P.E. - Prized Educators

Posted by Paula Paine on May 23, 2011 in Alumni, education, "physical education", "School of Education", "The College" Teacher of the Year Marcel Kadera-Redmond believes that physical education is about creating experiences for his students. “Every day in class, my students and I participate in activities that help us learn about our bodies and how to live healthy and active lives, while also experiencing life lessons,” he said. A 2006 graduate of the Ottawa campus, Kadera-Redmond was recently named the 2010-2011 Elementary Teacher of the Year in the Spring Hill, Kansas, school district. He was also the district’s nominee for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) 2011 Teacher of the Year award. Kadera-Redmond, who teaches physical education (P.E.) to Spring Hill’s preschool through second grade students, understands that his job is about more than just physical education. “It’s about the kids having someone who cares about them and believes in them; someone that can be a role model and a positive influence,” he said. “God has given me an opportunity to be a meaningful part of my students’ lives." According to Spring Hill Elementary Principal Michelle Toon, a ’92 graduate of the Ottawa campus, students in Kadera- Redmond’s classroom “cannot help but fall in love with physical activity because he makes it fun, relevant and engaging.” She went on to explain that Kadera- Redmond’s lessons possess all of the core components of a great physical education lesson, but that he takes it a step further by creating/renaming activities to reflect students’ interests. “You might see the class playing games with names like ‘Return of the Jedi’ or ‘Battleship,’” she said. “The students leave smiling, hardly aware they just participated in an intense cardio and skillbuilding workout.” Toon said she could best describe Kadera- Redmond as a man of integrity, character and strong work ethic who has a passion for children. “I am so proud of Marcel being recognized as the USD 230 Elementary Teacher of the Year,” said Toon. “He truly deserves this honor.” [singlepic id=109 w=320 h=240 float=]Teacher of Promise Sean Blosser knew he wanted to be a physical education teacher when he was in fifth grade. “I thought I would get to play games all day long,” Blosser said with a chuckle. He has since learned that teaching P.E. is about much more than fun and games. “It’s a social class, but it’s also about teaching a lot of skills so that students will have a lifetime of health.” Blosser was named a Kansas State Department of Education Teacher of Promise in December. The award was established by the KSDE to recognize those students who have excelled in their teacher education programs and hold the promise of being exemplary teachers. Students are nominated by their university professors for the award. Blosser, who graduated from the Ottawa campus in May, was preparing to student teach when he received the award. During the spring 2011 semester, he student taught at Seaman High School and Pleasant Hill Elementary, both of Topeka. Like Kadera-Redmond, Blosser believes that physical education isn’t just about fitness. “It’s also about helping students feel more confident in themselves,” he said. Both young teachers were quick to credit Ottawa University for preparing them well for the classroom. “My time at Ottawa made me a better educator and learner,” Blosser explained. “I was as prepared for student teaching as I could have imagined being. I felt equipped to do a great job.” Kadera-Redmond praised his professors for helping him develop his teaching philosophy. “My experience at OU helped me to realize that teaching is about helping kids and influencing their lives in a positive way.”