TOY Award 2018 – Tim Hilovsky

Elementary School Physical Education   –   Tim Hilovsky, Eisenberg Elementary School

Building relationships with students is one of the most vital skills a teacher can do to be successful. I feel this is one of my strongest assets for being a teacher. The population at my school is very diverse and has one of the lowest socioeconomic levels in the district. Student’s need to feel that bond so they feel safe and loved at school. My gym setting is focused on building positive relationships with both teachers and peers. Not only do I build relationships inside the gym, but I mentor troubled students in school, through our buddy program by setting up times for students to check in and just have normal conversations. Although my daily lessons/activities are built around skill development, my primary goal is to have the students participating and trying new things. At the elementary level, many of my students aren’t involved in sports outside of school, so getting them to try new activities and develop good sportsmanship skills are imperative assets for lifelong learners. I also focus on conflict resolution and when students are not getting along, provide avenues for them to work it out themselves, rather than the teacher solving it for them. Our school rewards students that practice model behavior with Incentive Days. I design activities for the school on these days that implement a fun aspect into activity to reward the students for being a model citizen.

The elementary physical education program is the critical foundation and building block in our profession. Students need a wide range of skills to build upon as they progress throughout their life as a student. I use a wide variety of methodologies when teaching in my gym, but I primarily focus on differentiated instruction. Giving students choices with varying levels of difficulty helps address the needs and skill sets of all my students. Using a wide range of fundamental skills and activities helps develop the student’s skill set helps build the foundation for them to grow and find a love for fitness. I created a weebly website for students to go to outside of the gym and can be accessible in the classroom or at home. The site features fitness videos that I created, with the student’s being the stars, incorporating stationary exercises to perform for an extended period of time. Each video is around four minutes in length and the home page has essential questions to help students identify the changes their body goes through while exercising. There are thousands of views for these videos and I encourage teachers to use them on rainy/inclement weather days during recess.

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