National PE Institute 2013: Judy LoBianco

fool say does that star-spangled banner thank you I’m gonna go home now so we’re gonna cover a lot of Brown this afternoon about who your audience for advocacy is and what kinds of messages you should be giving each and I really want your commitment as champions to be able to be the Advocate that you need to be we’re also going to talk about how much hard work it is to be an advocate and why right now is an extremely important time for us to act who is the audience are number one audiences kids are these not our best evaluators of good teaching any grade I could give you on a final evaluation pales in comparison to the first grader who runs up to you and hugs you on the leg that’s awesome any basic proficient distinguished teaching that I could bestow upon you pales in comparison to the letter you may get from a parent who says that you were the one influence in their child’s life that made the difference between one direction and another for their child any observation I could come in and see to let you know that your teaching is superb doesn’t hold a candle to the child who comes back years later runs up to you and tells you the things you said and the way you smiled at me the way you paid attention to me in your class had a lasting impact on my life that’s why we’re teachers it’s not just an opinion that physical education changes the lives of children it is so baby it is so all right scare anybody yeah so I go back to the student when we advocate it’s all about the student and it’s not about the athletic student and it’s not just about the obese child I know that gets a lot of attention and that we’re part of that solution right we’re not all of the solution but we’re part of that solution we get kids a lot we see kids a lot but it really comes down to that child every child wanting to be in your space for being in your company’s sake the way you make them feel sounds a little weird like the way you make them feel is gonna make everything different well they want to know that you love them before they care about what you have to say and I don’t care if you’re talking about peanuts or 12th graders ready to graduate they want to be nurtured and loved by adults by virtue of being a human being and it’s it’s really simple for those of us who have the heart to be able to give that of ourselves isn’t it not so simple for those are in it for themselves and so now we’re back to those physical educators and you can’t tell me you don’t know at least one I know let’s be honest that person that’s there only for themselves in their content and not for the children it’s the children that get in the way of their lessons if those kids weren’t there boy I’d get a 1/4 ton telling you what and for those of us who’ve got this passion you know the job is great if it just wasn’t for these adults he’s a golf unbelievable so that student focused teaching style very very important and something that you get very innately that had nothing to do with the knowledge you got from your degree can I see you everything that came out of my kinesiology class in college where I remember basic motor learning thank God my professors aren’t here maybe not maybe not do I remember my methods class kind of in the end when you put me in front of kids with ours teaching in that first year that 10th year it all came down to the way I wanted to make sure they felt good

about being active that the outcome of their activity was fun the lesson wasn’t for them to have fun but that was the outcome of a well-planned lesson really really important and you know if we’re in our classes and we’re student-centered we’re not that teacher who sees the kids and teaches the skill and then when it’s time for them to do their modified game or small sighted game or stations we’re not that teacher that steps back and goes huh good get a break now just let them play let me play the music that’s the moment we get in there because what you’ll find if you’re paying close attention is once you’ve taught a skill and you do that practice once they’re in this modified game situation sometimes they don’t remember that they’re supposed to be learning the skill that they just did you’ve got to be able to catch some really important things early on K through 5 for example if you’re teaching skipping and this is my big thing skipping is my big thing I want is to be able to skip you’re gonna hear gene blades talk about skipping being associated with reading and that just kind of stuck with me and it’s really important for me that kids know how to skip and if you teach kids how to skip but then you give them activity and they’re skipping and then they’re galloping you’ve got to catch them galloping and say hey that’s not skipping that’s galloping you know so you’re gonna hear a lot about this this week I’m so glad that you are because it reinforces the fact that we have got to be purposeful mindful passionate student-centered teachers and so we teach kids and then we teach physical education they don’t teach skipping we teach kids how to perform the skip you know what I mean those hard-to-reach children you can make the difference in their life and I’m talking about advocacy today that’s the advocacy that I’m talking about I don’t doubt anybody’s ability in this room to teach a skill you have to be able to teach that child and that takes a lot more than what it is you know it takes what it is that you feel for them and they know it I love the stories when students can go home and talk about you and you hear these from the parents on PTA night you know they talk about you talk about what you meant in their class I love that stuff that’s that’s when you know you’ve advocated well through a fun exciting motivating program that puts the child first that child advocacy brings parents closer to you that’s how advocacy has parents seeking you out to let you know thank you seeking you out to call you and say you’ll never believe what my kid came home and said about you today has parents treating physical education importantly enough so that when that progress report comes home they’re interested enough to email or comment to you and vice versa and I have you know it Maplewood New Jersey South aren’t Maplewood schools I have a really good program I think you know it’s not perfect there’s no such thing and I do have teachers who the only time they they communicate with parents is through that written progress report in the middle of the quarter and that’s all that happens and you know as a mindful person worried about the welfare of children if a kid is failing in the fourth week of a nine-week course I would hope that I would have reached out to mom or dad by then not to say your kid is an outright mess but to say I want to partner with you to do everything we can to help this child succeed it gets a lot bigger than your class students with disabilities we don’t do this very well and you might disagree I have teachers that are so frightened of getting a child and wheelchair in their class and try to blame me for the reason why they can’t service this child Judy your evil administrator how could you put a child wheelchair-bound in my phys ed class are you out of your mind my jumps too small their kids are too many there’s not enough equipment and it’s that teacher who who can’t reflect like you do who can’t look inside and

