Welcome to supportREALteachers.org
About the Website
Welcome to our website supportREALteachers.org, a non-profit educational website that promotes quality physical education through advocacy and free access to information and resources. We believe that every child has the right to standards-based quality physical education focused on developing the skills, knowledge, virtues and dispositions needed to become a physically literate person. We encourage you to explore our site, use the tools and resources, and spread the word if you like our stuff.
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What is a REAL teacher?
Over 1,600 teachers, administrators, and parents have taken pledges to support quality physical education. Check our Quality P.E. Advocacy section for more information and take your pledge today!
In 2011, the Storefront Academy in Harlem, N.Y. (previously named The Children's Storefront School) was selected to receive a special makeover to implement quality physical education and a coordinated school wellness program. Cathrine Himberg began working with the teachers and administrators at the school to retire the "roll out the ball" "gym class" approach, and develop a quality physical education program that fit the students’ needs. After hiring a qualified credentialed physical education teacher, all teachers and most staff at the school participated in SPARK training. A coordinated school wellness initiative was in the making, with quality physical education in the center. Physical activity was promoted during recess as well as in the classrooms in the form of brain breaks. Improvements were made in the cafeteria, and nutrition education encouraged in the classroom, and parents were educated about the project and the important role they could play.
The project was implemented at the Storefront Academy to show that "If you can do quality P.E. here, you can do it anywhere." In order to get parents' and administrators' attention, John Mathieu Roussell created a film about the transformation called "No Excuses!". The barriers the school posed were somewhat unique, and there were many. Lack of space was a serious challenge, and the teachers needed equipment and resources to ensure success. The focus on brain breaks in the classroom allowed classroom teachers and administrators to experience what the research has shown: that physical activity breaks during academic studies enhances learning and academic success. Roussell’s interviews with The Storefront Academy’s students, teachers, and administrators provide insight into their learning and growth over the first year of the project.
In the film, Cathrine Himberg also visits other teachers and administrators in California, South Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia who are experiencing how quality physical education and physical activity throughout the school day can be used as tools to improve students’ academic success, behavior in the classroom, motivation to learn, and overall wellness.
The “make-over” project at The Storefront Academy was funded by private donations, but it can be replicated with less funds as long as there is a REAL teacher involved and support from the administration. It is crucial that education leaders understand why they should care about quality physical education, and realize the important role they play in ensuring that students receive it, along with opportunities to be physically active throughout the day.
We hope that “No Excuses!” and/or these clips from the film will serve as useful tools in garnering administrators’ and parents' support for quality physical education and comprehensive school wellness. Parents and administrators who understand the science behind these concepts, as The Storefront Academy’s Head of School Wendy Reynoso did, will be likely to support the movement toward more movement in schools.