At some point in our life, usually when we are teenagers, play just disappears. One minute, it is there, the next…poof, its gone. Somehow the joy of play seems to evaporate like a puddle on a warm spring day. Of course we all understand why that happens, we mature, we gain responsibilities, we have bills to pay, and we say we are too busy for play, and usually we are.
When I began Bring Your Parents to PE a decade ago, my primary desire was to promote the PE program, to show parents my value as a teacher and to make sure people understood that PE was more than just nonsense “fun n’ games.” I wanted to be taken seriously, I wanted parents to know that real learning (kinesthetic learning) was happening. In my mind, I thought even if I wasn’t taken seriously, the event would be a great way to explain to parents what I do everyday. I never could have imagined what the event actually was. What I discovered that first year, and what I have been so blessed to witness every year since, is nothing short of magic. Bring Your Parents to PE isn’t just a promotional event, or a way for parents to become involved in the school day. It is a place where you can see grown ups forget their worries and stresses. There are very few moments in this life where adults can play with joy, and I am glad that I can be a part of a whole weeks worth of joy, year after year.
Of course, Bring Your Parents to PE isn’t just for the grown ups. There is nothing more amazing than the look on a child’s face whose parent comes to PE—An unforgettably big smile, full of delightful pride, and excitement.Don’t let eye rolls, and tantrums fool you; to a child, a parent is the most important person in the world, someone special, worthy of being shown off.
Over the years, I have spread the word about how special this week is. I have told colleagues, and friends; I have given lectures and led workshop sessions. Each and every time I share the event with others, I am reminded that the number one thing that makes this week so amazing is the parents who come and share in the week. Without parents coming to PE, it would just be another week of PE.
It is so difficult to try and encapsulate such an amazing week in words. Because of that, I have put together a slideshow from the week. I wish I could have included every fantastic picture I took from the week, but I was already pushing it with a nine minute slideshow. Thank you to everyone who could make it out this year. I hope everyone enjoyed the week, and I hope you are already looking forward to next year.