March 18, 2021

Teachers' Unions and High School Health and PE with Josh McGoun

In this deep and at times shocking episode of The Educator Podcast: Perspectives I interview Union Representative and veteran high school Health and PE teacher Josh McGoun. We discuss the inexcusable disrespect the teaching profession has faced in America, the critical role  teachers’ unions play, the teacher retention crisis that is currently plaguing American public schools, the dramatic changes to the teaching of Health and PE in the past two decades, the effects of Covid on students, teachers, and education, and much more.

This episode is a must-listen to anyone currently working or considering working in a public school, as well as anyone who is interested in improving the public school system in America, and provides a number of important action-items educators and even the everyday public can take to help advocate for and improve public education. Josh explains the central role teachers’ unions play in American education and how their benefits are widely unknown or misunderstood, the dire need to address the teacher retention crisis – 47% of teachers leave the profession in the first few years, according to his research – and the top three reasons why new teachers resign.  He also explains just how dramatically the Health and PE field has changed, as long gone are the days of gym teachers leading dodgeball games just to pass the time that most of us grew up with. Josh loathes the term “gym teacher”, as now the field has radically professionalized to focus on student learning, teaching healthy habits, and discussing complex and often emotionally sensitive topics. We also discuss the Covid crisis and much more in this wide-ranging, and at times painful, but ultimately inspiring interview.

Want to jump ahead in the episode?

Teachers’ Union Discussion: 6:00
Teacher Retention crisis: 28:10
Top 3 reasons teachers resign: 32:40
Changes in Health and PE: 41:00
Effect of Covid in schools: 56:45

Josh McGoun is a veteran Union Representative and High School Health and PE Teacher who has spent the past 12 years of his education career at Howard High School in Howard County, Maryland. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Masters of Education in Reading Education from Towson University, and will soon receive his Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Carolina. He has done extensive research addressing teacher retention and hiring, has played a role in teacher contract negotiations, and has been a vocal voice supporting teachers in his community. He is also a Varsity Golf and Ice Hockey Coach.
 

Useful Links:

Howard High School
Howard County Education Association (Teachers' Union)

Special thanks to MaxKoMusic for this episode’s theme music.

Positive Hip-Hop by MaxKoMusic | https://maxkomusic.com/
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
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