Thanks for making it to my educational philosophy page. This is where I can share a better picture of who I am and what drives my enthusiasm when teaching and living life! I love finding something new to get excited about each year and I'm hoping our 'All Star' theme will help with that.
Speaking of other fun things, I enjoy knowing that our school mascot (riverhawk aka Osprey) is a beautiful bird that can be seen all over Montana, especially by the river. This is fitting because I love Montana and rivers! White-water kayaking is one of my favorite pastimes; most of my weekends in the spring are spent camping and paddling on the Lochsa river near the MT/ID border.
So it's no surprise that adventuring outside is one of the leading components that drives my passion to influence children to move and groove. Whether your child is a sports enthusiast (and actually knows what sports have 'All-Star' games) or just likes the outdoors or takes a little extra convincing to be active inside or outside, I hope to connect with them and support them in establishing healthy habits that will last a lifetime. 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 different 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. Something I feel helps bring a small class size 'feeling' to larger classes is the use of our 'High-5 Contract' (H5 Contract) in the gym where we sometimes use a game I designed, called Chocala! (High-5!), to help remember the H5 Contract components.
The H5 Contract embodies the fundamentals of what I would like our students to take away with them as lifelong learners; I use every aspect of it in my daily life. I designed it years ago but now it goes hand in hand (pun intended!) with our schoolwide use of character traits from our Purposeful People curriculum.
In the High-5 Contract, I use the hand as a physical representation of essential character traits or morals. 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 pointer finger represents RESPONSIBILITY, of which one of the components is being Bottom to Top* prepared for class. Then we have the thumb which represents FLEXIBILITY of mind and body. Ultimately, our palm represents being a LEARNER as all our fingers are connected to it. The use of the H5 Contract naturally aligns with our school's 4B's: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and a Learner, as well as being a Riverhawk Leader**.
In general, I am constantly trying to better my world and learn new things (currently pickleball) so if you ever have any questions or comments, please reach out. I feel good communication is truly the key to our students' success. Therefore, my door is always open for constructive or positive feedback. I will become a better teacher the more I hear from you! With that said, I will try to contact you when it makes sense. Until then, we'll keep getting out there and inspiring our children (I have a 6 year old) to be their very best selves EVERY day!
*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 (shoes) in PE and then work their way up their body using their Top 5 Checklist of what to remember for being 'Bottom to Top' Prepared for PE. It is used as a simple checklist for PE days when getting ready for school!
**Riverhawk Leader represents Peace, Productivity, Health and Happiness. Students and/or teachers are riverhawk leaders. To be a riverhawk leader means you model these morals through your words and actions. A common phrase is 'I am a riverhawk leader; I better my world; I better myself.'