Do you remember the year in which you entered the teaching profession (1994 for me)? This week #slowchathealth profiles five young professionals who start their teaching career this school year. We hope to re-visit with them over the winter break and again at the end of their first school year in what we hope will be a long and successful career.
At #CAHPERD17 Andy Horne and I shared our thoughts on the stages of a teaching career. There’s a great sense of pride among new entrants to the profession. They’ve made the bold move to become a teacher, perhaps having to justify their decision to friends and family. For them, this is a period in which they will see intense professional growth and our profession is stronger for having motivated individuals teach alongside us. As our profiled teachers develop they’ll find themselves putting theory into practice and combining all that they learned in college with all that they’re learning in ‘the real world.’
This period in a teacher’s life can be stressful and we know that for some, it can be about survival. Our profession loses good teachers during this period and by being connected with like-minded individuals, and experienced teachers on social media these five teachers are putting strategies in place to help them succeed.
It is my hope that by sharing their stories readers of the blog can follow their progress, be available to provide advice and encouragement, perhaps connect with them on Twitter and even consider providing mentorship if appropriate. Please join me in welcoming Mike, Lena, Danny, Kaisee and Victor to our ranks. Why not send them a good luck tweet if you have time!
Mike Torres @PE_Coach_Mike
Mike hails from my adopted state of Illinois and I have seen him grow as a student over the past 4 years as a result of my work with future professionals for IAHPERD. He is a charismatic educator who is bound to win his students over during his first year. Do you see that name tag he’s wearing in his photograph? The story behind how he managed to get SHAPE America President Judy Lo Bianco to hand that over while at #SHAPENashville is awesome. Apparently Mike reminded Judy of herself as a young teacher!
Where are you from and where will you be teaching? I am from Chicago, Illinois and I will be teaching at Hufford Junior High in Joliet, Illinois.
What grade levels will you be teaching, and what subjects areas? I will be teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Health. Some subject areas include nutrition, sexual education, mental and emotional, and much more!
What are you most looking forward to as you start your teaching career? What I am looking forward to the most as I start my career is meeting all of my students and creating memorable and everlasting relationships with them.
What challenges do you think you will face during your first year? One challenge I feel that I will overcome is my status as a first year teacher being that student teaching and methods placements are my only experience in the classroom. Of course, over time that will change and I am ready to learn so much from my students, colleagues, and myself as well. Another challenge I will meet to overcome is my thoughts of “not being good enough” for my students. I want my students to receive the best education possible and to do that I want to create meaningful lessons and activities. Over time I will have hopefully mastered the content I want my students to learn and give them the best possible education they can receive.
What short term goals have you set for yourself this school year? Some short term goals that I have set for myself this school year include: strengthening my tech skills, improve my classroom management techniques, get more politically active, and take my first steps on becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.
Is there a question that you have as a first year teacher that you’d like teachers from the field to provide you with answers? What are some top 3 tips to provide a first year educator such as myself?
Lena Sargenti @ic_hepe
I met Lena at #SHAPEBoston and was impressed with her maturity, depth of questioning and her views on social justice. I was convinced that she was already teaching in a school somewhere and doing great things. It turns out that she was already doing great things at Ithaca College where she was awarded Departmental Major of the Year in 2017 and graduated Summa Cum Laude, an Honors Student, and received the School of Health Science and Human Performance’s Dean’s Award and Professional Excellence Award.
Where are you from and where will you be teaching? I am from Brooklyn, New York. I recently moved to Syracuse NY where I will be teaching at Syracuse Academy of Science Elementary School.
What grade levels will you be teaching, and what subjects areas? K-4 Physical Education.
What are you most looking forward to as you start your teaching career? Getting to know the students, making a positive impact on their lives, being a role model, being a good example of what a PE teacher should look like, getting to know the community.
What challenges do you think you will face during your first year? Students with baggage, behavioral issues, miscommunication between the adults on my staff, unreliable colleagues or administration, not being taken seriously.
What short term goals have you set for yourself this school year? Take it one day at a time.
Is there a question that you have as a first year teacher that you’d like teachers from the field to provide you with answers? Can someone share their resources with me?
Danny Garibay @DannyGaribay6
You may have seen Danny, graduate of Illinois State University, at #SHAPENashville where he was a recipient of a SHAPE America Major of the Year Award. I can vividly remember the first time that I met Danny where he stopped me in the hallway at an IAHPERD conference and shared his passion for physical education. He impressed me so much I made him repeat everything he had just shared so that I could record it and tweet it (see below). Danny is one of those future professionals that you wish you had a vacancy and were looking to hire an outstanding teacher!
Where are you from and where will you be teaching? Hello! My name is Danny Garibay. I am from Des Plaines, Illinois. I graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S in Physical Education and an endorsement in Health Education. I will be teaching at a middle school in Denver Public Schools.
