This month’s PE Teacher of the Month goes to Stephen Fish of Marion Independent School District!
This is Stephen’s 25th year at MHS and 38th year in education. (He taught at Central City High School before beginning at Marion.)
The most important tip he’d like to share with young teachers, student teachers or practicum teachers is that your effectiveness as a teacher is directly rooted in relationships. “You have to gain trust and understand that learning may not look the same fore ALL students, especially in physical education/wellness. It’s vital that you believe in all students, especially when they may not believe in themselves,” Fish says. “Sometimes, the process may be frustrating.
One thing he’d recommend to fellow PE teachers is to attend the National SHAPE Conference and local/state conferences. “The environment and opportunity to learn and share with the top programs and instructors in the country have certainly left an impact on me!”
In addition to the activity and fitness component of his classes, Stephen strives to include a health literacy component. He converted a room into a small classroom to better focus on health literacy. “I strongly believe in giving students options and knowledge for fitness. Giving students choices and helping them better understand what type of activity they enjoy can make a life long connection.”
To Fish, PE should be one of the most important class a student takes. “All students should understand heart rate and methods to increase activity and wellness. PE should be about learning the Pillars of Wellness and how to incorporate those concepts so that students can become the best versions of themselves, without having to be involved in a sport.”
Looking forward, Stephen Fish is planning on developing a broader and more inclusive physical education program at Marion. He sees this as going above and beyond in his practice. “We have a great staff of PE teachers district wide that consistently go above and beyond, I am lucky to have a supportive group!”