These are challenging times for educators in Southwest Colorado, with tight
budgets and teacher shortages high on the list of issues. That’s why
meeting a district-wide goal of observing other classrooms and
furthering their own experience can require Bayfield School District
staff to get creative. This fall, Becky Chandler, the Physical
Education instructor at Bayfield Intermediate School, did just that,
applying to the Bayfield Education Foundation for funds to hire a
one-day substitute so she could visit another intermediate school’s PE
program. Although Becky works together with the other PE teachers in
the district, she felt she also needed to observe classes at her own
students’ levels. And after all, she says, “Teachers love learning
The BEF granted funds through the organization’s Teacher-Mentor program,
and on December 6th, Becky visited Ignacio Elementary School’s PE
classes led by Oscar Cosio. “It was a great experience!” Becky says.
She came back to Bayfield feeling validated that she is on the right
track with her program and energized with new concepts too. She adds
that it’s terrific to pick up “ideas you can incorporate right away.”
As a part-time DJ as well as a PE teacher, Oscar uses a music app called
“Tabata” to lead his students through a warm-up at the beginning of
every class. Tabata provides high energy music to accompany the kids
through intervals of cardio, strength training and rest periods.
Students really enjoy the music, and in just four minutes they’ve
connected with Oscar and had a little workout. Oscar tunes the skills
he teaches to the age of his students, with older kids doing squats and
mountain climbers and youngsters skipping to music. Becky plans to try
Tabata in some of her PE classes soon.
Another tool Oscar uses that Becky finds appealing is a system for kids to
assess their daily performance. On a one to four scale, students score
their own levels of participation, skill advancement and more. Becky
had been looking for quick way for kids to measure their own progress
each day, and she believes Oscar’s method may work for her.
Becky notes that local teachers don’t often get the chance to leave Bayfield to visit another school. Funding for substitute teachers is hard to come by, and substitutes aren’t readily available either. That’s why she is pleased that the BEF believes raising money for the Teacher-Mentor program is important. Just several days ago, Becky returned to BIS with confidence, ideas and “renewed excitement.”
Thank you, Becky, for going the extra mile for your program and your kids! The BEF is pleased to support teachers like you!