‘I have the most important job in the world’
Following is the seventh installment in The Union’s series highlighting candidates for Nevada County’s teacher of the year and featuring excerpts from their applications.
Physical education teacher
Union Hill School
I have the most important job in the world. As a physical education/health teacher, I discuss with students how physical activity and a healthy lifestyle can have a positive impact on one’s self. The person students see and interact with, however, has an impact on the people they become.
Laughing at the fact that most of my 8th-grade students are taller than me, listening to a student that has a problem, and truly showing respect to student and staff alike are examples that teach students lessons about life that cannot be duplicated in a book, lecture or notes.
If students observe and experience positive qualities from teachers every school day, for hours at a time, a positive impact will be made.
Early in my teaching career, I noticed that my morning classes were more enthusiastic than my afternoon classes. Specifically, when involved in team efforts, the morning classes were more encouraging to teammates. I began looking at the way that I taught the classes and noticed a distinct difference. I was more encouraging in the morning than in the afternoon. I decided that I would concentrate on giving similar praise for specific students and teams for all classes. About a month later, the morale of my afternoon classes had dramatically increased. The students were simply imitating what was the “modeled” behavior. Encouragement was the norm, and high fives were an epidemic.
Teachers are key role models for students. We have the most important jobs in the world.
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