say what is it that I can do we need to step outside ourselves if we are going to be effective passionate teachers some of them can’t do that that’s why advocates are so desperately needed who better to help those children than physical educators who in in many circumstances at the elementary in particular are the very ones who discover that there’s some sort of deficiency in the first place the brain has to move before it thinks so is it not by virtue of the fact we asked kids to move that we will not find these deficiencies of course then who’s the hero physical education the heroes your PE colleagues and you know you’re gonna be mad at me for saying that this is a shared responsibility between you and I you’re gonna be mad at me for that you’ve got enough on your plate you’re doing enough teaching your kids you’re doing a fine job of it how dare I say that as leaders of the profession you’re the one that has to do something about this but is it not also true that alongside you with a colleague that’s not pulling their weight you are the best one to be able to show them what fantastic practice looks like are you not the one through the peer relationship to be able to push them out of that comfort zone I hired a new teacher in January of 2013 I am so excited about this young lady and she shows such enthusiasm and passion and she is a change agent and the type of teacher I was looking for for this particular school was a change agent and we have an agreement and an understanding that as long as she continues to ignore the rhetoric and is able to show by doing what the real physical education looks like that I will do my part and I will do informal unannounced walkthroughs and be able to do much more observation because you know if your observed once a year you know that’s show if that shows ready to go that’s cells ready to go I thought Pat became better done look at me teach some skills and the rest of the year I don’t do nothing so this is a shared responsibility and we need to work together to be able to make this stuff happen let’s talk about evaluation for a second there’s no reason for the passionate and energetic and enthusiastic teacher not to be able to say these are the traits of effective teaching and I welcome evaluation you are all sitting here saying well I wish I had a duty LoBianco in my district because my principal hasn’t evaluated me in three years geez you know I’d really like some evaluation I’d like some critical feedback I’d like to have to be able to engage in conversation around instruction and children and teaching it’s a shame when you’ve got to go ask for it it should be happening as a regular point of practice what if your principal doesn’t know what effective physical education looks like we’ve got to teach them how what does they come in and don’t know there’s a time when you’re supposed to be on the perimeter what if they don’t know that squads may look organized but this is some quality physical activity time you’re losing out on this is our opportunity to educate him or her by giving them information by having conversations and inviting them into the classroom anytime they want to come the open-door policy many principals may not have an open-door policy for you to be able to come in so you should have your door open for them you are as champions more than the physical education teacher and you have the power through what we know about children and their physical activity during the school day change the entire culture of the school it is not crazy for me to tell you that you may be the one that single-handedly can ease the achievement gap increase academic test scores be the person through which children are less absent be the person responsible for making sure that there’s less disciplinary issues in your school that’s what your principal wants to hear that’s what they know that’s what they care about and they want to know about you know what strikes me when principals

go to interview physical educators for jobs they’re not asking you know what does a typical K through five lesson look like what Jude’s know and be able to do you know how do you assess students know how do you infuse Common Core and you’ve taken classroom well I happen to have a big book right here go ahead that point of entry that conversation is an example of how the target audience changes especially with the principal if you know what it is their spot is where they’re coming from whether their school is the school culture of character a school culture of literacy a school culture of increased math or shortening the achievement gap narrowing the achievement gap we have an argument in every one of those places we are at the table at every educational issue that comes our way we are at the table there’s a chair waiting for you you got to sit in it you’re more than physical education teachers and your classroom is more than your gymnasium now you’ve heard these in advocacy presentations before there’s ways to publicize your program that most of you are probably already doing the bulletin boards the field days and it’s you know it’s a very very big big event a field day if you’ve ever done this it’s it’s a lot of work and I never miss a field day in one of my schools because I know how much work it is and when I go to a field day and the principal is not on the field guess what Judy does launches to the principal’s office get your tush outside get outside you’re on the phone you’re in a meeting I don’t think so you’re not sorry that’s I get outside it’s better not half the teachers are taking off that day shame on them it shouldn’t be allowed to them so on your next field day the next day when those teachers come back to schools you wonder why Hey Judy says how am I stay all right the research is what the principal wants to hear and we’ve been flooded with it I don’t have to repeat it physical activity is kind of a good thing for kids and stuff the PLC’s we have PLC’s in New Jersey do you all have PLC’s bayan yep so these PLC’s are another great point of entry I’ve got physics teachers working with physical educators at the high school I’ve got kindergarten teachers working with physical education teachers to do coordinated school health at the elementary real crossover good stuff the data collection is very important they want to see the date of the principals superintendents due to they love the data these are Brainiac people they love the the Brainiac stuff the data stuff you know the percentage of kids that fergie frick frick whatever it is do you know that my kids are smarter than kids who don’t participate in physical activity that kind of thing they love that stuff they love that stuff and it’s important I don’t want to poopoo the fact that data is important we don’t do enough of that I mean I my teachers are as guilty as the next for doing Fitnessgram and then the scores just sitting they don’t do anything well that that’s against the point you know say what you want about fitness testing it is a snapshot of a child’s health and if we just do the test for the sake of doing the test why would you do that why would you do that don’t do that no no no no no no data collection this is an easy one what do we tell the classroom teachers well you know this is big let’s move Active Schools Fang that you guys could be a part of come on now gene Blais is going to talk to you about exactly how long it takes for a kid to be disinterested in their classroom future before the blood slowly leaves their feet and so many physical educators would say to me Judy it’s not my job to teach the classroom teacher how to do physical activities I don’t have that kind of time I’m running the world over here could you give me a break so many resources available to teachers now this is a no brainer excuse the pun or an all brainer and the resource comes from John maybe I’m sure

