David Grassi

Tom Ebbole's and
Nicole Wagemann's

Teaching Philosophies, Program and Activities

Tom's Teaching Philosophies
Nicole's Teaching Philosophies
How we Use the Project Fit America Program

Nicole Wagemann

Tom Ebbole's Teaching Philosophies

“Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” (Aristotle)  Teachers choose their line of work because they understand this statement.  In what other field can you learn something new every minute of the day?  Teachers understand that learning along side of students is some of the most rewarding work that can be done.  My philosophy of teaching and learning is based on several different aspects.

Horizontal LadderI teach to see the looks on the students’ faces when they leave my gym after a lesson that has changed their day for the better.  I love sports, I love kids and I convey information in a way that all students understand.  This empowers the students to go through the day knowing that they have excelled in something.  It may not have been reading, math or science, but it was something.  My goal is to adapt my lessons in a way that all of the students can be successful.  I believe that students learn by seeing, doing, reading and moving.  They absorb the information that you deliver to them, when it is delivered in multiple ways.  Education is the foundation of life.  It comes in many shapes, sizes and forms and needs to be delivered in a way to enrich lives.

Pole ClimbMy role as an educator varies from moment to moment.  I am a role model, teacher, coach and a source of support.  I feel that it is important for the students to feel safe and secure in my classroom.   When they enter I smile and greet them with enthusiasm.  When they are not learning at the pace that I want them to learn, I adjust my instruction.  I do not get frustrated.   I just adjust to their level.  This gives them a sense of confidence that they were able to conquer their difficulties.  I believe my community of learners is a group of students willing to learn, listen, and work very hard for a teacher that respects them.

Pull UpsThe students’ role in my teaching and their learning is to be open and ready to learn.  I expect them to enter my classroom with the intent to try their best.  They are expected to respect the education of themselves and their peers.  I believe that each of the students that enter my classroom has the ability to succeed.  They may not dribble the basketball the best or run the fastest, but they can and will succeed.  The relationships I have with my students are mutual respect.  They have fun with me and I have fun with them.  They learn from me and I learn from them.  Teachers are not supposed to be the bearer of rules, but the bearer of knowledge and enrichment.

In conclusion, teaching and learning go hand in hand as do teachers and students.  Teaching and learning is a life-long process.  As we progress in our field of education, we progress in our journey of lifelong learning.  My philosophy of teaching and learning will always be based on a safe, secure and inviting environment.  I will always address my students and teaching with enthusiasm and respect. top of page

Nicole's Teaching Philosophy

Sit UpsI, Nicole Wagemann, have been teaching at Mannheim District 83, Scott Elementary School, for the past seven years.  I graduated from Illinois State University in Normal, IL with a K-12 certification in Physical Education and minor of Health.

Parallel BarsI feel the most important thing I stress in Physical Education is health and wellness.  An overall well being is what I teach in my classes.  Our curriculum was set up in a sport and basic locomotor movements; coordination based way when I first came to the district.  I helped in adding our existing fitness and wellness unit.  I have also tried to incorporate health and wellness throughout the other units as well.  My students have been introduced to fitness as a life-long process, which starts when they are young, and hopefully they leave with ideas/activities to continue throughout their lives.

JumpingI have provided a variety of opportunities where they develop a “whole” well being.  I get to focus on developing the students cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.  Each child may understand and be able to participate in a different way I try to reach a child and keep him or her involved in having a positive outlook on physical education so that they will continue to be active.  We work on team building, conflict revolution, and understanding special needs to highlight a few.  Students in grades 3rd through 5th have a portfolio in which they have found that physical education is related across the curriculum in areas such as math, social students, science, and language arts.

I bring an enthusiastic approach to my gymnasium to motivate and maximize participation.  The gymnasium setting is fun yet safe where the students are able to feel confident that they will be successful in any of the activities.  I adapt to each child so that they can reach a successful outcome and obtain preset goals.

Fitness Fair

Besides teaching, I am involved in organizing field day, teaching health/family living to the 4th and 5th grade girls, helping with after school programs, coaching the district’s swim team, co-chair as PTA Vice President of Programs, work at the local park district teaching CPR, First Aid, Lifeguarding and exercise programs at the fitness center.

Project Fit America has been an asset at Scott School.  This program has helped in teaching fitness and wellness.  PFA has increased our Fitness gram scores and has helped in goal setting.  When I test my students I put up a PFA chart and challenge wall in the hallway.  The students receive awards and strive to achieve each level.

Fire DeptPTA has given me the opportunity to take our fitness/wellness program and extend it to our community as well.  Last year, we hosted our first annual health and wellness fair, “Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds.”  We had a plethora of information from local businesses and others in the community to pass our pamphlets, gave away memberships to the gym, and so on.  Gottlieb Hospital, police department, fire department, dentist, eye care professionals, American Heart Association, local park districts to name a few.

I value Project Fit America for it has expanded our program and I encourage other physical educators to apply.  PFA has strengthened my teaching ability.

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How we use the Project Fit America Program

  • Sit upsStation Stars
  • Puppy Cubs
  • Warm-up and Cool-down
  • After-school gym program
  • Fitness Testing
  • Recess

How Project Fit America Works for Us!

cupsSince receiving the generous grant that provided Scott School with our most valued Project Fit equipment, we have integrated many new opportunities for skill development and conditioning into our physical education curriculum. Project Fit has enhanced our already strong program by helping us: improve students' upper-body strength, incorporate fitness into our curriculum, encourage students to create goals for themselves and to know where a student is in terms of personal strength.

Furthermore, the fitness cups allow for a fun change of pace. They help increase students' hand-eye coordination as well as emphasize and enhance team building and cooperation with our students.


Bulletin BoardCHART AND CHALLENGE - Smile Mile
This is a chart and challenge which encourages students to achieve a 10-minute mile or lower for their first time. If they achieve that goal, they receive a Smiley Certificate and their name on the board in the hallway.


This is a chart and challenge in which the students hula hoop with the heavy hoops. If they can keep the hoop going with no flubs, they receive a Hippo Hula Certificate and their name on the bulletin board for the corresponding category for how long they kept it going.

45 seconds -- Bronze
90 seconds -- Silver
1 min and 30 sec -- Gold

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