Our adored Kirsten Mehl was invited to speak to an audience of K-12 teachers with the California Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) last weekend.
Kirsten’s presentation focused on her integration of social and emotional learning into her Physical Education curriculum, nurturing the whole child. Kirsten describes her personal inspiration with the term, Arete; the pursuit of excellence in oneself through the mind, the body and the spirit.
While Kirsten’s process seems intuitive to her, it is a novel approach to what has been and still is considered Physical Education to so many. If you have ever experienced one of Kirsten’s classes it is apparent that the program is deeper than what you might have expected. For example, the students (and Kirsten) will play an athletic game, pause to share inspirations or ask “what would integrity or sportsmanship look like in this game?” Then they resume playing integrating their new ideas into the game. By realizing how they want to perform, and accepting mistakes as an opportunity for growth, students are actively stretching themselves. During her presentation she employed her methods by having her audience stand up, stretch themselves and participate in her lecture, bringing to life what she teaches.
Kirsten reaches people and her teaching method resonates with everyone around her. We are very proud of her for sharing her personal approach with all of us, with CAHPERD, and for being invited to speak at the Elementary Physical Education Workshop (EPEW) national conference next summer.