you know about his book spark and I haven’t heard him speak I do know his work and he talks all about this idea of how physical activity alters the brain in a way that is just mind-blowing and then you’ve got genes who you’ll hear this week who translates his work into really creative things that we could do with teachers I used so many of Gene’s one-liners and everything that I do I might have to start asking permission you know she came to my school district during the pep grant and it was the best day of professional development that I ever saw classroom teachers saying geez you know I just thought you were the gym teacher and now I find out responsible for everything the central office and school board I don’t know if you’re the kind of person who’s ever spoken in front of your Board of Ed as a child I was very shy and the first time I spoke in front of my Board of Ed I was pretty scared but then you get less scared the more you know that what you’re saying and what you’re speaking is the truth and not being afraid to say I want to exploit this piece in public because it’s the right thing to do and you don’t do that when something is on the table like the board’s about 2/7 phys ed teachers you go to a board meeting just to go and you get up on the mic and you say hi I’m so-and-so from so in Seoul middle school and I just want to let you know that I want to thank you even though it pains me to do so I’m just kidding for sending me this conference because I learned a lot and you know thank you so much and here’s a few things I learned at the conference see it what the whistle two months later you’re back again believe me those board members know you are sitting there even if you don’t say a word even though you don’t say a word and I really after nine years of supervision got to the point where I really felt they got it this past December when the conversation about athletic exemption came up just the conversation they were deciding whether they wanted to talk about it and there I was in the front row like this and the board president there and she’s like okay let’s all take a vote about whether we even want to talk about this now and so it was no I don’t know no no I don’t know I know then the one guy who’s like now the votes taken it’s like all the votes are like no let’s not talk about this the guy was like well I was gonna say yes but like it’s like I’m not a point now because I already lost a vote but I would have liked to us talked about it and so I look over at him I go mental note mental note to do a better job with him to better educate him about why for example athletic exemptions not the way to go in physical education mental note to him teachable moment not he’s the enemy okay maybe he was the enemy for like two seconds it’s a jersey thing I don’t know but well like this is a jersey thing look this is all New York right here look you’re on the phone those discussions are so important make known your accomplishments with the board event make known your field day to the board event invite your superintendent talk to your board pray you have to make sure that you’re getting recognized for the champions that you are because otherwise silence means nothing has changed the research is very important to these people boards bed principals superintendents assistant superintendents legislators they want to know that the impact of physical education goes far beyond what it is you’re doing in the classroom that’s your point of entry that’s where your discussion has to change with your phys ed colleagues I would speak less about the effect of the brain the physical activity has and more about best practice because what you colleagues could be doing is hurting kids what your legislators can do has a more lasting impact right now we’re fighting to make physical education and health course subjects in ma es EA and that comes with letting these decision makers know that the physical education that you were used to is not what’s happening now and we are a vital part of the Cobble part of a common core we are the common core so the timing is very important right now advocacy is a very important part of what we need to make our regular

practice in 2013 given that Hayford has unified and we are streamlining a message that says health and physical education in the schools is one of the most important things that happen physical education and health should be a common course subject all the synthesis on common core may be important in physical education and we realize that but we expect a two-way street if you want literacy and math in physical education then we want physical activity in the classroom yes the nation wants us to be part of the solution for childhood obesity so two things are happening we’re pointing the finger at teachers for being only interested in the athletic children and we’re also pointing the finger at teachers who are trying to reverse childhood obesity there’s children getting lost in that shuffle one of the things my superintendent likes to say and I really agree with him is that when we say we’re going to educate physically educate all children we mean all children athletes they do child children who are beasts need you showing what diabetes needs you children and wheelchairs need you children with autism need you children that are busy happy good need you all children need you hopeful we need you so this is your job the job of every physical education teacher you’ve heard me tailor the message for the different groups that you would talk to you need to stay connected to the cutting edge trends in your profession you’re about to hear that the national standards have changed we need to start to speak that language we’re no longer physically educated we’re physically literate we have to start talking that way this piece on advocacy can catapult us forward we can no longer complain about why physical education continues to get a bad rap if we’re not doing something to change it one teacher in each school one day at a time one person at a time we can change this world this culture of the profession but I can’t do it alone and you can’t do it alone and the small army of champions that we have it’s going to make a big difference if we can reach one person at a time we will get them all but if we can just make a dent if we can just make a dent the time has got to be now when all eyes are on us to do these very important things thank you so much