When I was thirteen I was fortunate to go skiing twice, staying at the same hotel. During these two weeks, my parents and I got to know the hotel staff and their respective jobs extremely well. I remember skiing with my dad and the ski technician and being hugely inspired by this young man. I was so taken by the manner in which he carried out his work, that I actually did his job – in the same hotel and for the same company – ten years on. For me, this was part coincidence and part a wonderful example of the power of role-modelling.
Classroom teachers who make time to get changed and take an active role in PE lessons are priceless.
The best way a teacher can inspire their class in Physical Education is to join in with activities. This involvement is even more hard hitting when the teacher is not particularly sporty. A less sporty teacher may relate more effectively to those pupils most in need of this positive modelling. With increased confidence from simplifying both subject content and outcomes, more primary school teachers can role-model Physical Education. These teachers will develop increasingly positive perceptions towards Physical Education, driving a stronger agenda for its value.
Everything we do when we are in contact with school pupils will leave a lasting impression. How we dress, how we move, what we say and what we do all inform pupils of our story, and help to shape theirs. At the beginning and end of the school day, during break times and lunch times, and during lessons, every adult (and even the older pupils) in the school community have tremendous opportunities to inspire greater levels of physical activity. From playground supervisors and wrap-around care providers to senior leaders and governors, we should all be aware of the positive impression we make on all pupils by modelling active lifestyles.