Student Wellness: The Great Equalizer for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – Ed Talk!


– All right! (audience applauding) Hello! Health and physical
education in the house. Do you know that it is
National Physical Education and Sport Week this week? So thank you ’cause I know
that’s why you’re all here. So on behalf of 200,000 physical education and health teachers across the country, thank you so much for having me, and thank you for being here. You know, the body
needs activity everyday. And you know that to
be sitting in a chair, is a way that your feet tell your brain that my human’s not moving
and maybe it’s time to rest. You’ve been in that chair way too much. I would like everybody to please stand, and now those old
stereotypes are coming back, oh please don’t let me be embarrassed, oh please don’t let anything happen. It’s okay, I’m not gonna bite. I only bite on Monday’s. So I’m gonna sing you a song, because oh the mic drop
on the National Anthem didn’t go the way I wanted it to, and when you hear a word with the letter B at the beginning of the word, I want you to sit and then
the next time you hear in the song, a word with the letter B, I want you to stand and then
the next time you hear a word with the letter B, I want you to sit. Does everybody understand what
it is I’m asking you to do? – [Audience] Yes. – Oh, I can’t hear you. – [Audience] Yes. – Oh, a little louder. – [Audience] Yes. – Oh very good. Me, me, me, me. ♪ My Bonnie lies over the ocean ♪ ♪ My Bonnie lies over the sea ♪ ♪ My Bonnie lies over the ocean ♪ ♪ Please bring back my Bonnie to me ♪ ♪ Bring back, bring back ♪ ♪ Oh … ♪ (audience applauding) You know, in the new PE,
you’re not out if you miss. ♪ Oh bring back my Bonnie to me, to me ♪ It’s okay if you make a mistake. (audience laughing) ♪ Bring back, bring back ♪ ♪ Oh bring back my Bonnie to me ♪ Give yourselves a hand (clapping) (audience applauding) (laughing) So, listen to the room,
look at yourselves, there’s laughter, there’s joy. In health and physical education, we believe that what’s fundamental to all of our educational issues is a child with a beating heart, and air breathing through their lungs. Without your health, there
just is nothing else, and no way we can tackle
all the educational issues in America and beyond without
making sure we take care of the whole child, and
thankfully, here in 2019, health and physical
education has taken its place at the table in every last
educational conversation we have. Whether it be about
social-emotional learning, equity, diversity and inclusion,
we have a unique place. In health education, we’re
far beyond having kids sit in a classroom with the lights out, doing a four day film where
all the characters are white and none of the kids can have
the characters speak to them in a way that they should. We’re not doing worksheets and taking 50 multiple
choice tests anymore. We’re really engaging kids in health around what’s called a
skill based approach. We want kids to walk out
of a health classroom knowing how to self-advocate. We want them to analyze their influences. We want them to know how
to make healthy decisions. We want them to be able to find valid and reliable sources of information, so that when they get out into the world, they know how to look for
reliable health information. Right, so if they’re on their phone and they can find it on their phone, we’re gonna make sure they’re
looking at the right thing on their phone, cause we
all love the phone don’t we. So in health, that’s what we’re doing, we’re empowering kids, and I would say that after
all these years in education, I would say we’ve gotta be very careful with something I think is
very epidemic in our field, which is that when a
kid looks at themselves in the mirror, and they
don’t say I love who I am, no matter who I am, that’s
where we have to start the work. A loving, caring adult in every classroom, making sure that kids feel
valued and loved no matter what. So that being said, let’s
switch to physical education. Physical education in this day and age, is all about physical literacy. If a kid can’t shoot a basket
at the end of 12th grade and they graduate, here I am the president of the National Phys Ed
association telling you, I don’t care, it’s okay. But I do want, is for
kids to feel confident, I want them to feel competent about the way they move, because their health is so foundational to everything else that goes on, and quite honestly, in my breakout later, I’m gonna talk about the ways
that our unique environment in physical education, helps
to foster equity, diversity and inclusion with things
like mindfulness, kindness, teamwork, conflict resolution, and I’m gonna talk a
little bit about later, a service learning program that we’re launching throughout the nation as an organization, to be
able to help foster that in your physical education classes. So, make sure as
administrators, you embrace that part of your school. You get in there and make
sure that that gymnasium and that health classroom
are as equal part of what you’re doing in your
culture as anything else. Thank you so much. (audience applauding)

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