New Look, New Direction
by Joey Feith
In 2010, I launched ThePhysicalEducator.com with no idea about what I was doing. I knew that I was tired of my profession being mocked by those around me and that I was sick of seeing physical education sites full of “dancing bananas holding clipboard” gifs (that being said… who knew that gifs would make such a comeback?)
I wanted to create a site that physical educators could be proud of. There wasn’t any mission/vision tied to it, I just wanted to try to make something that looked cool, felt modern, and represented our profession well.
The problem was that I had no web/graphic design background and had very little idea of what I was doing.
Fast forward to 2013, a million mistakes and a million lessons learned, and we’re ready to present the fourth version of ThePhysicalEducator.com.
ThePhysicalEducator.com 4: Reimagined, Rethought, and Redesigned
Rethinking ThePhysicalEducator.com was a very long and challenging process. The world is different today, in a lot of very good ways, than it was in 2010:
1. Thanks to social media, the online #physed community has expanded, become stronger, and now includes thousands of physical educators from around the world.
2. More and more people are visiting websites via their mobile devices (32% so far in 2013 compared to 24% in 2012 and 6% in 2011 for ThePhysicalEducator.com).
3. And, finally, more and more teachers are including online resources as part of the professional development plans.
We (I’ll get to that in a bit) wanted to make sure that this new version of the site met the needs of the 100 000+ physical educators who visit it on a yearly basis. Here’s how:
You may have never realized this, but Mike Cicchillitti has been involved with the site from (almost) the get-go. Mike took a break from working on the site as he was completing his Master’s degree at McGill University. That being said, he is back and I could not be happier! Mike is an amazingly talented physical educator and his main responsibility at ThePhysicalEducator.com will be to make sure that we are producing high-quality resources on a more regular basis. He’s involved in every decision we make here, and that’s why you’ll notice me saying “we” a lot more from here on out.
As I mentioned earlier, when I first launched ThePhysicalEducator.com, I didn’t really have an idea of what I was going to do with it. With this new relaunch, that absolutely had to change.
I wanted to make sure that ThePhyscialEducator.com has a purpose. Something I believe in and something that would be infused in everything we do with the site from now on. That’s why Mike and I decided to sit down and rewrite ThePhysicalEducator.com’s mission statement into something simple, yet focused. Here’s what we came up with:
“ThePhyscialEducator.com’s mission is to help you become the best physical education teacher you can be”
That mission statement now represents everything that we do here. If we’re writing blog posts, hosting #pechat, speaking at events, or creating physical education games, skill posters, infographics, or whatever else we decide to create… the reason we’re doing that is to help you reach your potential as a teacher. We can’t guarantee that we are the best people for the job, but we can guarantee that we are going to work our butts off to get there.
The first thing we wanted to do was to make sure that the site was easy to navigate and its content easy to digest, regardless of what screen you are viewing it on. That meant redesigning the entire site with a new, responsive design.
What does responsive design mean? It means that the site is able to detect how big the browser window/screen it is being viewed on is, and changed the content/layout of the page to match that size (as opposed to just shrinking down). On some pages, certain content will either show/hide depending on the screen size, whereas on other pages the content will simply present itself in a different layout.
What this means for you is that the site should be nice to look at/learn from regardless if you’re at home or on the go.
We have a TON of new resources on the way, all of which will be aligned with our new mission. I’d talk about them here, but they each deserve their own blog posts (which will be published within the next few days). A lot of these new resources are already live, so head on over to our Resources section to check them out.
I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has visited ThePhysicalEducator.com, shared our resources, or supported us in any other way. On top of teaching, Mike and I spend countless hours on developing this site and your support is a huge reason why we do.
Over the next few months, you’ll be seeing some new paid resources appearing on this site. We don’t want you to think that we’re selling out: we just simply need to make sure that we can keep our efforts going for a long, long time. That being said, many (actually, almost all) of our new resources will be free, and any resources you were able to access for free before the relaunch will remain free.
We are so very excited about where the site is going.
It’s time to get to work.
Thank you for reading and happy teaching!
January 18, 2021
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