“Not bad for an old man”

John Malkovich

(Saturday, October 30, 2010) Just came back from seeing the movie “RED” about a retired CIA agent (Bruce Willis). I really love the acronmym – “Retired, Extremely Dangerous.”  As one of the many RED physical education teachers still actively involved in helping to make the field of physical education better, it is always good to know that even Hollywood feels we “old guys” shouldn’t be underestimated.

For example:

  • Steve Gail – Thanks to Tucson resident and exercise proponent Steve Gall, school districts in Arizona will now hold public hearings on whether schools should have 30 minutes of organized, mandatory recess per day. The Legislature last week passed the Education Omnibus Bill, which included Gall’s “recess amendment” and will take effect on Jan. 1, 2011. The governor signed the bill into law Tuesday. Alarmed by the childhood obesity epidemic, Gall, a 66-year-old retired physical education teacher and volunteer with the Tucson Unified School District, has been working for the past two years to get Arizona schoolchildren moving.
  • Joe Herzog Physical education teachers across the country are not taking kindly to New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein’s televised comment that they shouldn’t earn as much as math and science teachers. Klein appeared on the “The View” this week to discuss New York City’s public schools. When the conversation turned to the issue of merit pay for teachers, he said, “Math and science teachers receive the same pay as physical educators,” a statement that, in context, suggested that math and science teachers should earn more than PE teachers. That, naturally, sparked a backlash from physical education teachers who rightly see their field as important as academics, and believe that Klein betrayed an ignorance of the importance of regular physical activity and its positive effect on student achievement.
  • Barbara Kelly – Barbara has dedicated herself to two basic propositions: providing a consistently high quality, equitable physical education program to all of her students while working to elevate the stature of teachers and the teaching profession. One message that Barbara hopes to convey is that it is not only the right, but also the responsibility of teachers to participate in education policy decisions. When teachers finally accept the role of education leaders, when teacher leaders are the rule rather than the exception; that is when we will have moved the profession forward and significantly increased the likelihood of improved student learning.

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