The idea for PHYSEDagogy originated on a cold, dark, January night in 2013. That night, a group of Physical Education professionals who had been connecting on Twitter as self-identified “PE Geeks,” hosted a roundtable discussion via Google Hangout that they called “PE Geeks Unite”. After that initial conversation, members of the group decided to go further and on a Friday night in February participated in the first PE Geeks Unite Roundtable that was broadcasted live on YouTube via a Google Hangout On Air. One of the members of that group, Adam Howell, had an idea to launch a recurring video series that he called the PHYSEDagogy Teacher Spotlight. The idea was to merge the terms physical education and pedagogy into one. Thus, the birth of what would eventually become PHYSEDagogy.com.
When PHYSEDagogy launched in 2013, our team consisted of early career educators who were all currently teaching in the classroom. Our shared belief was that we could add value to and elevate the physical education and health education profession through meaningful, relevant, and visibly public discussion about instructional practices in the classroom. It was never about one person, rather a collective of individuals with diverse perspectives connected through shared experiences within our community and profession. It is why the logo is a hashtag with dots representing the people in our professional community. Now, PHYSEDagogy strives to continue holding space for other professionals to share in that experience. As our team has gained experience, perspective, and is now in the midpoint of our professional careers, we feel it is important to clearly articulate what PHYSEDagogy is and what it isn’t.
First, PHYSEDagogy is not any of the following:
- We are not a business.
- We do not make money.
- We are not a provider or gate keeper of resources for teachers.
- We are not a content provider of professional development for teachers
We feel our ability to sustainably hold space for what is important, means setting clear boundaries and being transparent about our capabilities and what we don’t do.
Now, with that out of the way–here is what we actively strive to be:
- Holding space for the North American perspective in Physical Education. Our profession and the discourse within our community is global. PHYSEDagogy is a platform where the North American (particularly the United States) perspective in these conversations can be seen, heard, and shared.
- We are an organic community where we can discuss, share, and reflect on pedagogical practices inside the modern physical education classroom–we are professionals who want to learn in partnership with others.
- What we choose to contribute are things that are very personal to us. We do not operate by deadlines or through traditional norms.
- We want to hold space for conversations that push our own practices forward. We want to “level up” and continue to grow with others who are seeking a more nuanced and thoughtful conversation about pedagogy.
- We will always be passionate about connecting with other professionals who have diverse perspectives and life experiences to be able to comment authentically on a wider range of issues, and are representative of many of the students whom we serve.
As we begin this next chapter at PHYSEDagogy, we still do not know what the future holds for us. However, after 10 years, we certainly do have a stronger sense of ourselves–our strengths–and how we can best contribute to our profession. We are uniquely us and we are confident in our ability to impact and contribute to our profession on our terms, not from the expectations others may have of us.