Field day to my elementary students is referred to as the best day of the school year. This is the culture we have created in my school district from running successful field days in the past. The success of field day should be measured in the physical engagement and inclusion of all student participants. The responsibility of planning and running this event is usually given to the current physical education teacher. So, how and where does a physical education teacher begin to plan this school wide event? Is this something that a teacher learns through student teaching?
In my own experience, as a previous student teacher, I graduated way before a field day event ever took place. I did not have any personal experience running this large of an event and this was an extreme fear I had going into my first year of teaching. I was lucky enough to have the previous teacher leave information from past field days, but it was all over her office and in multiple folders. These were great resources that I could piece together, but I knew it was ultimately going to be trial and error. Going into my 5th year of teaching elementary students I have used trial and error to run multiple successful field days and have collected resources to create a field day manual. A start to finish guide would have been extremely helpful and would have provided me with so much more confidence when running my first event.
The goal in creating this Field Day manual is to provide present and future physical education teachers a resource to run an organized event from start to finish. This manual includes the following: picking a date/time, requesting volunteers, station directions, assigning roles to volunteers and staff, communicating staff directions, preparing students, identifying safety precautions, financing, developing a back-up plan, day of event equipment set-up, timing of stations, creating an event map, and thank you notes/emails. This Field Day manual was created to provide a plan as well as allow the user to have flexibility when creating their own event.
Dr. Ray Schneider
Dr. Nancy E. Spencer
Lipstraw, Erica, "Elementary Physical Education Field Day Manual" (2020). Masters of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects. 79.