IW’s star teacher gets kids movingPublished 10:29pm Friday, April 26, 2013
Isle of Wight County’s Teacher of the Year says educating Carrollton Elementary kids about the importance of keeping fit and healthy is a dream job.
Emily Jones, 27, a Williamsburg native, said she loved physical education when she was a student.
During high school, she did a mentorship with a physical education teacher. “It solidified exactly what I wanted to do,” she said.
Jones is in her second year at Carrollton Elementary. Before that, she was a PE teacher at a middle school in Southwest Virginia for three years.
“To sum it all up, we work hard, and we have fun,” she said of her approach to teaching.
“I call it ‘New PE.’ I don’t sit down, I participate with the students … (and) they are more willing to participate and enjoy it more. They say, ‘If the adult is moving and having fun, so can I.’”
Jones says she is committed to getting parents involved in encouraging their children to be more physically active.
“The parents, their support is just amazing out here,” she said. “We do a lot of things to get the community involved as well.”
Jones says she appreciates the country setting of her school. She attended Radford University, which she described as “sort of rural,” and her first job was in a rural part of the state.
“The community is supportive and so nice,” she said of Carrollton and the county. “When I came here, it was the first place I applied to and the first place I was offered, and I fell in love with the area.”
Jones is passionate about fighting childhood obesity.
“I tell them if you are watching TV, during commercials, get up and move around, run around,” she said.
“I don’t give them homework per se, but some students go home and set up games to show their parents what we did in PE.”
Video games “here and there” are OK, in Jones’ opinion, but “it really hinders their imagination.”
“Getting up and creating a game will not only boost their imaginations, it will boost their energy levels as well,” she said.
Jones now lives in Smithfield, and will be getting married this summer.
After graduating from Radford, she also attained a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania.
“I’m always driven by goals, and every goal I have set I have achieved it,” she said.
“I need to make a new set of goals, I guess.”