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A teacher’s perspective

Video transcript

[Shea Coxson speaking]

My job is actually to help these people become better people, because that's what school is all about. It's sort of like a microcosm for society. And so any opportunity to help improve their wellbeing, and help improve their perspective of the world, and just grow them as people, I mean that's really important for me, because I want the same for my daughter and my son when they're at school. 

I was quite fortunate that a few years ago I had a great opportunity for professional learning development around PE and health. A lot of the support that we received was in class and so it wasn't extra time on top. We have people who are supporting us, would come and watch us, team-teach, whatever needed to happen - they took the time themselves to actually become really familiar with our school, and there was no sort of preconceived ideas of what it should look like.

First of all taking another look at the curriculum, and going physical education and health - what is it actually asking us to do? I think there's a bit of a misconception that PE is just playing sport and games and it couldn't be further from the truth, it's about actually becoming more well-rounded individuals. And physical education is a great vehicle for that but doesn't mean physical activity is the only aspect.

Once I sort of realized what the gaps were, I realized that I needed to change things up, and I needed something that was going to be more culturally responsive - the Te Whare Tapa Wha model, where you look at your well being is like a Whare, it's got four sides and if all four sides are standing strong then your well-being will follow suit. Quite early on I realized that it will be a great vehicle for promoting well-being promoting a more holistic view of physical education for myself as a teacher but also for my learner's.

My one concern was I had an incredibly sporty class, who really enjoyed PE because that's where a lot of the kids experience success, but actually making sure they understood that good physical education isn't just about the physical aspect, and I was really relieved but also pretty proud of them because they picked it up really quickly. They realized that all of it together is what gives them Hauora, that overall wellbeing and what makes them a better person, a better athlete, the best version of themselves really.

The most impactful things are not things that you see in the moment necessarily, usually it's the impact they have further down the track. I can think of a girl who had an incredible temper, I can remember one time we're playing a game of rugby against another school, she got tackled, a boy pulled her hair, and previously I have no doubt at all that she would have stood up and punched him but she just stopped, she composed herself, she practiced everything we had done within our class, and no one noticed, but that's kind of the point, that was success for her and not calling someone a name that rhymes was Tucker. And that took a lot for her to be able to do that.

For me personally it's been the best thing I have ever done. Any sport that we play against any other team at the end of the game they don't ask what the score is, they don't bother the referee, their sole focus is being humble. That sort of that's naturally who they, are all I've done is give them an opportunity to actually be those people.

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