Thank you very much for including me in the nomination for an All Star Teacher award. Upon learning of my nomination, I have done a lot of reflecting on what I do and its impact on the students I see weekly.
This is my 29th year teaching and I have to admit that my philosophy on teaching has gone through many stages, but the core beliefs have always been the same. I believe it is my role to see that my students come to a safe, and friendly environment where they feel welcome and accepted. I believe it is my role to offer students challenges and free them of the fear of failure. I believe it is my role to expect them to behave in a proper manner and accept personal responsibility. I believe it is my role to help students see that they are different from other s and to accept that others are different from them. I believe that what I do is important. I believe it is my role to help students succeed in all aspects of their education, not just in physical education.
"Can't teach an old dog new tricks." Up until I became involved in Project Fit America, I must admit that I did things in the same old ways year after year. Now, I look at almost everything I do from a different angle. Student fitness and skill development have now become a focal point of my program. I add more movement and challenge students more than I ever did, and they have responded. The way I run relays, add challenges to skill development, expect more outside work from students, daily continual movement activities at the end of classes, are some of the change I have made in my program. I work with the students on ways to use the fitness equipment in and out of class, challenging them to work for personal improvement in fitness. In the short time that these challenges have gone into effect, I can see where students are improving in their general fitness and the confidence that goes with it.
Bronze, Silver and Gold Clubs: This year I have implemented two new programs to get students more active and to recognize those that are going the extra steps to improve their fitness. The first new program is based on Bronze, Silver and Gold Clubs. In the fall the students may make the Bronze Club in any or all of three categories: jumping rope, running, and strength. Those that qualify are recognized by having their name posted in several places throughout the school and in a newsletter that goes home. They also receive a certificate for an of the three catergories listed above. In late January they may qualify for the Silver Club in the same three areas but now must meet higher requirements. In May they can choose to try out for the Gold Club in the same three areas, but must again meet hiher standards than Bronze and Silver.
The second new program is called Fitness 100. In this program every student is given a list of 100 activities they must perform at home and get a parent to sign off. They have a monthly record sheet they get credit for any month they must do the 100 activities on at least 21 days of that month. Monthly awards will be given to those that meet this goal.
Octathalon: In addition to the two programs listed above I began another activity last year inspired by our involvement in Project Fit America. This activity I call Octathalon. In one class period at the beginning of the year, our 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students must perform 8 activities in one minute intervals, with a one-minute rest in between each event. The record their scores for each event and total the score at the end. They will do the Octathalon tow more times a year. They will be able to compare their scores each time to determine if they have any personal gains, or if they need to work on any specific area(s).