PE teachers from across Kansas filled the Student Recreation Center for two days in October as the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation hosted the annual Kansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (KAHPERD).
Professor Scott Gorman, an organizer for the convention, said its most important function was to share information.
“We want people to be teaching our children the latest and greatest information that’s available about health, wellness, nutrition,” Gorman said.
Throughout the event, participants could choose from sessions on everything from new classroom games and techniques to new information of physical education research.
Cole Shewmake, an assistant professor in HHPR, taught one session on “Chinese jump rope,” an activity that involves a long string tied in a circle around the ankles of two players while a third jumps patterns around the strings.
Shewmake said it’s important to find creative ways to make old activities fun and “cool” for kids.
Dustin Parks, a PE teacher at Claude Hyuck Elementary School in Kansas City, Kan., said he was excited to take back some of the new tricks and techniques back to his own classrooms.
“It’s about trying to find ways to change the old and make it new,” Parks said. “You have to have something that grabs (the kids’) attention,” Parks said. “We don’t get them for a whole lot during the week so we have to make sure it’s exciting for the time we have them.”
He said it was also inspirational to be around so many other PE teachers.
“It’s nice to see how many people are excited about what I teach, besides just me,” Parks said.