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PE Letter to Parents
PE Central

Dear Parent and/or Guardian:

My name is Pat Patella. I will be your son or daughter's physical education teacher this year. In this letter I want to briefly describe the physical education program at Possum Hollow Elementary School and what your child can expect to learn over the next few years. Let me begin, however, by briefly describing my professional background.

My degree is in physical education. The core courses for this degree included work in English, history, math and science. General education courses included work in educational psychology, child development and educational philosophy. The specialized courses included work in understanding children's physical development and how they learn motor skills, scientific aspects of physical fitness and sports, as well as effective teaching techniques and progressions for a variety of lifetime sports and fitness activities.

I also have a health minor that included courses in first aid, personal health, nutrition and wellness. In addition to my college course work, I also participated on the varsity golf team and played intramural basketball and softball, as well as acting in several plays. Today I continue to play competitive golf in addition to jogging, weight training, mountain biking and playing in church sponsored basketball and softball leagues.

As a result of taking these university courses, attending one or more professional conferences each year, and seven years of full time teaching, I have designed a program for children that helps them develop the physical competence that lead to confidence and participation in physical activity for a lifetime. My goal is to help children find a variety of ways to enjoy being physically active so that they will be able to get all of the physical, emotional, intellectual and social benefits that come to someone who is physically active

At Possum Hollow your child will have physical education twice a week for 30 minutes each &m. The program has been designed to focus on three major areas that are contribute to one's physical health and well being:

  • Movement concepts. In the early grades, for example, the program emphasizes the variety of ways we travel (e.g. running, skipping, hopping), changes of directions and speeds, and different ways to balance, jump and land.

  • Skill themes. Basic motor skills such as throwing, kicking, volleying, and striking with a racket are taught in the grades. In the upper grades the children are taught how to use these fundamental skills in games and sports, gymnastics and various forms of rhythmical movement

  • Wellness concepts are taught throughout the program. They include, for example, bicycle safety, healthy and unhealthy foods, and ways to improve cardiovascular endurance and flexibility.

  • As a teacher I recognize that children are at different developmental levels, with a variety of needs and interests. For this reason in every class I attempt to provide all of the children with Teaming experiences that are both beneficial and enjoyable. Each lesson is also adjusted to take into account the wide range of skill and fitness levels that characterizes children in elementary school.

    In closing I want to invite you to observe your child in his or her physical education class at any time during the year. If you have the opportunity to visit you will quickly see that your child's physical education classes are very different from the old "gym classes" that consisted of running laps, jumping jacks, captains picking teams, and competitive team sports.

    I am very proud of the physical education program at Possum Hollow Elementary School and looking forward to being your child's physical education teacher this year.


    Pat Patella, B.S.
    Physical Education Teacher
    Possum Hollow Elementary School

    Submitted by George Graham who is a professor in the Health and PE Program at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central!
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