Guest Blog by Shaun James
Getting motivated to plan a gymnastics unit…
While finishing off a now cold instant coffee that was made two hours ago I begin to plan a Gymnastics unit for next term. Like most teachers the thought of doing a gymnastics unit sends fear through my body. Dragging the dust-ridden heavy floor mats out of storage and trying to keep everyone engaged from high energy boys who are telling me that they can do double flips, to the girls who can do splits twist from years and the rest who would rather be playing fortnight. In my procrastination and googling i stumbled across the Head Over Heels online gymnastics Course, so i made myself another coffee as the cold one was not doing the job and got stuck into some online learning.
Putting it into practice…
After a few hours videos and quizzes I was armed with a brand new outlook of how to approach my gymnastics unit. I already had a basic understanding of gymnastics as I majored in PE teaching, dabbled in the sport as a kid and have been teaching for a long time. But what the Head Over Heels Course gave me was better understanding of the fundamentals of gymnastics to plan a gymnastics unit. As any good teacher knows if you set up a student with solid basics they can take it anywhere.
I was able to provide suitable progressions for all my students from the flipping boys, flexy girls and the fortnight kings. Each student was able to find a progression that suited their ability while all working towards that same end goal whether it was the forward rolls, cartwheels or leap (which were brand new to me!). What gave me the most confidence was the Head Over Heels detailed approach to safety. I felt that each progression was logical and provided me with more stepping stones to ensure that my students were progressing safely though skills.
Lastly the lessons were fun and got the kids huffing and puffing all the time with big smiles across their faces. One student of mine stands out in this case. A young boy who has never enjoyed PE and usually refuses or provides some new found medical issue as the why he can’t do PE today. But this young boy was smiling, laughing and sweating and walked away from the unit having learnt a Cartwheel and a Forward Roll! This has to be the best feeling any teacher can get,
Cheers Head Over Heels.
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