PS: Tell us a little about yourself?
I am an elementary physical education teacher in Loudoun County. I have been teaching for 16 years with 12 of them being in Loudoun county. I received my National Board Certification in 2012 in Early and Middle Childhood Physical Education. I have been married for 19 years and I have 2 high schoolers. I am currently working on my doctoral degree in Health and Human Performance with a focus on Cardiac Rehabilitation. I enjoy being active in basketball, volleyball, weight training and personal training. The Washington Capitals are my favorite sports team. GO CAPS!
What made you want to become an educator?
I have a passion to teach and share my knowledge of health, fitness and wellness with my students. I love teaching physical education because it covers all domains: physical, affective, cognitive and social. To be enthusiastic and positive in teaching becomes contagious to the students. Teaching is motivating, encouraging, and inspiring as well as building confidence. I want my students to discover new things and feel good about themselves. There is nothing better than to see the smile and sense of accomplishment on a child’s face once they have conquered a task he/she felt could not be completed.
As a physical education teacher, what do you think are the benefits of keeping kids active throughout the day?
Children should be getting at least 60 minutes or more physical activity every day. We are very lucky to have physical education classes for 90 minutes a week for elementary students in grades 1-5. The benefits of keeping students active throughout the day are improving their motor skills, getting their brains ready to learn and improving focus and attention. It can also relieve stress and anxiety, promote positive mental health, decrease the chances of developing obesity and risk factors for diseases.
What inspires you as an educator?
What inspires me as an educator is lifelong learning. I want to evolve as a teacher so I enjoy learning new concepts and trends in the health, fitness and wellness from research and professional developments and bring it back to my students to share. I love to help my students reach their potential and see the progression of growth and learning from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year. When I check for understanding in a formative assessment, I love to hear my students being able to reiterate what they just learned at that moment as well as still being able to do the same months later.
What do you think are the biggest challenges students are facing today?
The biggest challenge facing students today is making time to have fun and play. I know a lot of students are involved in sports and other physical activities but going outside and playing with friends and family, throwing a ball around, playing tag games, riding bikes and making up games can improve not only the physical domain by being active but the social as well because of engaging and participating with others and the mental to relieve stress. So much of the day is already regimented, it’s amazing to have time to move freely and be creative.
Any good advice for your students?
Stay active and make it a family event! Being physically active as a family not only improves fitness and wellness but is also increases a bond with each other. Having theme days can make it fun too! One day could be a dance-off, obstacle course, creative games, jump rope, sports, walking the dog, events for charity…..the list is endless