Goal Setting and Supportive Networks
Eighteen months ago I had the pleasure to write my first blog post for Achper to share with the world the inspiration that I had found with Physical Education and the magic I was able to create with this inspiration. The feedback and confidence that I received from this article pushed me to continue to grow as an educator and continue to give as a colleague and a teacher. The desire to unearth new found information and apply this in an educative method to foster student learning motivated me and set up the framework for which I know operate within.
Early in 2015 I was fortunate to be approached by Andy Vasily, one of the worlds leading educators in our field, who was working at Nanjing International School, China. He had asked me to join him in a project that would help redefine my methodology and teaching style. I was so excited to be given this opportunity. Andy and I shared a webinar series that was centered on the art of unpacking student learning and challenging our students to dig deep into the true understandings of concepts and themes within Physical Education.
My work with Andy created a fire in my belly to continue to connect with like-minded teachers and to do so on a more local level. At this point I set two goals I wanted to achieve:
My good buddies from across the Pacific in the USA were using a platform called Voxer to link teachers globally to a chat room to bring Twitter personalities alive via voice. This was the platform I used to create the AUSSIE PHYSED network. July of 2015 saw this network created with three teachers in the first instance. Fast-Forward 12 months and this network has grown to over 150 teachers in all States and Territories within Australia and have a sprinkling of Australia teachers within the Asia area.
As a group we created this platform for discussions to be created and quality ideas to be share. Some members were contributors and others were listeners. Whichever their choice we were helping teachers connect like never before.
Within the Aussie PhysEd network we created a group of lead facilitators and advisors who showed senior expertise in a certain area and they were appointed as the lead drivers for each of the chat rooms. As a by product of creative productivity the group was instrumental in creating an online cloud sharing platform via Google Drive in which we are able to share resources to enhance the Physical Education classrooms and student engagement right across Australia.
It gives me great satisfaction to see posters I have created being using by teachers in other states in Australia.
Life was sensational- I was setting and achieving goals, I was leading an exemplary Nationally and Internationally recognized PhysEd Program and I was building a culture for Physical Education with the sole goal to create a buddy program for all PE teachers in our beautiful country. I was going places……………. UNTIL……. I was stopped dead in my tracks.
On the morning of April 15th 2016 I was coming home from a Cycling training session. I was 5 minutes from home, happy, confident and ready to finish week 1, Term 2. I was struck by a motorist who failed to give way at a round about. The impact knocked me from my bike and reports indicate that I took the full force of the impact to the road with my head leaving me with serious lacerations to my forehead, eye, back, legs and broken bones. I was knocked out instantly and remember very little about the accident and the weeks preceding the accident as well as several weeks post accident. My helmet saved me life and I do not think twice about the ‘what ifs’.
My good friend Andy Vasily again became a valuable mentor to me as well as members of our PhysEd network. He asked me to grab a notebook and start to write down one message only. It said:
“ Control only what you can and set a goal you can achieve”
With my wife and children by my side I set about achieving recovery the same way I set about empowering others through goal setting. I set two goals:
Goal setting and networking became such a huge part of every day and what I didn’t connect with was the power of heeling by staying engaged. The network I had set up 10 months prior now incidentally became the centerpiece for my heeling. The use of VOXER kept me connected, as one of my sub goals was to not let this event change my pathway. As the days past I grew stronger and the heeling was speeding up. Being connected in life meant that I was able to now lean on those that I had created pathways for as they helped me with simple tasks again. The positive hours turned into positive days and the positive days turned into positive weeks and the positive weeks will turn into positive months. All as a result of simple well structured goal setting.
Ten weeks on from the accident, I am well ahead of my anticipated recovery time and am starring at the start of the Term 2/3 Victorian School holidays. I am set to pick up my whistle again and dust off my favorite pair of Nikes as I continue my journey to inspiring students. However it is different than12 months ago. This time I go to work knowing that through setting powerful but simple goals I have a PhysED team with me all the way. My students may see me as their direct teacher but I am determined to share with them the dreams and aspirations of the Aussie PhysED Network to help continue the growth of the first class culture of Physical Education in my school.
Goal setting and networking have been instrumental in my success as an educator and as an athlete. We as PhysEd teachers expect this of our students and should continue to revisit them to progress your programs forward.
With 20+ years of experience in teaching Physical Education, Andy has a thought process that builds confidence and injects passion into every teacher he talks to. He is passionate about ensuring that teachers are well educated with the latest trends so that no child misses out on experiencing quality Physical Education.