Maria Corte is an innovative teacher who has a passion for fitness in Phys Ed! She has developed activities and programs that have engaged her students in physical activity and inspire them to be more active. After 25 years of teaching, the 2005 Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year for Arizona sat down with Gopher to share her ideas.
How do you motivate students to exercise?
Corte believes that students are motivated by success, “If they have success, they’ll be more likely to do that as an adult.” She also recommends having a wide variety of equipment with music playing to engage students throughout the entire class. Watch the video for more ideas!
What are some ways to increase activity in class?
One of the most important ways to increase activity during class is to get your students moving right away! Set the tone as soon as you start. “You want your students to immediately be engaged, be active, be organized. Have your lesson plan ready to go so those transition periods are very, very small,” Corte says.
How have you been able to increase activity outside of Phys Ed?
Corte started a club at Mesa High School in Mesa, Arizona called Elite Fitness. This is both a class and a club that students must try out for. Once a year, students work on a choreographed fitness routine to perform for the school and around the community. Corte explains the tryout process and the details of the club in the video below.
What advice do you have for new teachers?
One of the most important techniques Maria learned was from Arizona State University Professor, Dr. Robert Pangrazi. “If you can manage kids, you can teach just about anything,” says Corte. “We can just all be on the same page, get things moving, get things rolling and have a positive experience. Management is the key.”
How do you promote lifelong activity with your students?
Corte uses a variety of techniques to encourage students to continue to be active after high school. “I want to show them all of the tools needed that they’re going to use after high school so when they walk into a fitness club after high school they’re not overwhelmed and have no idea what to do,” Corte explains. “I like to teach them how to self-assess themselves with fitness using the FitStep Pedometers, which eventually might be a Fitbit.” Corte says that sport-related skills are important, but she also tries to teach skills they will use throughout life.
Reach out to Maria on Twitter @cortepe or comment below with your physical education teaching tips.