In the VDOE's "Profile of a Virginia Graduate," it describes "the knowledge, skills, experiences and attributes that students must attain to be successful in college and/or the work force and to be “life ready.” These are the learning goals MCHS educator, Mark Arrington, attempts to achieve in his physical education classes. Learning is not only in the product but the process as well. Many times the "process learning" is the most authentic and can develop valuable skills needed to contribute and thrive in the 21st century workforce. He uses a team model, where each individual has his or her own role within the team (director, coach, personal trainer, human resources, marketing, and wellness director).
Mr. Arrington offers "we need to make sure students leave their academic setting with the skills needed to succeed in our community as a consumer and productive member of society. In this competitive economy individuals that know how to work as a group are often well ahead of peers with similar educational backgrounds or training."
Mr Arrington agreed that, although the process can be messy at times, especially at first, the confidence, skills, and self-worth gained for a job well done are well worth it. He also noted that this confidence and self-worth has nothing to do with "winning or losing" in competition within class, which can be a major focus at times.
Mr. Arrington also engages students in a "Cost of Living" simulation using pedometers. The description being, "For the remainder of the semester each step you take with your pedometer will be worth money, well virtual money. You get to pick anywhere in the United States to live, the median income for that city, or county, will determine how much income you make. For instance if you choose to live in Stillwater, Oklahoma the annual median income is $19,566. Each step would then be worth .019. So, if you took 2000 steps in a day you would get $38 dollars for those steps." Students are then tasked with paying their expenses based on the cost of living of the area, as well as, the number of steps they take. So great!
Mr Arrington and I first discussed these initiatives years ago and pre-pandemic. It is great to see them up and running again. Thank you Mr. Arrington for engaging MCHS in these activities of civil discourse, collaboration, and 21sth century skills!