I have been doing some reflection on my career over the past months and thought it would be timely to write a quick blog post about how things have changed over 14 years of PE at Leopold PS.
When I arrived at Leopold in 2001 I was given the keys to a multi purpose room that was called the PE space. It measured 13 metres x 13 metres. Back then I had 22 x 1 hour classes per week but was told that classes had priority of the PE sessions in the PE space. This didnt quite make a lot of sense but who was I to change the rules on day 1 of a new job. It wasn't long until classes started booking this space for their own purposes which left the PE program high and dry on cold days. It wasnt long during this year that the main school buildings were deemed unsafe and almost across a weekend the whole school was packed up and moved into a sea of portables that were placed across the existing school oval. Trucks drove their way across the oval during winter and left tyre ruts that could swallow a prep child. As the year passed the ruts hardened up leaving nice obstacles to work around when teaching stick sports. My PE space was the last to go but due to the major earth works going on in the school we found that we had a mice plaque that had made the PE storeroom their home. I remember opening the cricket pads bag and moving out of the way as 300 mice ran for their life. That December I was moved from a PE space to two blue shipping containers that once help fertilizer. The smell alone was enough to make me feel ill every day. This was my home for 2 years. I was storeroomless and office less, but I had to shipping containers. One container all the necessary items I required for teaching and the other contained the items that I deemed I wouldnt use for 2 years plus my desk. All of these seemed like a teachers worst nightmare and it may have been enough to make one snap but for me I was 26 years old and living the dream. I was a Physical Education Teacher.
Over the following two years the weather conditions were my main distractor from Physical Education lessons. When the weather was nice we excelled, when it was miserable we found cover in any indoor space we could find. When we lacked any venue to retreat to I would pack my class into the 2nd shipping container that, just by luck, contained all the gymnastics gear. Sitting on these mats listening as the rain pelted against the containers we sang songs, told jokes and shared stories. When the rain passed we emerged re-energised and ready to participate. Throughout this time the construction of the LINC had commenced and anticipation was growing. Every now and then I was permitted to enter and have a look around. I remember seeing the floor boards being nailed down.
Appreciation is an amazing thing........ Being gifted an amazing school like Leopold and being entrusted into the role of Head of PE is an honour. To be able to go to work each day to challenge students to take risks is something I dont take lightly. I have a huge responsibility in life. The formative years of a childs life is an impressionable time and my role is to give children as much confidence in this time to feel empowered so they can take off in their teenage years and be successful in anything they set their minds to.
This is why my is DREAM, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE.