Professional development days aren’t useless!

Check, check it, check it out.  / Alec Salloum

Check, check it, check it out. / Alec Salloum

This past week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Derek Haberstock, a fourth-year B.Kin./B.Ed. student at the University of Regina to talk to him about the upcoming Professional Development (PD) day, put on by the U of R’s own Health Outdoor Physical Education (HOPE) crew, and to find out if students actually go to these things.

So, let’s begin. On Mar. 21 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. HOPE will be holding a PD day at the U of R geared towards physical education. And, to my surprise, it won’t be just a boring day listening to speakers. Although there will be speakers from Sask Outdoors and SPEA (some cool physical education organization or something) and a keynote speaker from PHE Canada, Dr. Stu Robbins, there will also be food and lots of hands-on, active, physical education fun.

“People think Professional Development day is just nose to the grindstone,” states Haberstock, who is a member of HOPE and helping to organize this PD day. “It is, but we do a lot of physical activities.”

There ya go! PD days are actually pretty useful too, especially for all the budding little future teachers in university, because they prepare students for the PD days they will encounter in their future teaching careers.

“Professional Development is ongoing. There’s no stopping. It’s continuous, really,” Haberstock says. “For us to get this knowledge and to start now is absolutely beneficial.”

Heck yeah, home slice! Plus, as I’m sure we all know, many little kiddos these days are really fat and need some help and motivation in the physical activity realm. Hence, a PD day focusing on physical education can be great for future teachers who can learn how to implement physical activities into their teaching.

Haberstock states, “Developing physical education programs is world changing in my opinion. I am a huge advocate for physical health, and you can learn a lot from physical education.”

(Clearly, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be a B.Kin./B.Ed. student and a member of HOPE). Anyway, PD days like this one are also a killer way to network with all them teachy teachers out there.

“The Professional Development day is a great way to connect with future employers and make that special relationship with them, because one day, that could be you,” says Haberstock.

Sick deal. I guess you get to build up your leadership and teamwork skills, too, through these PD days, so that’s pretty legit. And now *drum roll please* I must express that I was dead wrong when I assumed that no one actually goes to these PD days.

In fact, Haberstock said, “Last year was the first time that they’ve ever hosted this, and it was a huge success…it was really great. We kind of amped it up this year with our keynote speaker, Dr. Stu Robbins, and as of right now, we have about 40-50 people signed up.”

To me, that number seems pretty significant, considering I imagined, like, 10-20 people showing up. I guess I am wrong sometimes. To all y’all out there (not including myself because I will likely eat copious amounts of donuts instead of going to this PD day), I challenge you to pay the $10 and check out HOPE’s PD day, even if you loathe physical education with your entire being.

As Haberstock says, “Putting yourself out there is the toughest thing you can do…physical education can be a really scary environment if you’re not prepared physically, mentally, [and] psychologically.”

I agree. But, what doesn’t kill ya makes ya stronger, right? I think Kelly Clarkson said that once…

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