“What? I’m not cold! It’s HOT outside!”

 

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It’s nothing new!

“What? I’m not cold. It’s hot outside!” If you’re a teacher, I’m sure you’ve crossed paths with this student. The one who refuses to wear long pants and a jacket, despite the temperatures either approaching or falling below freezing. No need for a hat and gloves because as he already mentioned, “What? I’m not cold. It’s hot outside!” Usually a boy ranging from 7 to 12 years old, this little guy will stick out like a sore thumb on the playground. He’s the one dashing around the field and playground, full of vim and vigor, looking like a streaker in comparison to his slower-moving, chilly, yet well-bundled peers. Honestly, upon observing this phenomenon, year in and year out, I just can’t seem to get into the mind of such a student. Is he actually hot? Does he THRIVE on people telling him how CRAZY he is for thinking it’s hot out? Is it all for attention? Is it childhood machismo?

Recently, during afternoon carpool on a cold and windy day, I felt one of my first grade boys staring at me. As I surveyed the rest of the students I could sense that he was looking at me in way that begged me to notice him. Immediately, upon making eye contact with him, he blurted out in rapid fire, “What Coach? I’m not cold. It’s hot out here! Why do people keep saying it’s cold?” It was like his mind had been programmed. His only response to any question would be the same. Teacher: “Do you have your homework in your backpack?” Student: “What? I’m not cold. It’s hot outside.” Teacher: “Do you need to use the restroom?” Student: “What? I’m not cold. It’s hot outside.”

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Definitely wore shorts in the winter as a child

Maybe there are sensory issues involved? Perhaps he doesn’t like the feeling of fabric on his arms and lower legs. Or, he really IS comfortable in his shorts and t-shirt and DOES get overheated with a jacket, hat, and gloves.

At least in my mind, the mystery continues. Have you experienced this child? I would enjoy learning about your experiences with this phenomenon!  Now, as I prepare for school, I’ll need an undershirt, long sleeved shirt, hooded sweatshirt, winter jacket, ear muffs, knit hat, wool mittens, thermal socks, boots, scarf, and hand warmers.  What?  I’m cold!  It’s FREEZING outside!

Side note: I realize parents should probably, at least, make sure their kids pack a jacket on sub freezing days. I also understand as a teacher I should make sure my students are dressed appropriately for frigid temperatures.  But, honestly, I’ve never been a stickler for making kids wear a jacket and pants.  If they’re running around, having fun, and more importantly, don’t appear cold, then so be it!


If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more of what I have to say about physical education and keeping kids in motion, follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/justybubpe.

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30 Day Challenges: Step outside your comfort zone!

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Below, is a 3-minute TED Talk by Matt Cutts called, Try Something New for 30 Days.  Upon watching this video for the first time, my mind erupted with ideas on personal challenges I could set for myself. Should I cut out certain foods? Challenge myself physically? Meditate for 30 days? Read everyday?  Walk the dogs twice a day rather than just letting them run around the back yard?  Once I completed my initial brainstorm, I needed to slow down and remember Matt Cutts’ advice.  He simply stated, “small change = sustainable.”  I  realized that setting a reasonable goal would more likely turn into a habit which could last far beyond 30 days.

My 30-day challenge:  I am presently on day 16 of running at least a 5K everyday.  Although there are days when I just don’t want to run due to weather, fatigue, or schedule, my competitive nature (along with my wife) keep me motivated.  During each run, I think about the pathetic excuses I tried to make to not run, celebrate the fact that I can mark another day off the 30-day goal chart, and appreciate the emotional rush (and slight joint pain) I experience after finishing.  I also wonder what I’ll do on day 31…yoga, plyometrics, daily naps?

How about professionally?  How can I apply the 30-day challenge to my job as a physical education teacher?  How can I use this challenge to motivate my students?  How can I take advantage of trying something new for 30 days to help bolster my planning and strengthen my curriculum? How will I answer all of these questions in under 30 days?

For now, I’ll continue plugging along on my first challenge.  With only 14 days left, I’m hoping to discover my next 30-day challenge at the finish line.

I hope this post has inspired YOU to try something new for 30 days either personally or professionally. Tell me all about it.  I could use some ideas.


