Reflecting on my recent trip to Harrisonburg for the Virginia Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (Virginia AHPERD) conference, I am filled with both gratitude and excitement. The conference was a reservoir of innovative ideas, and I am excited to bring back some of the ideas back to my students.
1.FISHING! I attended a great fishing session led by teachers from Henrico County, we played a catching game warm up with a cool “Salmon Slap” celebration, then we learned 2 casting techniques. After we played a mini golf style round of 6 holes with our score sheets and finished off with a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. I have already began planning to make my own adapted rods and have already ordered my plush fish!
2. PACER Modifications for Students with VI: I learned a lot at Rob Mages session including some PACER modifications for students with VI (below), also the use of noise makers in tag games. I also took so great pointers for volleyball, I especially liked the big trash bag full of balloons!
3. Inclusive PE Strategies: My first session on Saturday was inclusive PE Strategies with some great ideas shared by presenters Ron Malm, and Fairfax Countys own Becky Howery. It was a great session where the group were collaborating and discussing different methods. I forgot to take pictures, but one idea I liked that was shared was using a fly swatter and a wrist sweat band for students with limited grip strength and mobility and work on short handed implements to hit balloons.
4. I attended some great other sessions including one from Gopher on Team Building Games and another about Next Level Fitness with some great ideas using Hula Hoops to work out!
The weekend was especially significant for me as I received the Adapted PE Teacher of the Year award and was elected as the VP Elect for Physical Education. These honors are not just personal milestones; they signify the strength and support of the professional community that Virginia AHPERD embodies.
Joining professional associations like Virginia AHPERD offers profound benefits:
- Networking Opportunities: Building connections with professionals who share the same passion and goals.
- Professional Development: Engaging in continuous learning through conferences and workshops to stay abreast of the latest developments in the field.
- Advocacy and Policy Influence: Leveraging a collective voice to advocate for the value of health and wellness in educational institutions and society at large.
- Access to Resources: Utilizing a wealth of resources, such as academic journals and evidence-based teaching tools, to enhance instructional practices.
- Recognition and Credentials: Earning certifications and awards that highlight one’s dedication to the profession and contribute to career advancement.
- Community and Support: Sharing experiences and challenges within a community that offers support and understands the unique aspects of our profession.
To become a part of this proactive and supportive community, you can join Virginia AHPERD here
In addition to the resources provided by Virginia AHPERD, this year’s convention saw the birth of the Virginia Adapted PE Consortium (VAPEC). This newly formed group champions the specific needs of adapted physical education, advocating for inclusive practices and policies that ensure quality PE for all students. VAPEC stands as a testament to the dedication and inclusivity of our profession, and it is heartening to know that membership is free, opening the doors for many more educators to join and strengthen our collective voice. You can sign up to VAPEC here.