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Name: Tammy Brant
Within the last two years, I have received two grants that allowed me to purchase heart rate monitors for each student to wear every day in class. The monitors and my teaching have really opened the eyes of my students on their level of fitness and what it takes to become a fit individual. The use of the monitors allows my students to become responsible for getting their heart rate in the zone for the maximum amount of time in a class period. With the information from the heart rate monitors, I am able to analyze each lesson to see where improvements can be made to help the students increase their activity level to moderate and vigorous physical activity.
With the addition of additional equipment though the grants, the students are beginning to learn different ways to use the various fitness equipment. They are always excited when they get to use something new.
This year, I have been in communication with a registered dietician to start implementing nutritional activity lessons within the class period. It is important for students to realize that not only are physical activity important for their health, but what they put in their body is just as important. These two things go hand and hand!
I have always had a focus on increasing physical activity within my classes. I make sure all the games played are small-sided with a maximum of four players per team to maximize participation and movement. I also make sure there is enough equipment for each student to have their own or at least be able to share with one other person; sometimes this calls for some interesting creativity. Within the lesson, I make sure to have activities that will get them moving, learn the skill, and increase their heart rate.
Increasing physical activity inside the classroom is important, but so is teaching them how and why they need to get the appropriate amount of physical activity outside of the classroom. I want them to know and be able to participate in activities outside of class where there is no instruction. The students complete physical activity logs each week and turn them in to place in their fitness portfolio. The students must write down a goal for the week and focus their activity outside of class on achieving this goal. By doing this, the students are able to see what barriers they have, where they get most of their physical activity, and if they are achieving the 60 minutes of recommended daily physical activity.
I hope by emphasizing this type of message for activity inside and outside of the class, I'm able to get those life skills in the forefront of their mind and influence them to live a health lifestyle.
Middle school students are at a very impressionable age and will make many decisions during this time that can affect what they do later in life. It is with this knowledge that makes me realize I have an important task in trying to convey to them the importance of physical education and physical activity. I must prepare them to have a healthy and active lifestyle all throughout their lives.
Students must be educated! Teaching physical education means not going away from the root of the profession: education! We must educate every student that enters my gymnasium by using various techniques and methods. They must be taught skills, activities, and concepts. Once these are taught, they must be practiced and assessed. No longer can activities and games just be played only for the reason of keeping the students busy. Students must know and understand why they are doing what they are doing in class.
Physical fitness must be a focus everyday in class. With all the recent publication about the problems and issues with the youth of America, physical education teachers need to face this issue head on. In class students need to be taught the lesson, but it needs to be done in a way that students can get moderate to vigorous physical activity. Increasing physical activity in the physical education classroom can be done by modifying the activity, small-sided games, more equipment, and teaching the kids how to get and keep themselves moving.
It is truly an honor to be a Teacher of the Year! Having this type of distinction puts me on the front line to promote the importance of physical education and physical activity, and allow me the honor of showing fellow physical educators what I do in my classes each and every day. This honor also affords me the opportunity to push for quality physical education and the importance of being physically active daily to help students' health and learning.
With being so close to Ball State University, I host a group of pre-service teachers to do their middle school practicum experience before they go out into the field and do their student teaching. I help them by evaluating their lesson plans and giving them feedback and pointers after they teach a lesson to my students. For a lot of them, this is their first experience with middle school students.
I have also worked with a group of individuals from Indiana this past year to develop an end of course assessment for high school students to assess the Indiana State PE Standards. I have been to a few conferences and workshops to help explain the assessment, how to use it, and when to use it.
"Mrs. Brant makes sure everyone has a chance to play, so it's not just the same two people playing for everybody else." Lucas, 6th Grade
"She doesn't just tell us how to do things, she shows us. And if we do it wrong, she helps us until we get it right." Hunter, 8th Grade
"I can remember how much you pushed each and every one of us to get 100%. I also remember walking out of there with more endurance, strength, and cardio skills than I had ever had before. Many people say that being a "Gym Teacher" isn't hard work... But, you take the time to explain why we are doing what we are doing, and how it is helping our physical well being. Also, you get out there and participate with us!!" Caitey, 9th grade
"STARS: How to have a quality program"- Attendees are exposed to the NASPE STARS program. They will learn the what, how, and why of the program from a recipient and a reviewer.
"Extending Physical Education Beyond the Classroom"- Students know they are supposed to get 60 minutes of physical activity, but what can they do outside of school to help them get that amount. This session will discuss the use of pedometers outside of school, and using a physical activity log to track amount of activity each day.
"End of Course Assessments for Physical Education in Indiana High Schools"- Discussion and presentation of an end of course assessment that was developed for Indiana High School physical education teachers to assess the standards. This is a project in response to Indiana's new credit flexibility policy.