This week for the Featured PE Teacher section on the PE Central Facebook page, the spotlight is on Jason Leach!
About Jason Leach:
I teach at Independence Elementary in Keller, TX. This is my 11th year at Independence Elementary and my 24th year of teaching. We currently have 541 K-4th Grade students that I have the privilege of seeing twice a week.
Current Lesson Plan/Unit:
We are currently working on basketball skills. The younger grades are developing their confidence in dribbling with their dominant and non-dominant hands, as well as working on their passing technique. The older grades are becoming competent in their dribbling by completing several fun multitasking dribbling challenges. Some of the dribbling challenges we work on were created by students. The older grades are also participating in several basketball activities that give them opportunities to work on their passing in “game” type situations and develop their shooting accuracy. I love to tell the story of how Basketball was created by James Naismith. This year I placed a skinny plastic basket on a wall to discuss with my students what Coach Naismith’s students might have thought when they saw the peach baskets on the wall for the first time.
Focus for 2017:
My theme last year and one I plan on keeping is: “Moving Towards Physical Literacy” because it defines what we should be doing as PE teachers. We should have the desire to provide our students with opportunities to gain confidence and become competent in a variety of physical activities. I have also introduced SOLO Taxonomy with a few of my skills this year. This has allowed the students to take control of their self-assessment of where they currently are with their knowledge and ability at a skill, determining how to set goals to progress, and achieve to the different levels of outcomes.
Favorite PE Unit:
Chinese Jump Ropes is one my favorite units to teach because the students have a great opportunity to be creative with their jumps and patterns, as well as work cooperatively with others. When I started teaching Chinese Jump Ropes, I would demonstrate all the jumps I knew and provide the students with the jump patterns, but soon realized the best avenue for learning is to provide students with the opportunity to use their creative minds. They would then share their ideas with not only students in their grade, but also students in other grade levels. Over the years, the students have taught me more about the enjoyment of Chinese Jump Rope than I can ever teach them.
Teaching PE is more than just fun games and activities. I enjoy getting to see all the students in my school working on improving their skill development year after year, and develop a commitment to lead a healthy lifestyle. I especially enjoy hearing my students share stories about the different physical activities they are involved in outside the school, such as sports, dance, or recreation, and seeing the excitement on their faces as they describe participating in those activities.