Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Celebration

I got the call today.  The call that makes our manuscript a book… a reality that we can hold, turn the pages of, and wonder of wonders, invite others to read. Because my co-author Karen Cross and I live in the same city as the printer, and the offices of Connections Publishing are in Courtenay, BC, we will be the very first to hold our newly printed book. Even though it’s a one-person job, we will probably make the drive to pick up our box of books together because the writing was such an act of deep collaboration, it would feel wrong to go alone.  It’s a thrill that will only be surpassed by learning that it is in the hands of a physical educator or a school or system leader supporting the work of physical educators.
We describe our purpose in writing Making Physical Education Instruction and Assessment Work in the preface of the book:
We are colleagues whose paths were interwoven for over ten years in our school district, and even though we no longer work together, we continue to think, talk, and write about our passion for education. We met as curriculum consultants, one for early years education, and one for physical education and health. Although the scope of our work was different, it quickly became obvious to us that we had much in common. As we worked and learned together, we discovered that, irrespective of our discipline:
·       teaching is teaching
·       learning is learning
·       kids are kids
·       effective practice is effective practice
·       and a classroom is a classroom, whatever the size.
More specifically, we realized that the principles of assessment for learning and the gradual release of responsibility (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983) connected us as classroom teacher and specialist. It also became clear to us that not everyone saw it this way. This book describes how what some may think of as principles and structures for teaching “academics” only, apply to teaching physical education. In fact, to us, physical education is an “academic” subject. However, we do acknowledge that in physical education there are special circumstances—time constraints, the number of students, keeping kids active—and we address them all in this book.
Although there are two of us, we have chosen to write in the first person singular. We are of one voice in our beliefs and practices. Writing as “I” allows us to share our experiences, stories, and learning in a direct, personal, and passionate voice. (Brenda Augusta & Karen Cross, pp.13-14, 2017)
In short, as Maya Angelou wrote:
We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.
Stay tuned…I’ve got a very important errand to run.

Bibliography
Angelou, Maya. 1990. “The Human Family” in I Shall Not Be Moved. New York, NY: Random House.

Augusta, Brenda & Cross, Karen. 2017. Making Physical Education Instruction and Assessment Work. Courtenay, BC: Connections Publishing.