Frank Hatsis Wins A 2013 Blackboard Award For Teachers

What are some of the joys of being a physical education teacher?

The joy is watching the students have fun engaging in and exploring physical movement. When the students accomplish something challenging and they have that look of success on their face—it’s bliss.

Tell us about any special projects or initiatives you are most proud of this year. 

Without a doubt, Family Fun Night is always a project to be proud of. We are tasked to entertain about 60 to 70 parents in a room with almost no equipment and with limitations on what we can do. The kids get it done, though. Our martial arts belt ceremony every semester is special, too. It is a serious program and the students work so hard; they earn every thread of their belt.

Over the course of your career, what do you consider some of your greatest accomplishments to date? 

Personally, the greatest accomplishment was that I survived. Seriously, my career has been likened to teaching someone to swim without having a pool. There were days [when] we had nowhere to go: no room, no outside, no nothing. But the students [were] ready to go, and I would have to pull something out of thin air. We had classes in hallways and the lobby at times. We would use classrooms, too. If I planned a relay race lesson and ended up not having access to the space, I would have to do something on the fly, wherever we found space. Tagging games became lessons on biomechanical movement. Dancing lessons would turn into health and nutrition. I don’t think anyone ever understood the pressure and confusion I was experiencing. But the circumstances taught the students to be creative, to think fast and on their feet. It taught the students to go with the flow and make the best out of any situation. It taught the students how to make lemonade.

What drives you and keeps you motivated to continue your hard work as a teacher on a daily basis?

I want the students to see and believe that with perseverance, hard work, and dedication, they can live their dreams and goals, just as I’m trying to live mine and become an athletic director.

For more information about the Blackboard Awards, visit blackboardawards.com

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