The key to good mental health? Physical activity

Originally published June 6, 2019 by TES.com.

By Tara Porter

When talking about the importance of ensuring mental health provision in schools, how often do we look to the PE department for answers? It may come as a surprise, but I believe that PE teachers can hold responsibility not just for physical health, but for mental health too.

There is a growing body of research emerging about the positive impact physical activity has on mental wellbeing. Indeed, we might surmise that finding a sport, exercise or some physical activity that young people will love and take part in for life, might be the singular most important thing a school can do to ensure a young person leads a mentally-well life. Read More

SEL

Massachusetts Teachers Incorporate Student SEL Development Into PE Curriculum

Assessment of Social Skills Documents Growth, Identifies Areas that Need Continued Focus

Students across Massachusetts develop more than fitness skills in their PE classes. Social and personal skills – known as Social-Emotional Learning – remain a key focus.

“We focus on SEL because it works so well with the PE National Standard 4,” said Melonie Bennett, the  Braintree Public Schools Director of Physical Education and Health. Read More

Teacher Creates Assessment to Correlate Physical Fitness, Social-Emotional Learning

PE teachers throughout Mitchell (S.D.) School District 17-2 also focus on the social and emotional well-being of their students.

Using an assessment created by Mitchell Middle School health and PE teacher Cheryl Miller, teachers track students’ behaviors and social skills as go through their class session. After each class, teachers enter the information into their IHT Spirit System.

“Every single class period, every day,” Miller said. “It takes me two minutes. We created a 10-point scale. The first column in the assessment is a scale from 1-10. Those students with no issues get scored with a 10.” Read More