Guest Blog: Leanne Jack-All Star Teacher of the Year East Pike Elementary School-Indiana, PA
I know now how blessed I have been in my teaching career because PFA’s Master Teacher, Mr. Cox, has been to my school THREE times. In October, Project Fit America chose East Pike Elementary School in Indiana, PA to host an Advanced Project Fit America (PFA) program usage PE Conference. Indiana County is very fortunate to have five local schools involved with PFA because of the generous funding from Indiana Regional Medical Center. Participants in this conference included Larry Cadile (Ben Franklin-Indiana), Scott Bauer (Homer Center), Todd McGee (Blairsville), Justin Kulik (Saltsburg) Justin Henning (United), a few student teachers and myself.
The day was filled with anxious students participating in a wide variety of activities introduced by a very energetic Mr. Cox. His enthusiasm for PFA and love of teaching is contagious. The eagerness of my students performing the new activities was overwhelming to me. I could not wait! All of the activities continued with the theme of incorporating TCC (PFA’s Teamwork, Communication and Cooperation). With the outstanding carpentry work of Scott Bauer, Mr. Cox was able to demonstrate the Balance Table to all of us. It is a highly exciting, demanding, high level TCC activity that my students are still talking about it.
But above all, the favorite game of students and PFA teachers who have participated was BREAKOUT. If you have never played it, please take the time to do so. (call or email PFA they will get you this lesson if you don’t have it.) Your gym will never be the same!
The Dot Drill adapted by All Star Teacher Adrian Dodson is now a morning favorite here at East Pike since the weather has changed and our morning Smile Mile jog/walks are over. Students from Kindergarten through fifth grade come directly to the gym after getting off the bus to practice the Dot Drill before going to their homerooms. It is a wonderful sight having the gym filled with students waiting to break a sweat!
This Advanced Session of PFA was a very special day in many ways here at East Pike. Not only did it give an opportunity for local PFA teachers to collaborate and discuss the different ways we all are developing and benefiting from PFA, but it also allowed us the opportunity to hear directly from Mr. Cox stories about the special people involved with this amazing non profit organization helping schools nationwide. We could have stayed for another day just listening. My entire day with Mr. Cox and the Indiana County PFA teachers was priceless, and I would be honored to host this event if given a chance again.