Hello, my name is Jody L. Patrick, Physical Education teacher and Athletic Coach at
the Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va. I recently attended the 2015 MAHPERD
(Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance)
Convention at the Hunt Valley Inn, near Towson, Md. Having attended both the
Virginia and National Convention editions in the past, I looked forward to seeing
Maryland’s approach to all things health and fitness. And, I’m glad I did so. The
sessions were well organized, chock full of great information. and logistically easy to
find with efficiently set up Ballrooms.
CrossFit For All- Better than warm up laps and jumping jacks, this partner approach
to jumpstarting a lesson combines three exercises of your choosing. My favorites
were air squats, burpees, and sit-ups completed in a partner supporting way. There
was an emphasis on engaging the students when creating the warm-up routine
which would create a positive feeling of ownership. A great session led by Linda
Kephart (Carroll County Public Schools).
Fitness : Join the Movement- How do you motivate students to move, be active, and
stay engaged in PE? Create fun and current activities like Curt Hinson (Playfit
Education) did in his session. Not more than 3-4 minutes for each game, engage the
students with fun and lively games that engage their imaginations, all with current
music playing in the background (though throwback disco-beat tunes can also be
used, don’t you think!).
We Know That a Young Person’s Pre-Frontal Cortex is Underdeveloped: Empower
Students With Smart Decision-Making Skills- A fact-based and eye-opening session
that described the immature minds of our youth today are being inundated with
very mature and risky material. Peggy Cowan (New Jersey Physicians Advisory
Group) employed hands-on activities in showing us how to lead our students to safe
and healthy decision-making. One of the techniques used by Peggy will fit nicely
with one of our Healthy Habits units ,’Refusal Skills’. Looking forward to
These are just three of the many great sessions and takeaways. Having exchanged
networking information with a few of the presenters and attendees, I’m looking
forward to learning more from them all.
Onward to Health and Fitness!
-Jody L. Patrick