TOY Award 2019 – Constance Bean

Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year

As a PE teacher I feel that it is incredibly important to be a positive model of the skills and concepts that I teach to my students. I am very honest with my students about my own abilities and I make it very clear that at the end of the day, I want them to be healthy, active, and have a smile on their face. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and we need to have an attitude that fosters coaching and support for each other in order to reach our full potential. I make it a point to demonstrate not only my strengths, but also my weaknesses, in order to build a trusting and supportive team that understands that mastering a difficult skill isn’t the only goal. Concepts like sportsmanship, teamwork, persistence, positivity, and effort all work hand in hand to create life long healthy and active lifestyles. Having made these ideals the focal point of my classroom, I have had the opportunity to watch many of my students achieve incredible goals, and my hope is that they carry this mindset in to the future so that they can continue to see all of life’s small hurdles as great successes.

One of my continuous goals has been to create lessons that involve more student centered activities. This concept seems to be pretty challenging at an elementary level because I find that many of my students are still at the most basic skill levels concerning communicating with one another, listening to each other, compromising, and handling emotional stresses. That being said, when the foundation is set, students are able to complete challenges and task independently, which give them the confidence to make incredible gains. Through curriculum development, peer collaboration, and paying extra attention to the implementation of my activities, I’ve been able to watch increased student engagement and amazing successes.