Hey everyone - I wanted to welcome you to the most FUN Physical Education (P.E.) classes you'll ever be fortunate to be involved with! After working at the Kunsberg School on the campus of National Jewish Health (Hospital) since 1985, I feel I've developed a unique empathy and understanding of the types of students who attend our school. It's been my experience that the majority of our students have had numerous negative experiences in physical education classes prior to attending our school. As a result, I've attempted to create an atmosphere where every child feels safe, respected, and successful regardless of the sport or activity. Each child is encouraged to participate in a fun, enthusiastic setting.
I remember how boring my own physical education classes were when I was a child, so I look for opportunities to do things a little differently and involve everyone. I continually 'tweak' the rules and structure of the games we play so that all children (from the least athletic to the most talented) feel free to participate and enjoy themselves regardless of their skill level. For example: we might play soccer without any goalies; or play catch-and-throw volleyball called "Newcomb"; students love playing Flag-Tag as a break from Flag Football; and multiple versions of basketball (Around-the-World, HORSE, 2-Bounce, and a regular team against team game simultaneously). On Fridays I have students vote on which game they want to play from Fruit Basket to Capture the Flag and Dodgeball to music on my iPod. We've played a variation of softball where everything is backwards: putting the gloves on the wrong hand; batting from the opposite side as usual; and running to third base first!
It's my belief, for our students, if they're not having FUN; they aren't truly gaining the most from these activities. If a child is having fun and thus not worrying about whether they're winning, they're more likely to feel accepted and successful and will participate fully (and gain the greatest physical benefit). I don't keep track of score in their games, so they aren't worried about the end result other than having a great time. I encourage our kids to learn more about their health issues while participating. We often will take quick 'water breaks' allowing them to catch their breath and briefly discuss the need for proper self-care. Our students need the maximum amount of physical exercise while experiencing success in a safe, supportive environment.
Our students swim twice a week in the warmest school swimming pool ever (about 90 degrees in temperature). Our classes alternate between small group swimming instruction/lessons, lap swimming to build endurance, swimming games and relay races, and Free (play) Time in the pool. Our students often state that swimming is their favorite thing about coming to our school!
I look forward to being your Gym Teacher and hope you'll enjoy our P.E. classes as much as I do teaching them!