“It’s not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, but in the happiness of pursuit” Denis Waitley
When trying to decide on a name for this blog, there wasn’t a brainstorm to be seen. No mind maps or exhaustive lists of ideas were created. Once the decision to blog was made, there was only name that my brain would allow me to consider.
I have had a sticky note pinned to my desk for a couple of years now and I believe the reason it has lasted so long is that it really sums up what I believe we are trying to teach our students in Phys Ed.
The pursuit of happiness is big business. Hollywood films, many books and thousands of blog posts have been devoted to the topic. Positive psychology (the study of happiness and happiness attainment) has really only gained popularity in the last 15 years but is continuing to grow exponentially in the consciousness of the greater public.
While striving for happiness is no doubt a noble goal, the journey to reach that goal and what you do along the way is equally, if not more, important.
In many ways, this directly reflects my personal PE philosophy and that of the PE Dept I currently work in. We believe our purpose is to give our kids the experiences, knowledge and skills to love being active throughout the rest of their lives. Our most satisfying times have been watching a student have their ‘a-ha’ moment, when we realise they get ‘it’.
I recently saw one of our students jogging in our local neighbourhood on the weekend. When I asked her on Monday why she had taken up jogging, she said “if I don’t get out and take an exercise break from studying, I get really grumpy and find it hard to concentrate. Plus I actually really enjoy it”. Hearing that one comment from a student was celebrated within our PE Dept as a great success.
We are not so egotistical to suggest we were the reason for this students epiphany, but even if we played a small role, it was worth it. To be able to inspire kids to love moving is a honour and responsibility, and watching students fall in love with a particular way of being active is just about as good as it gets for a Phys Ed teacher.