A Medium alert this morning brought me news of a Sporticus post, Conversations at the notice board.
In it, Sporticus connects a noticeboard outside his gym with his reflections on pupil flourishing. The post concludes with this observation:
If I could harness the conversations at the notice board and make sense of them as well as I can the data in my spreadsheet, then perhaps I might have a chance at helping my pupils change their behaviour for the better?
I find it fascinating that he reflects on his practice in this way. His other blog is titled DROWNINGINTHESHALLOW. In that blog, Sporticus engages with a diverse range of issues in physical education, teaching, coaching and learning. One of his posts there last month, The Reserve, was a moving contemplation of the responsibilities teachers (and coaches) have to nourish conversation and become part of young people’s sport and life stories.
I had just three years as a physical education teacher (1975 to 1978 at Whitton Comprehensive). It took me all of those three years to be sufficiently aware of my responsibilities as a story listener and builder. By the end of three years at the school, I looked forward to the hum of conversation and excitement outside my gym door as the next class got ready to start the next episode of their stories.
Sporticus’s post this morning about the notice board was an excellent synesthesia trigger about my days of teaching and my subsequent research in teaching physical education. It was a reminder too that for three years I did start to learn about conversations into stories … even when pupils had lost their voice.