Barton Hills Elementary physical education teacher Courtney Perry recently won the 2017 TAHPERD (Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance ) Award for Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.
Austin ISD Athletics News caught up with Perry to discuss the honor and her passion for engaging students in learning lifetime fitness.
Why is physical education an important and necessary part of a child’s education?
Physical Education is important and necessary because it allows students a space to do what comes naturally to the human body — MOVE! Movement is the time for the brain to synthesize information and learning.
When you think about the core subjects, and the value that they bring to a child’s life, think about what students learn in PE: how to be physically literate, how to feel confident in moving their bodies in a variety of ways, knowledge of healthy lifestyles, including healthy eating, stress management, and tobacco awareness.
How does elementary PE help pave the way for the athletic success of a student, especially in middle and high school sports?
Elementary PE serves as a foundation of basic skills and sports concepts. It is my job to develop the skills and grow the athlete in all students; as well as, illuminate how basic skills, such as an overhand throwing motion or learning to move in a variety of pathways, translates into dynamic sports settings.
What impact do you see in your students over the years of physical education you have with them?
The greatest impact I see over the years I have the kids is a willingness to “go for it” and not be afraid to fail.
I’ve introduced the students to something I learned in improv classes called the “failure bow.” If we try and we fail, we take a failure bow, and the whole class claps for us.
Why is it important to introduce students to a variety of physical disciplines, early on, including recreational sports, dance, but also healthy living?
Not all students are meant to be athletes, to compete at high levels, or even to join a team. But all people can find some movement they love, whether it be yoga, dance, or hiking, DrumFIT, or racing down a field to catch a ball or Frisbee.
The rich lessons we teach in PE about nutrition or tobacco awareness are formative lessons and are incredibly important in bringing up a community that values health and wellness — a community that can then pass on these values to the next generation.
Article and photos by AISD Athletic News