Teaching more than just athletics

All of our communities thrive, physical education. Pictured behind words are three P.E. teachers

At Choice Schools Associates, there are many different types of teachers with different specialties. One type of teacher that can be found in many of our schools is a physical education teacher.

Our PE teachers are passionate, fun, nurturing and disciplined educators who impact students’ lives every single day. Physical education or “gym class” is often viewed as the “fun” part of school for students, so PE teachers can enjoy a degree of enthusiasm from the students. However, there are other stigmas that come along with being a PE teacher that they combat every day. Read below about two of the common misperceptions. 

Myth: PE teachers get to play all day. 

Fact: Consider giving 25-30 elementary-aged children hockey sticks without going through any preventative or cautionary steps. PE teachers teach students how to be safe while they learn how to play a game or sport that will engage their brains and their bodies. They teach them how to work together. They assess individual skills while monitoring behaviors, interactions and levels of involvement. 

Myth: Anyone can be a PE teacher.

Fact: Physical education teachers still go through the same rigorous curriculum necessary for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education. They have had schooling on the biomechanics and kinesiology of throwing a ball. They learn teaching methodology, kinesiology, injury prevention, physical endurance training, the psychology of sports and athletics and the rules of multiple sports and their applications. They teach students that winning isn’t everything and losing can be a learned experience. They’re educators. Period. 

Our physical education teachers are top-notch. We are so proud of everything that they do daily. Read below about some of their stories.

William Pugh, Dove P.E. teacher

William Pugh from Dove Academy is in his second year at the school. He comments, “PE is not only about physical fitness, but it is also learning about CPR & first aid, healthy eating habits, nutrition and wellness.” 

At Dove, Mr. Pugh taught the middle school students to read the nutrition facts on food labels. “By teaching students what is in the items that they put into their mouth is teaching them about nutrition and how to live a healthy life,” he said.

Mr. Pugh is motivated knowing that he was the same little kid who he gets to teach every day. He identifies himself as someone who needed a role model and found one in his PE teacher. He loves that he can pay it forward and be a positive example in other kids’ lives. 

Rodney Anderson, TOPSA P.E. Teacher

“Research shows that when kids regularly exercise, they perform better academically. Physical education also gives students the opportunity to develop social skills when they learn how to cooperate with others and display good sportsmanship,” Rodney Anderson, physical education teacher at Three Oaks Public School Academy, said. 

He commented that his “job is rewarding because I’m teaching life-long learners how to appreciate and value the ability they have to be active and become physically fit for life. I continue to be motivated by a desire to excel and become the very best I can be as a teacher and a person. I continue to make connections with my students and develop positive relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Mr. Anderson also noted that he is thankful to have the facilities that he gets to use. They have a regulation-sized gym that gives elementary students the opportunity to play sports like basketball and volleyball on a regulation court. This helps to enhance the experience and prepares them for competition in the future. 

Michael Anderson, CMA P.E. teacher

Michael Ryan is in his eighth year at Creative Montessori Academy. The most rewarding part of his position is that he gets to teach something that is so passionate about. CMA is a very supportive school that allows him to be creative. “Teaching the many different grade levels has its challenges, but when students are learning and gaining from the experience, then it is all worth it,” Ryan said. 

Give a shout out the all of our PE teachers listed below!

Benton Harbor Charter School Academy – Ashley Buyce

Bradford Academy – Tiffany Martin, K-5, Robert Zelinski, 6-8 and Adrian Edwards, 9-12th

Creative Montessori Academy – Michael Ryan

Dove Academy of Detroit – William Pugh

Four Corners Montessori Academy – Elvira Komini

Livingston Classical Academy – Michalak Chelsea

New Branches Charter Academy – Kevin Sankey

Three Oaks Public School Academy – Rodney Anderson

West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science – Mark Slotman, elementary & Jason Snyder, secondary

Will Carleton Academy – Renee Arnold