Thanks for making it to my philosophy page as I will ramble a bit about what makes me and how I bring my experiences to the table to offer a SUPER experience for our Riverhawks! And if you get tired of hearing all of my superhero references just know it's only because of my theme this year in PE...figuring we all need to be reminded of our superpowers despite the odds-lol!
Speaking of which, I am feeling fortunate that we have all found a way to be in person and make learning happen safely here at JR. I know my colleagues appreciate that even without my classroom (yes, the gym is off limits to even me because we have tried to create the best enviroment, considering the covid-19 circumstances, to help students and staff transition away from lunch in the classrooms) I am being flexible and taking kids outside all year long. What better opportunity to truly teach children we can really be active anywhere and be prepared (with the correct clothing for the conditions) to have FUN no matter where we are?! (...in PE with ME! Is my lil' diddy to fit the new circumstances)
I am really the only specialist that has the luxury to be able to adapt my curriculum anywhere (unless the weather does happen to really get in our way, then I teach in the homeroom class of the current grade I'm teaching). Though it will naturally involve less equipment; I am enjoying the creative challenge it has presented. Speaking of challenges, there were A LOT at the start of the year, and as a parent myself, it was even more intense with a young one going to school as well as myself SO I delayed sending out my annual letter as I was hearing parents were bombarded by all the emails in general. But I will be sending my PE letter for the 2020/2021 via email with the MCPS Blackboard before P/T conferences so it can compliment the information in our Specialist Brochure that Mrs.Stevens will be sending out on our behalf since there will be no in person conferences this year. It will also help as an additional reminder for how students can be ideally dressed ('Bottom to Top'* Prepared looks a little different this year; boots will be an essential item in the snow or rain!) to enjoy PE with ME.
Speaking of those 'Bottom to Top'* prepared riverhawks, an Osprey is another name for riverhawks and they are a beautiful bird that can be seen all over Montana especially by the river, which seems fitting because I love Montana and rivers! White-water kayaking is one of my favorite pastimes! With that said, I have spent a fair amount of time in the outdoors (ok, maybe this is an understatement...) and this is one of the leading components that drives my passion to influence children to thrive and get active outside or inside. Whether your child is a sports enthusiast or just likes to get outside or takes a little extra convincing to be active, I hope to connect with them and support them in this exciting journey. Being a kid is awesome and getting to experience physical and health education is something we, in Missoula, are lucky to understand as a critical component of a well-rounded individual.
My life experiences have taken me through various countries, teaching a wide variety of ages (including adults) and various subjects in the private and public school arenas. I would say the majority of my educational background is fundamentally progressive and though there are larger class sizes in public schools, I still try to bring as much of that background to the table as possible. But these days, here's another silver lining...it has been sooo amazing to teach with our low student/teacher ratio due to covid-19. Everyone gets my attention!! It's awesome!! But in general, given that we are used to higher student/teacher ratios, I am consistently learning how to better support larger groups of children and create an environment that builds upon a strong student community.
That is why I enjoy the High-5 Contract so much; it embodies the fundamentals of what I would like our students to take away with them. In the High-5 Contract, the pinky represents SAFETY (our most important moral in PE), the ring finger represents COMMITMENT, the middle represents RESPECT (we twinkle it with the other fingers when referencing it so as not to be disrespectful for the obvious reason) and the thumb represents FLEXIBILITY. Our palm represents being a LEARNER since it has many lines connecting these fingers to it and when we remember to use the values behind all our fingers, we are truly a learner. The use of the High-5 Contract natural aligns with our school's 4 B's as well: Be Respecful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and a Learner as well as being a PAX Leader**.
In general, as a PAX leader myself, I am constantly trying to better my world and learning new things so if you ever have any questions or comments, please reach out. I feel good communication is truly the key to our students' success and I am always open to constructive or positive feedback as well. I become a better teacher the more I hear from you! With that said, I will contact you when I have either of the above regarding your wonderful child as well.
*I have reversed the traditional saying of 'Top to Bottom' to instead say 'Bottom to Top' so students look down at their most essential item (shoe choice!) and then work their way up their body for their Top 5 Checklist of what to remember for being 'Bottom to Top' Prepared for PE....The classes I've currently taught have been reminded of how it looks different this year now that we are outside 99% of the time. For example, boots might be better than pe or gym shoes if it's snowy outside. The pointer finger (responsibility in the High-5 Contract) is used to point to the various areas of their body as they work their way up to the top of their heads to remind them this is their responsibility to be 'Bottom to Top' Prepared for PE.
**PAX means Peace, Productivity, Health and Happiness. Students and/or teachers are PAX leaders. To be a PAX leader means you model these morals through your words and actions. A common phrase is 'I am a PAX leader; I better my world; I better myself.'