#PEChat Season 7

#PEChat Season 7: Effective Teaching In Physical Education

After a long break, #pechat will be back for its seventh season on January 7th 2019!

When I started #pechat back in 2012, the idea was to help spark professional conversations that focused on the needs of physical educators. Over the years, the chat’s format has evolved as I continued to experiment with new formats and ideas. Some of these changes were good, others not-so-great. All of them led to learning and helped me better understand what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to hosting a Twitter chat.

With #PEChat Season 7, I’m looking to create something truly valuable with the help of the tens of thousands of physical and health educators who now use Twitter as a professional development tool: 

I want to help paint a portrait of effective physical education.

Here’s the plan:

A Framework As A Foundation

A few years back, I wrote a blog post about “Backwards Designing The Ideal Physical Education Teacher”. I was trying to create a set of standards and outcomes that best described what an effective, professional physical educator does in their teaching. After publishing the post, several people contacted me to inform me that frameworks for teacher evaluation – which serve a similar purpose – already existed. 

By far, the most popular framework I was introduced to was (and is) Danielson’s Framework for Teaching*. The Danielson Group’s document and teacher evaluation tools do a really effective job of showcasing not only what effective teaching can look like, but also the different levels of teacher growth in each of the framework’s four domains.  

The thing is, the Danielson Framework scares the crap out of a lot of teachers. I sometimes get the impression that some teachers believe that if they say “Danielson Framework” three times fast, Charlotte Danielson is going to appear and steal their teaching salary. The reason for this has to do with the fact that the framework isn’t always clearly understood by physical educators or even – in some case – the administrators who are using its evaluation tools to assess their own teachers. The anxiety surrounding a poor evaluation weighs down on teachers who can – at times – feel powerless and disengaged in their own professional assessment.

So what the heck does this have to do with #PEChat? Well, one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from fellow P.E. teachers (and one I’ve had myself) is that teacher evaluation frameworks rarely include examples of what proficiency towards their outcomes / components / elements can look like in physical education settings. Don’t get me wrong: good teaching is good teaching and the practices that are detailed in these professional frameworks 100% apply to physical education. That being said, wouldn’t it be nice if we had somewhere to go to help us better understand how we can use tools such as the Danielson Framework for Teaching to fuel our own professional growth as physical educators? Yeah, I thought so too!

This season, we will be using #PEChat to explore each domain and each domain component of the Danielson Framework through the lens of physical and health education so that we can paint a portrait of what effective teaching can look like in our profession. Here’s how the chat will run this season.

#PEChat Season 7

#PEChat Season 7 Format

#PEChat will continue to take place on Monday evenings. However, due to my still-kinda-new baby schedule, the chat will now take place at 8PM Eastern (here’s a great tool to help you figure out when that is in your time zone).

Each #pechat discussion will be moderated, but there will only be one moderator this season (yours truly). The question/answer format will be the same (i.e. Q1-A1, Q2-A2), but I will be putting a call out prior to each chat for questions from the community. It’s really important to me that this portrait we will be painting together doesn’t only reflect my own perspective and understanding of effective physical education or answer my own needs. This is a team effort, as it should be.

Following each chat, I will be creating a Twitter Moment summary of what was discussed during the chat. I started doing this during last season of #pechat and it was a hit! The summaries will be collected and showcased together the #pechat page (which I will be updating in the next couple of days). That way, they can be referenced whenever a teacher is looking to learn more about a specific component.

As for the schedule, here’s how that is working out:

The Danielson Framework for Teaching focuses on four domains of teaching responsibility. Each year can be divided into four quarters. So, each quarter of 2019 will focus on one of the four domains. 

Within a quarter, #pechat discussions will usually be scheduled biweekly (every two weeks). I say usually because I will be planning the chats around a typical teaching schedule, taking into account the major breaks and holidays.

Here’s the #PEChat scheduled for season 7:

Prior to each chat, I’ll be sharing a topic card that includes information related to the upcoming chat. I’ll also invite all of you to submit any questions you may like to have asked during the chat. The chat’s questions will be based on the learning target(s) I’ll be setting for the discussion as well as your submissions.

If you’ve never joined in a #pechat before, I’d really love for you to check it out. The chats have had a huge impact on my growth as a professional and have really helped me widen/enrich my professional learning network (PLN). 

To join in #pechat, you’ll need to create a Twitter account. Once you’ve got that up and running, check out my blog post on how to participate in Twitter chats. From there, set yourself a calendar reminder for the next chat and jump in!

Thanks so much for reading! I’m really looking forward to continuing to learn with you!

Happy Teaching!

*Ok, so I have to say this here: I’m in no way affiliated with the Danielson Group. I’m basing this season of #pechat based on the resources the group has provided for free online. If you find me being very promote-y about their work, it’s just because I want to make sure I am doing things respectfully so that they don’t shut this whole thing down on us.

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Joey Feith is the founder of ThePhysicalEducator.com. He currently teaches elementary physical education at St. George’s School of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

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