St. Clair News Aegis (Pell City, AL)

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January 11, 2013

Teacher earns distinction

Pell City — Visit Brandie Green’s physical education class at Iola Roberts Elementary School, and you’ll see the subject taught differently than you likely remember it.

“I understand why P.E. gets a bad rap,” she said.  “People remember it as a ‘roll-the-ball-and-go-to-the-playground kind of thing.’ But it’s curriculum-established now, and there are state standards we have to meet.”  

Current physical education activities also go beyond kickball and jumping jacks.

On a recent morning, Green directed a group of third graders in a session of Speed Stacks, in which they are required to stack and unstuck an allotment of cups according to specific instructions.

“It teaches them how to do things ambidextrously and how to follow directions.  At the end of the lesson, we have class and school competitions, which get pretty fierce.  A nice thing about this activity is that everybody’s involved.  You don’t have to be an all-around athlete to be able to do it.”

Every Iola student attends physical education class for 35 minutes daily, Green said, and “I try to keep them moving and active as long as they’re with me.  We’re lucky in (the Pell City School System) because we all understand how important physical education and physical activity are to kids.  It’s proven that quality instruction in P.E. allows students to be more focused and process information better in their academic classes, so it spills over into the entire curriculum.”

Green holds bachelors and masters degrees from Jacksonville State University and earned an Ed.S. degree there last month.  She is one of six members of the Iola faculty to hold the advanced degree, according to principal Roy Bliss.

“As an educator, you’re always learning,” Green said.  “I’ve always had a love for elementary grades.  During my student teaching, I loved my high school kids, but elementary is where my heart is.  This is what I’m called to do, and I hope my students remember me as a teacher who not only encouraged physical activity but one who also truly cared about them.”

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