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Name: Rebekah Winter
Describe one or two of the newest and/or most innovative activities that you do with your students in physical education?
Self Defense- It is a unit that involves reaction games and gets students moving in addition to working on their balance. They work on developing their social skills and can take the techniques they learn home to teach their family members. I teach a series of releases and holds along with how to keep safe at and away from home. One of my colleagues, Amy Sommers, is a black belt. She brings her Karate class to demonstrate for our classes, so students have the opportunity to learn about Karate and basic self defense from her Sensei.
Birdie Ball – Through our PEP Grant we have had the opportunity to order equipment and implement new activities. One of the newest activities is birdie ball giving students an opportunity to develop their golf skills. We are trying to identify new activities that students will participate in for a lifetime. Birdie ball allows them to work on their skills without the frustration of hitting an actual ball; in addition the birdie ball does not fly as far and is plastic so we can practice in the gym or outside. Our district also purchased a huge blow up target that we can use for students to hit at a target. As a department we have also discussed using the equipment for a fundraiser and getting parents and families involved.
What is your particular expertise in regard to teaching physical education – what is the focus of your teaching?
My willingness to learn and try new activities makes my physical education program different. I believe you never stop learning. Through my post undergrad education I have had the opportunity to evaluate my teaching and implement new strategies. Students have different learning strategies and my program incorporates several different styles so that all students improve and learn. I want students to be exposed to many different types of activities so they will identify the best lifetime activity for them. I love learning about new activities and programs to motivate students. I am continually looking for new equipment and new ways to teach students how to stay active and enjoy physical activity.
What is your philosophy for physical education – what do you believe in?
My philosophy of Physical Education is to provide a safe, nurturing and fun environment for students to learn physical education concepts so that they will be able to live an active and healthy lifestyle. What does being a physical education Teacher of the Year mean to you? I have been humbly honored to receive such an award from a great organization like NASPE. This award has given me the opportunity to meet some great teachers within our profession and I appreciate the overall experience the award has provided.
What do you do to help other physical education teachers plan and implement exemplary programs?
Giving back to the Physical Education profession is something that everyone in our profession should be committed to doing. Our district has endless opportunities to give and receive helpful instruction to better all the PE programs in our district. I have had the opportunity to share my experiences through in-service activities, leadership responsibilities, and being on committees.
Any quotes from students about you as a physical education teacher, or the classes taught by you?
"Thanks for making PE fun. I loved the dance unit even though I can teach you some moves." – Freshman Student
"The YMCA has been a lot of fun. I plan on joining the Y this summer and continue working out." - Junior Student
List three of your "favorite" conference session titles that you have presented, with a brief description of each.
Dance learning the 16 steps – this session taught a group of teachers how to incorporate an easy circle dance into your line dances. Teachers learned how to do the "16 Step" dance. Getting together with Feeder Schools- we have the opportunity as a high school to host all the elementary and middle schools PE teachers that have students that feed into our school. This gives us an opportunity to hear about the skills and standards we teach to our students at each level. We then discuss what needs to change at each level and keeps our focus on lifetime activity for all students.
How to use Foldables in Health Class- This session taught teachers to be creative in their note taking in the health rooms. I taught three basic foldables that can be used for notes or study guides. These foldables prevent students from getting bored and keep their attention on the notes that are given regarding health.
Any additional major teaching awards you have received:
2008 Kansas High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year
2009 Central District Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year