Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Best Parts of My Week - 6/15/15--6/19/15

Hi everyone,
     This week was filled with Field Days, special end of the year events, memories from the past, and many "Best Parts!"

.....On Monday Field Day was scheduled for our third and fourth grade students.  The weather did not cooperate and so we rescheduled for Wednesday.  Field Day is such an important event in our students' lives and I am so glad that they love it!  I was impressed though that students completely understood the decision to postpone and trusted us to reschedule and follow through!

.....I had set up an indoor obstacle course for the third and fourth grade Field Day and left it set up so that it would be ready for later in the week.  Several of my classes were able to use it as part of their PE class and they were very excited.  We all agreed that sometimes good things come out of less than perfect circumstances.  One fifth grade class was one of those classes that were excited about using the course and they were even more excited when their teacher decided to stay and participate with the class.  I was even more excited and proud when the entire class cheered for each and every classmate as they went through the course.  I love it when those moments happen spontaneously!

.....Early in the week I was showing a class the first North Park Field Day shirt from 1995.  One student remarked that her dad was at our school back then.  I asked who her dad was and she was surprised that I remembered him!

.....On Tuesday Field Day was scheduled for our kindergarten, first, and second grade students and the weather was questionable at best.  After discussing the decision with my principal, we decided to go for it based on the best information we had (I love technology!).  It turned out to be a great morning!  The weather held off and the temperature was comfortable!  Parents were happy that we were able to hold the event because many parents take the day off to volunteer for the day and rescheduling makes it difficult for parents to attend.  The students were amazing and the level of excitement was unprecedented!  I am always ready for students to be excited since for many this is their first Field Day but for some reason this year was different.  We had fantastic volunteers and there were too many smiles to count.  I hope these memories will last a lifetime......

.....A kindergarten student picked up some garbage that was on the grass as we were walking back in to the school after PE class.  He told me how important it was for us to take care of our world and pick up garbage when we see it.  He is so right!

.....I had great fun playing catch with a kindergarten student this week.  Students were using different pieces of equipment to practicing throwing and catching skills and one student picked me as his partner!

.....Third and fourth grade Field Day finally happened on Wednesday morning and it was a gorgeous day and well worth the wait!  Some years there are special Field Day shirts but this year students were encouraged to wear a Field Day shirt from past years, a North Park shirt, or any shirt to celebrate Field Day.  Many students made their own shirts!  One shirt was of particular importance as I noticed a "Rest in Peace" message for one of our teaching assistants who passed away this year.....While it was a somber message during a joyful day, she definitely would have wanted to be remembered during such a joyful event.......

.....As a North Park community, we are so fortunate to have wonderful volunteers to help with our school events.  I am so grateful for all of our volunteers for their help to make our annual Field Days a success.  This group of volunteers includes parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, family members, school staff, administration, and my husband who helps me to set up each day.  I hope that they know how much I appreciate all that they do!  Students showed their appreciation of my work with great behavior and Field Day thank you cards.....

.....I was treated to several more writing pieces this week from third grade students who chose me as their "noteworthy" person.  My heart and my face is smiling from ear to ear!

.....I had a rare opportunity this week to talk with a former student about a story that I remembered from when she was a student in my school.  She is now a teacher herself and we were at a common event one evening this week.  I had not seen her in quite some time and I remembered that I was a very young teacher when she was one of my students.  On one day I had been having a particularly difficult time with behavior from some students in her class and she noticed.  Later in the day, she wrote me a wonderful note to say that she thought I was the best teacher ever and that I should not worry too much about the students who were not behaving.  She decorated the note and put it in my mailbox.  Had I been writing this blog back then it would have definitely made it on the list of "Best Parts of My Week!"  This note made my day and also made me realize that I was making a difference, even if it was difficult to see that at the time.  I kept the note for years (I am quite sure I still have it somewhere and am on a mission to find it!) and whenever I was having a challenging day I would pull the note out to remind me that at challenging times I can still make a difference.  While this student (now adult/teacher) remembered me as her PE teacher she did not remember writing the note.  She told me that she has had students do that for her and had always hoped that she had been that same kind of caring student.  When I confirmed that she indeed was that kind of student, she gave me a big hug and we both smiled at the memory and the "full circle" experience of life!

.....Fourth grade students set a PE Goal at the beginning of the year.  This week I pulled the goal sheets out to give back to students so that they could evaluate their success.  It was so great reading through the goals again.  As I read them I could see such growth and success.  I hope they feel the same way!  

.....At the end of the week students in grades three, four, and five, were allowed to choose an activity based on available equipment and play together with a small group.  I was so impressed with the way that students chose groups and played together.  One class in particular made me realize how much students have learned in this and prior years.  A fifth grade class was playing outside and as I watched the groups play I noticed that all of the groups included boys and girls, the variety of the games included soccer, four square, basketball, kickball, jump rope, and Frisbee, and there was not an argument to be heard the entire time!  I was struck by their maturity and while I will miss them, I realized that they are ready for middle school!

I hope you enjoyed the "Best Parts of My Week"!  Visit my website:  North Park Physical Education to find out more about our Physical Education program.