There comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to decide what you want to do for a living. When that time came for me I knew two things for sure, I enjoyed being in school and I had an unwavering passion for sports. Teaching Physical Education is what I wanted to do and I felt passionate about it, but along the way I let my high school guidance counsellor persuade me that I was more employable as a science teacher. It took only one semester in college for me to realize that the passion was missing and I made the switch back.
All the while learning as I continued through college that this was much more than teaching sports, and my passion took off to a whole other level.
I got my first teaching job at a public charter school in inner-city Cleveland, where students lived and breathed basketball, and only basketball. Shortly after school started I made a deal with my students, that once the first snow of winter came we would do basketball. (Having grown up in northeast Ohio I knew I might not have as much time as I was hoping for.) Little did I know it would be one of my best teaching decisions. That winter the first snow didn’t come until the beginning of winter break! My students would learn along the way that there was much more than basketball that they could be active and find happiness in. They would go on to learn things like soccer, hockey, bowling, and sport stacking that would keep them excited to come to my Physical Education class. By the time we got around to basketball, my passion for teaching them a wide variety of skill sets had taught them things they had never seen, almost making basketball humbling to them, because they were too eager to know what was coming next.
As my career evolved and I changed schools, the passion for bringing non-traditional ideas to my students had grown by leaps and bounds. From things as simple as the set-up of the gym to the discussion we have at the end of class, keeping them on their toes helps them stay excited and engaged in each class. I strive to bring my students something new multiple times a year to make their learning experiences truly special.
My passion for bringing a unique learning experience to my students has also helped me grow as an educator by taking me to heights I didn’t even know were possible. That journey has seen me be named Teacher of the Year where I worked in Cleveland and given me opportunities to present at state, national, and international conferences and webinars.
The passion to give my students the best educational opportunity has allowed me to connect with some of the best and brightest educators from around the globe.
So I’ll leave you with this: don’t let someone set your path for you, follow your passion, you too could find experiences that you never dreamed possible.
Enjoy the ride!
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