“Try Something New for 30 Days.” Matt Cutts:. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2016.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more of what I have to say about physical education and keeping kids in motion, follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/justybubpe.

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PE Class, Untied Shoes, and Superheroes

I’ve been teaching PE for more than 20 years. Throughout those years I’ve steadily grown as an educator building an extensive bank of knowledge in regard to learning styles, differentiation, aged-appropriate curriculum, and how I relate to each student. I’ve learned that each child is unique in his/her physical ability, personality, drive and fitness level, and background.

Also, over the last 20 years, I’ve experienced a few common situations that PE teachers and students face in PE class. Perhaps you can relate. Here are a few:

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  • Untied shoelaces: There are two categories of students with chronically untied laces.
  1. The first is the slip-on student in 3rd grade or higher who simply does not seem to care (or notice) that his shoes are loose and his aglets are destroyed due to neglect. You can often hear this student clumsily clunking down the hallway, almost a little proud that they have dodged the two minutes needed to tie their shoes, essentially transforming the said shoes into slip-ons (Crocs with tread). Even as this student stumbles across the playground during recess, he/she (mostly he) refuses to tie his laces.
  2. The other, a more common student who falls into this “untied” category, is the Rookie, usually in 1st and 2nd grade. Rookies are always proud of their shoe tying ability and for a brief time after learning will refuse to allow anyone else to help them. Alas, due to inexperience, loose finger placement, and impatience, their laces will quickly become untied in a matter of minutes, thus graduating them to the slip-on category.

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  • Respiratory Difficulties. As a former asthma sufferer, mostly caused by animals and seasonal allergies, I have a soft spot in my heart for students with this health challenge. I can relate to the struggle – especially during the winter months and allergy seasons. Many times these students will refuse to slow down in PE causing an attack to ensue.

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  • Cold Season. Growing up in the colorful Northeastern United States, I thought I had seen pretty much every shade of green and yellow. That is until my first few winters as a PE teacher during the cold season. Yikes! “Coach, can I have a tissue? Nevermind.”, as a sleeve swipes across his face.

No Uggs

 

  • Boot Season – There’s a “holiday season”, “hunting season”, “cold season”, and now, in schools a “boot season.” Yes, “Boot Season”, and December 1st has been the official kickoff date. I realize they’re stylish, have a high ankle for support, are nice and fuzzy inside, and it’s winter and feet get cold. However, from my experience, I also know these hazardous fashion statements are just too clunky and unsafe. PLEASE STOP WEARING THEM ON PE DAYS!!!!!!
  • “My parents forgot…” – Students are constantly tattling on their parents, blaming them for the forgotten lunch, unfinished homework, and in my case, the boots that are on their own feet. It goes something like this: “My mom forgot I had PE today, so I wore my boots – plus it’s cold, and the boots are new, and…” Student Accountability is a MUST!

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Legion of Superheroes on-call to help us battle such common occurrences? 

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SUPERHERO SUPER POWER
Ultimate Lacer With lightning-fast hands and feet, Ultimate Lacer enters and exits the gym in a flash, triple knotting every pair of sneakers, without a trace.
Nebuliza (Ne-bue-lie’-za) Nebuliza has the ability to spray a mist of Albuteral to prevent wheezing before, during, and after PE like a pixie spreads fairy dust to fly.

 

Mucusman By waving his white glove in front of a student ‘s face, mucus and snot are instantaneously wiped into oblivion, freeing sinus, lungs, and nose of congestion.
Captain Accountability Donned in a cape, holding his accountability shield, Captain Accountability deflects all misdirected blame and transforms the negative energy into a heavy dose of accountability.
2E (Excuse Extinguisher) As students approach the track for a timed-run, 2E places both his index fingers in each of his ears while humming loudly, drowning out the rapid fire of excuses. This, combined with his hyperfocus, filters out all “made up” excuses while protecting the legitimate ones.

I would enjoy hearing about such common encounters that you experience as a teacher or parent. Is there a Superhero who can remedy the situation? Let me know!


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If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more of what I have to say about physical education and keeping kids in motion, follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/justybubpe.

Check out my Facebook group called Keeping Kids in Motion!

 

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