shared this plan in many Professional Developments that I have led but it is comprehensive that it literally changed the perception of what PE teachers do to my Principal who had been teaching 30+ years and had been a Region Principal. Check out this document here.
The perfect balance refers to finding the sweet spot in education. Finding that ability to juggle just the right amount of roles that really maximise your potential. For me I have always spoken about the magical triangle.
This triangle had three parts to it for me to be successful:
1. Teaching Physical Education
2. Being a Sports Coordinator and managing BIG events
3. Being a professional recognised Presenter
These three facets have truely allowed me to engage in my work practise to be able to create an emotion that brings such joy and satisfaction. Each facet complements the other but it all starts with being a great PE teacher and having a plan. Without a plan there is no direction and with no direction then is no love affair with your job.
According to me and those around me that have seen and been engaged in this same success story the chapters are written as follows.
You get employed to teach PE in a school.
After setting up a fantastic program you notice that great PE produces great sporting outcomes that connect
Great sporting outcomes create opportunities for students and a hook for life long Physical Activity
After a taste of sporting events you decide that there is a carnival you would like to excel at so you build a carnival that breeds excellence and respect
After many years balancing these two that complement each other you develop a theory based around education
You explore your theory and annoy anyone that will listen to you about it
You find a contingent of believers that want to know more so you engage in professional conversations
You set up a Professional Development and share your theories with your teaching PEERS
Achper or equal body see your brilliant work and invite you to present on a wider scale
Which leads to state and national conferences.
The Perfect balance is different for everyone. It is weighted different according to what is important to you but one thing is for sure............ when you know you are balanced then everything falls into place....
My current perfect balance exists as the following:
- Physical Education Teacher and Leader
- School Sport Victorian Region Coordinator
- Professional Development Leader
Share with me what is your perfect balance. What does this title mean to you? How are you going to achieve PERFECT BALANCE in your work life?