Teacher of the Year Arden Miller 2016

Arden Miller 2016

Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year at Wilson Elementary School.

As a physical educator I believe that a sound body and a sound mind are the same. Physical education is an integral part of a student’s academic growth. Students need to move to think. My goal is to give students a toolkit for lifelong fitness. Every child does not excel at sports, but he/she can find a physical activity that is enjoyed and keeps engagement. As part of my curriculum, I give students a “choice time” at the end of class to pick an activity they enjoy to give them some ownership. It is important for them to have a choice and a voice in their education.

Physical education provides the opportunity to teach students about movement, strategies, teamwork, problem solving and health-related fitness. Exposing students to various physical activities, sports, and methods of fitness can better provide enjoyment of physical activity, as well as build social, psycho-motor, and cognitive skills. I strive to safely provide the opportunities for students to enjoy physical activity, become more confident with their abilities, increase their knowledge of health related fitness, and help them find creative ways to continue to be physically active.

I believe physical education presents a unique opportunity to contribute to the overall well-being and development of every student. I believe the most important concept I can teach is the love and respect for lifetime wellness. With heart disease and obesity on the rise, I feel it is my responsibility to teach children how to take care of the most important place they are ever going to live-inside their own body.

I think what makes me an outstanding teacher is my philosophy that physical education is more than a time for children to play. It is an opportunity to develop skills which they will use for the rest of their lives. I have worked very hard to ensure that students, teachers, and parents respect physical education and its impact on their lives. I have worked for this to become a reality through the use of cross-curriculum connections and partnerships within the home. I have collaborated with classroom teachers to meet IEP goals for students by offering extra gym time as a reward and a reward for a PAW party where a class has earned enough PAWS to qualify for a positive behavior reward. I have worked with teachers in developing physical activities that support the core curriculum. In turn, classroom teachers have sought ways to support physical education by using brain breaks such as Go Noodle, Take 10, and Energizers. Through this sharing of ideas and knowledge, my students’ experiences are enriched.

My single greatest reward in teaching is seeing students succeed by applying what they have learne din my class to the world outside of the gym. I see this when I go outside to recess and students are being physically active and demonstrating skills that they have learned in my class.

I am a role model model for students to find enjoyment in physical activity by sharing my attitude and passion for physical activity and movement. Every student is unique, and will be given the opportunity to test their strengths and weaknesses, while continually finding success. I am committed to provide students with attainable goals, as well as challenge them to capture their progress.

I focus on the fun as part of my class. This goal starts by providing a safe and comfortable environment and teaching positive social skills such as sportsmanship. This occurs whwn every student feels physicall and emotionally safe and bullying is not tolerated. Enthusiasm and respect for the students is an integral part to fostering an enjoyable environment. To further develop respect and provide a fun environment, I am open with all students and encourage them to challenge me in ways where there is a teachable opportunity to learn from each other. I believe inclusion in curriculum selection is the best way to provide enjoyment.

I encourage parents to play or join their children in enjoyable activities. It is fundamental to this profession that i present myself as a role model and practice what I preach. By exercising every day, playing softball and basketball, and by eating healthy including drinking lots of water, students will see I live what I teach. I also preach that I will not give them a task that I cannot do myself. My passion for physical activity has led me to this noble profession and I hope to leave a legacy that sparks a kindling within my students.

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