This week for the Featured PE Teacher section on the PE Central Facebook page, the spotlight is on Jodi Baraksy:
About Jodi Barasky:
I teach Physical Education to about 140 students in grades K-8 at Rondout School District 72 in Lake Forest, Illinois. My favorite PE lesson plan/units are team building activities, Tchoukball, Dance and Yoga. I also love to hike in my spare time.
Current Lesson Play/Unit:
Six years ago, I was introduced to “Dancing With Class”, a dance program in Chicago specifically designed for Middle School students. Each year since then, our music teacher, the Dancing With Class program, and myself have jointly created a ballroom dance unit. This year we danced the Salsa, Tango and Swing. Our students greatly benefit from learning a lifetime skill and improving teamwork and self-esteem. Our culminating event is a “Dance-Off” with another school that really motivates our students to work hard. The photos I am sharing in this post are from our dress rehearsal for our Dance-Off.
PE Focus for 2017:
My focus this year is on incorporating yoga into my curriculum. Yoga helps the students to relax, unwind, and calm down, to reduced stress and anxiety. It also increases their strength, flexibility, coordination, fine and gross motor skills. It develops self-confidence, self-expression and a lifetime skill. Also, even when the gym is not available, my students and I can practice yoga.
Why I Love Being a PE Teacher:
I am so fortunate to work at a school that offers daily physical education to all students. I love teaching the kids the benefits of being physically active. It is great to see children succeed and know that I am making a positive influence on their lives.