2007 District Teacher of the Year
- Southern District -
Name: Greg Bert
School Name: Kirksey Middle School
Street Address: 2930 S. 1st Street
City/State/Zip: Rogers, Arkansas 72758
Describe one or two of the newest and/or most innovative activities that you do with your students in physical education? (i.e. instructional units, assessment strategies/techniques, development of personal/social skills, parent/family involvement, special events, etc)
The newest activity for my 8th grade students is an exciting 3 week outdoor adventure race consisting of academic scanning QR codes, outdoor photo hunts, geo caching, and the privilege of using cell phones in my PE classes to text answers and video's during the adventure race. Another very popular new unit that I added to my 8th grade adventure curriculum is Indo boarding combined with speed stacking. This cross lateral super challenge sport puts the brain and body into a fun and exciting learning overload session. One of my favorite family and community involvement activities is an annual Saturday HOFNOD fishing derby each spring with my students and their families. This year we are hosting our first 5K family fun run to raise money for our new adventure climbing wall project.
What is your particular expertise in regard to teaching physical education – what is the focus of your teaching?
My expertise in teaching Physical Education is the ability to sequence adventure activities and recreational units that help my students connect real life experiences with intrinsic personal values, verses an I win, you lose PE class. I provide all students with the highest quality physical education program they deserve. My classes follow the NASPE standards and state guidelines, but are facilitated in a slightly different approach using an adventure fitness model. Factors that influenced my focus as a PE teacher are the values of physical activity, fitness, health, appreciation of the outdoors, challenge, self-expression, and learning appropriate social interaction in a variety of recreational adventure settings. Students need to learn the importance of regular physical activity and maintaining health through the use of outdoor recreational venues. My PE classes focus on adventure motor skills such as climbing, casting a fishing pole, skating, paddling a kayak, belaying, peddling a bike, geo caching, adventure racing, heart rate monitors, technology with I-pads in the gym, archery, hiking, balancing on a board while stacking cups, juggling, or walking through the woods playing disc golf.
What is your philosophy for physical education – what do you believe in?
I believe in carefully designed PE classes using a wide variety of innovative learning experiences that will tap the interest levels for all students while still engaging struggling students to buy into the benefits of a high quality PE program. The most heartwarming moments in my PE classes occur when my students finally make the paradigm shift from me, and I, to we and us. My rewards in teaching are in the golden nuggets of everyday smiles & cool questions my students ask me during adventure units which always include an element of surprise in the activity or skills being learned. My favorite words to hear in the morning are, "what are we doing in PE today?" My answer is always, "it's a surprise, wait & see!"
What does being a physical education Teacher of the Year mean to you?
Being selected as the 2007 National NASPE High School TOY was one of my greatest honors as a professional. The entire TOY process was a once in a lifetime opportunity to continue my learning with others and share my craft across the nation with amazing educators.
What do you do to help other physical education teachers plan and implement exemplary programs?
I help other physical education teachers plan and implement exemplary programs by working side by side as a mentor teacher with university interns each semester. I also mentor National Board candidates around the state. I present around the country several times a year and work with several school districts as an adventure consultant. I currently am the co-director at the PE4LIFE academy school in Rogers Arkansas working with teachers, administrators, and community leaders from around the country with starting new PE4LIFE academy sites.
Any quotes from students about you as a physical education teacher, or the classes taught by you?
"I can't believe you taught me how to shoot archery, I hit a bull's eye today."
"Hurry Mrs. Walter, take a picture of my fish."
"This class rocks."
List three of your "favorite" conference session titles that you have presented, with a brief description of each.
"Get'em Hooked on Fishing in PE Class"… How can you teach a fishing program in your physical education class and meet all the state and national physical education standards? Teaching fishing is a CATCH! Imagine all the standards that can be covered within a two week comprehensive fishing unit taught in your physical education program. Watch your students "Catch" the craze and become "Hooked" on this new lifetime skill while experiencing personal success like never before in this unbelievable motivating unit.
Motivate your Students with Adventure & Academic Integration Using Smart Phones, I-Pads, & I-Touches: The objective for this session is to provide teachers with an opportunity to learn several creative ways to activity engage learners in the classroom utilizing the latest in wireless technology. Your students will be thrilled when you come back to school next year and plaster QR Codes in adventure learning activities/stations in your classroom. This session is cross curricular and can be applied to all subject areas and grade levels. We will be up and out of the chairs so bring your tennis shoes, a big smile, your colleague, and a positive attitude. Get ready to add a little adventure to your classroom. Bring your smart phone, I-pads, I-touches, I-phone, and an open mind.
Achieving Fitness through Adventure - A Project Adventure Physical Education Best Practices Model for At Risk Youth: The objective for this workshop is to share and disseminate the new research that has proven a profound impact that physical activity has on the brain's ability to learn and manage behavior. During the workshop teachers will experience how the use of adventure can compel students to make significant and lasting changes in their lives. This session will look at a nationally recognized adventure physical education program for at risk teens utilizing the strategies learned during a 12 week Project Adventure curriculum. The workshop will demonstrate how a best practices model will work with at risk ALE students and give participants the resources to make significant changes in their physical education programs.
Any additional major teaching awards you have received:
- Teacher of the Year Rogers Public School District Kirksey Middle School – 2011-2012
- National Board Certified Teacher - 2011
- Unsung Heroes Award ING – 2008
- NASPE National High School Teacher of the Year 2007
- Southern District Physical Education Teacher of the Year 2007
- Arkansas AHPERD High School Teacher of the Year 2006
- Teacher of the Year Rogers Public School District Crossroads ALE – 2003-2004