Physical education and character education go hand in hand

Karen Bagby, our guest blogger, is incorporating character into her physical education classes at Buford Garner Elementary, in North Liberty, IA.PE Class

Character education gives students opportunities to develop values, self-awareness, personal well-being, citizenship, and positive interactions with others. In education we need to be concerned not only about what our students know and can do, but just as importantly, about who it is they will become.

There isn’t a more natural setting in the educational system for promoting character education than that of the physical education “classroom”.  We can teach many values (such as fairness, respect, courtesy, and kindness) through play activities.   Students can also learn to be selfless, take turns, be honest, and cooperate with each other while striving to reach a common goal.

At a time in our society when children are being bullied unmercifully and they rely heavily upon technology, it is imperative that we as physical educators continue to give our students ample time to develop their people skills and good character. The physical education teacher can teach these people skills and values by interweaving character education concepts into physical education lessons.

Need resources? Here’s some techniques and activities Karen has collected

This PDF includes some of the best character education tips, information, and activities I have that I have incorporated into my teaching over many years. Much of this material can be infused into your daily lessons by just tweaking a technique in your management plan or in your teaching strategies. The game activities can be taught as a warm up, a cooperative activity, or for a specific “lesson focus” activity.

We need to be passionate about physical education, but we need to be just as passionate about character education. I told my principal just a couple weeks ago, that at least  50% of what I teach today is appropriate social skills and kindness.  We know we cannot talk a child into being good, but we can give them many opportunities to develop into children who know what is right, care what is right, and do what is right. Physical education and character education really do go hand in hand.