One of the strongest areas in my curriculum is dance. I have a natural sense of rhythm and I have a lot of experience in the field which comes from cueing for aerobics country line dancing. The other P.E. teachers in my district come to me for ideas and advice during their dance units. In fact, the other teacher at my middle school and I swap our students for the dance unit just so I can teach his classes. It makes me feel good to know that others can rely on my "sweet spot" in the field of teaching dance.
I know I have my weaknesses as a teacher too. I am a sensitive person and take things too personally. When I was an elementary teacher for the first five years of my career my students told me every day how wonderful I was and how much they loved me. I was so happy to feel that I was making a difference and they appreciated my efforts. Now that I am a middle school teacher, though, the positive comments from my students are less frequent. When my pre-teen students complain about how they don't want to get too sweaty or they really don't feel like exercising today, it is sometimes hard to keep a smile on my face. I want my students to love my class and love me, like they did when they were in elementary school. It is harder to feel appreciated when I hear far more complaints than compliments. I know that it is just a reality of working with adolescents so I try to stay positive, but it does tend to wear on me.
In order to "play to my strengths" as Mr. Buckingham mentioned, I will continue to work on my positives as a teacher. I will continue to expand my content knowledge so I will have more confidence in the units of study in my middle school curriculum. But I will not ignore my weaknesses. I will work hard to maintain a positive attitude with my students. I will take my time to have personal conversations with students so that hopefully they will understand my passion for physical education and exercise. I will lead by example so that my students will see that my passion has had a positive impact in my life. I will hope and pray that my students will not only remember me for the positive person I am, but also for the lifelong skills they have learned in my class.