Health & Physical Education Teacher 6th-8th - UofM University Middle School
BSEd - Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) '20
Why did you choose the University of Memphis?
Memphis became home after I was stationed here twice to supervise Marine Corps recruiting efforts (2004-2007 and 2014). After retiring from the Marines in 2018, my family and I decided to come back home to Memphis. The UofM was an easy choice for me to continue my education.
Why did you choose your major?
There are so many benefits to living an active lifestyle and there are so many fun ways to be active. I chose to be a Physical Education teacher because I want to provide young people with the knowledge and skills that they need to live healthy and happy lifestyles! Further, PE is very unique in that we have the opportunity to engage students in all three domains of learning on a daily basis (cognitive, psychomotor and affective). In the PE classroom, students are constantly interacting, communicating, collaborating and solving problems. These are the skills that will stick with them for a lifetime.
What was your experience like in the College of Health Sciences?
My experience with the College of Health Sciences has been outstanding. In fact, I decided to continue my education after earning my undergraduate degree. In December, I'll earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. I'm majoring in Instructional and Curriculum Leadership with a concentration in K-12 Physical Education Teacher Education.
Was there any particular faculty or staff member from our college that made an impact on you and how/why?
Yes, every PETE faculty member has had a positive impact on me. The PETE department is like an extended family to their students. There's so much that I can say, but I'll keep it short. The PETE department instructors at the University of Memphis are second to none. Not only are they great instructors, but they are also amazing human beings. Even after my academic journey is over with the College of Health Science is over, I'm sure these individuals will remain a part of my life for years to come. Special thanks to Dr. Todd Layne, Dr. Kelly Simonton, Dr. Carol Irwin, Dr. Niki Bray, and Mrs. Becky Bocz.
What were your favorite classes and/or activities?
I enjoyed all of my PETE classes. I honestly can't choose a favorite.
How did our college prepare you for your career?
I learned the best pedagogical practices in the classroom and through the invaluable field experiences in classrooms around our city.
What is a day in the life of your career like?
I have recently been selected to be the Health & Physical Education Teacher for University Middle, University of Memphis. I am so excited about this opportunity. Right now, it's all about getting prepared by developing a high-quality and engaging curriculum for the scholars of University Middle. I recently participated in an amazing professional development conference focused on Project Based Learning (PBL).
What’s your favorite memory from the UofM and/or the College of Health Sciences?
Tailgating at the Liberty Bowl! Can't wait to get back to doing this again. Another unforgettable memory was attending the Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD) annual conference with the PETE faculty and fellow students.
What advice would you give current or incoming students?
Talk to your PETE instructors early and often! They will help you get the most out of your academic journey.
Why would you recommend the College of Health Sciences?
The amazing faculty!
If you could go back, what would you do differently?
Did you do an internship? If so, where and what was it like?
I had the opportunity to do a teaching internship at Maxine Smith STEAM Academy. Reflecting on my overall internship experience, I feel that this was a critical piece of my teacher development/training process and served as the perfect culminating event. No doubt, this experience was an essential part of my becoming a highly qualified professional physical education teacher and lifetime wellness advocate. At times, I found myself getting hyper-focused on the logistics of teaching or the science, so to speak. I had to take a step back and remember the art of teaching. I had to remember to pay attention to the bigger picture, which is to ensure that I am doing everything possible to produce physically literate students who become lifelong participants in physical activity. I had to remember to let them have fun!