The Importance of Community

Community, in my definition, is an assemblage of people sharing an experience or a belief about something, working towards a common goal. Being involved with my local community is extremely important to me. I truly believe communities can make social change happen and make the world a more just, humane, and innovative place. I also live 4314 miles (6943 kilometers) away from my family and friends so being around people is important to me. Since moving to the United States, I have been fortunate enough to create lots of different community networks and see the people within them as my friends and family! There are many different types of assembles I am part of, as an example, I see my physical education teacher group as a community (some of you call this your professional learning network), I have my co-worker community at the university, I have my friendship community, I have a residential community, and I have my local community’s clubs ie: the community tennis club. In my attempt to show you how important community is, this week I wrote down what I did each day for the community. Here it is:

Monday – (Teacher Community) Normally my dissertation catch up day but I was flying ahead of schedule and so I went and observed three different teachers in Alabama that are interning and about to finish their teacher education program. I always enjoy going back to schools and seeing the children reminds me how much I miss teaching K-12 myself, but it also jeers me on to work with our pre-service teachers to ensure they are creating positive environments for their future students.

Tuesday – (Teacher Community) I worked with another pre-service teacher today, we worked through filming from their first methods course for about three hours. I attempted to provide feedback (when necessary) on their lessons and we chatted about strategies to include all students within classes and how certain curriculum models are set up to do this well e.g. cooperatively learning and adventure-based learning. (Residential community) I also swept the stairs at our apartment complex this evening as the trees are shedding… don’t want someone to trip!

Wednesday – (Teacher Community) Today I reviewed the Alabama State Standards for physical education. Our state organization (ASAHPHERD) asked for volunteers to provide feedback on the old standards. I used my critical eye and made some recommendations linked to diversity and inclusion. (University Community) Today I also did some networking and research to prevent Jared Taylor from coming to the University of Alabama. Jared Taylor is a well-known white nationalist. He has entitled his talk ‘Diversity: Is it good for America’? I must pass a judgment on this… what a silly title and question. If you want to find out more about this and sign the petition against someone threatening our university with hate speech please see here: https://www.change.org/p/president-dr-stuart-cancel-jared-taylor-at-the-university-of-alabama?recruiter=868300318&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial.nafta_milestone_share_ask_victory.control&utm_term=autopublish

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Hmmm..

Thursday – (Environment Community) Shockingly Alabama has no requirement to recycle. I do my bit in my office and home to recycle everything I possibly can (yes, I have been known to rummage through trash cans after people and take out their soda bottles!). So, after work today I loaded up the car and drove to my local recycling center. I like doing this and it really takes me no time at all to split up each recycling item to put in the correct bin. To be honest, when I am at the center I always see the same faces… we are constantly discussing how we can build our network and encourage more people to recycle. This next week I am going to write a letter to my apartment complex manager to ask if they will provide recycling bins so we can at least give people the opportunity – even if they are not able to get to the center. Let me know if anyone has any tips on this!

Friday – (Teacher Community) today @SchleiderJustin and I did a Global Phys Ed Voxcast ‘beyond the game’, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ja4Fmj76ws&feature=youtu.be [see my t-shirt social justice folks… ‘check your privilege’).

Saturday & Sunday – (Friend and club community) This weekend I took part in the Tuscaloosa Spring Swing, a community tennis fundraiser for the Alabama Wheelchair Tennis Team. I spent Saturday playing in the singles and Sunday playing in the doubles. I am not a tennis player but I do enjoy being outside and supporting my friends to go to tournaments! I am lucky enough to get the ball over the net sometimes but honestly, this event was an absolute blast and I didn’t care if I won or lost. From what I hear the Alabama wheelchair tennis made a considerable amount of money this weekend so I am pumped! (Co-worker love) I just finished making some brownies (vegan – of-course) for work tomorrow. My colleagues love it when I bring in baked goods, it means office moral will be awesome on Monday! My roommate is eyeing them up as we speak…!

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Colin & Shre about to play doubles!

So my question to you is… what do you do for your community? Admittedly, I have a little more time to be in several different types of communities as I don’t have family commitments but specifically to physical education… what kind of community do you create in your gym? Or your office? With your neighbors/co-workers? For the good of the earth? And how does it make you feel? I am running on a hype of love this week. Love the earth … Love your neighbor … Love yourself … Give back!

EDUCATION > ENVIRONMENT > SUSTAINABILITY > NETWORKING > OPPORTUNITIES > GENEROSITY > COMPASSION > FRIENDS > FAMILY > HUMANS > LOVE = COMMUNITY

Have a great week and thanks for reading!

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Community Tennis Team!

 

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