What grade levels will you be teaching, and what subjects areas? I will be teaching approximately 800 students, grade 6-8. I will only be teaching Physical Education- but will be bugging administration on the possibility of creating a health education program in the near future.
What are you most looking forward to as you start your teaching career? I am most looking forward to working with an age in which I feel I will be able to make the greatest impact on their life. If I am able to help students find individual ways to be healthy and physically active now, those habits will translate into a more enriching high school and eventually adult experience. I am also looking forward to teaching in a community that is extremely outdoorsy, where we can find creative ways to get physically active while experiencing nature and science.
What challenges do you think you will face during your first year? The school that I will join has seen a high turnover of physical education faculty and the experience for students may not as been as good as it could have been. Therefore a big challenge I expect is gaining credibility as a physical education program that seeks to instill healthy habits while connecting different academic lessons to what we’re doing in the gymnasium or outside. Therefore, one of my goals is to influence my students to see the progress their making in their physical and academic life.
What short term goals have you set for yourself this school year? Within the first month of teaching, I would like to establish a baseline body of evidence for my Student Learning Objective. I would like to do this quickly in order to have accurate data that shows what students knew before really participating in my class and determine if it is going to be appropriate for the school year.
Is there a question that you have as a first year teacher that you’d like teachers from the field to provide you with answers? I’m beginning a position in a school that has lost respect over the years among faculty and students for physical education. What are some strategies I can use to encourage students to come to class eager to participate and learn healthy habits when they are used to blowing PE off? (I plan on creating routines and fun lesson plans, but what SPECIFIC pre-class routines and strategies have you used that have been especially useful in creating this environment?)
Kaisee Perkins @CoachPerkins_8
Kaisee has already set up a twitter account for her new school PE department and you can follow that at @HuskerPhysEd
I’ve not met Kaisee personally but she immediately responded to my request for teachers to be featured in this blog. I can see that she has a focus on using technology within the #PhysEd setting and so I know that there are many teachers in my PLN that could provide Kaisee with a wealth of ideas!
Where are you from and where will you be teaching? I am from Unionville, Mo a small town in north central Missouri- graduated from Putnam County R-1. I will be teaching at Lafayette Co C-1 High School.
What grade levels will you be teaching, and what subjects areas? I will be teaching High School CoEd PE, Team Sports, and Girls Health. I also am the High School Assistant Volleyball Coach.
What are you most looking forward to as you start your teaching career? I am looking forward to bringing new ideas and a new style of PE to my kids. I am mostly excited about the technology I will be integrating into my gym as well as correlating google classroom and my units together so my kids are getting both active movement and literacy components of Physical Education.
What challenges do you think you will face during your first year? The challenges I think I will face is simply becoming accustomed to the “teacher life”. Obviously through college you complete practicing hours and such but nothing truly mirrors the exact teacher experience.
What short term goals have you set for yourself this school year? Short term goals I have myself this school year is to build strong relationships with my students and help them grow a passion for physical activity. I hope to within the year grow PE and Health to be a quality program that the school and others are going “Wow she is doing incredible things”
Is there a question that you have as a first year teacher that you’d like teachers from the field to provide you with answers? What forms of technology are you looking to add to your classroom?
Victor Spadaro Jr. @JrV4Victory
Victor’s enthusiasm and accolades are best seen in his Twitter bio. The exclamation points are well deserved!!
Cortland 16’ & 18’ PE & APE, Major of the Year! OPEN Scholar Grad Assistant!! Spartan & Marathon Runner! Born to Run!!!
Victor hopes to make a difference in each of his students lives and even students he doesn’t teach. He aims to create dance videos for teachers to use in their classrooms/gymnasiums.
Victor will have his work cut out for him as he will be working within three different schools. If you have experience of this yourself, perhaps you can share some tips with Victor?
Where are you from and where will you be teaching? I am from Melville, New York. I will be teaching in Arlington, Virginia at 3 different schools. Arlington Science Focus, Abingdon, and Jamestown.
What grade levels will you be teaching, and what subjects areas? PreK-5th and might have a health class. I’m still finding out information regarding my obligations.
What are you most looking forward to as you start your teaching career? Getting a new group of kids and teaching them what it means to be physically active and how to enjoy an active and healthy life. I am so excited to teach my own class and work with each student individually.
What challenges do you think you will face during your first year? I am in 3 different schools and I think my biggest challenge is trying to not fall behind and mix up what is being taught in that school during that current week.
What short term goals have you set for yourself this school year? Trying to change one kids way of thinking each day. I would like to get all my students to create positive interactions and foster social emotional learning.
Is there a question that you have as a first year teacher that you’d like teachers from the field to provide you with answers? I would like to know how other teachers motivate students to participate in class when they don’t want to?
These young professionals inspire and impress me. Reading their answers, I don’t think that I was as mature and driven as this group of teachers are.
If you enjoyed this weeks blog post, please reach out to the teachers featured and send them a message of support. We need to keep good teachers in the profession and these five are definitely keepers.