When I last wrote a column for Inside Education, I was teaching physical education at the middle school level. I’m now teaching at the elementary level. Making the switch has forced me to modify my teaching methods from working with seventh and eighth graders, to now working with K-4 students. What a change it has been! However, no matter what level I’m teaching, one question still remains the same — how can I motivate my students to embrace a healthy lifestyle?
Providing an atmosphere that is motivating, positive and one that safely encourages risk-taking, is a challenge physical educators face daily. Using the technology of heart rate monitors has helped me overcome the challenge. Heart rate monitors are empowering students to self-manage and take ownership for their health and well-being through technology. It’s no secret that we all work harder on something we have ownership in. So we began giving students ownership in P.E. through individualized heart rate monitors and it’s had a huge impact on motivation and participation.