These Teachers Will Inspire You

Six local educators share their thoughts on risk-taking, equality, life after military service and what they've learned from your kids.

Photo by Skip Brown

Jay Levesque

Physical education

Chesterbrook Elementary School, McLean

Years teaching: 15

● “The best part about playing games is that if you play enough, not every game matters. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose if you are playing again tomorrow.”

● “I believe that being active should just be part of life. You should earn that shower every day. Get out there and sweat! I want these kids to love physical activity but I don’t need them to love sports.”

● “By the time they leave sixth grade, I hope they are their own experts, personal trainers, nutritionists. Do they know what body composition is? What muscular strength is? What are cardiorespiratory exercises? I want them to be knowledgeable and healthy.”

● “I grew up with learning disabilities, but my parents and teachers saw that I shined [in P.E.] and my confidence soared. I know that in every classroom, teachers have the ability to make change for kids at this age.”

● “Good teachers meet kids at their level. I mean that literally. Like, if a 5-year-old comes up to you, are you going to get down and meet them where they are? Or are you talking down to them?”

● “I started a before-school fitness program called Fitness Warriors. We don’t make it competitive at all. I just want to give students as much access as possible to being physically active here, so when they go home they have a hunger for it.”

● “At the end of the day, I’m a cheerleader, cheering everyone on. It could be something simple, like a dab or a word of praise. The key is to be specific, encouraging and empowering.”

● “It’s super rewarding when you watch a kid dribble [a basketball] for the first time. Or the one in the back who claims he can’t stand dancing, but when you put on his favorite song he dances.”

● “Good instruction is timeless instruction. If this game rocked two years ago, it should rock for this new group of fifth-graders.”

● “You have to practice what you preach. I played soccer [at Bishop O’Connell] and now play on the U.S. National Australian Rules Football team. You need to live a life where you are active. Kids will see right through that if you don’t.”

–Matt Blitz

Categories: Education
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