Union Intermediate School
Tanya Robinson-Freeman is a health and physical education teacher at Union Intermediate and her enthusiasm for The Walking classroom never fails to put a smile on our faces! We love that Tanya makes The Walking Classroom a part of her teaching and are so excited she this month’s Teacher Feature!
1. Where were you born, and where did you grow up?
I was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I grew up in Newburgh, New York.
2. How long have you been teaching, and why did you decide to become a teacher?
I’ve been teaching for 10 years. I decided to become a teacher when I recognized I’d been teaching a lot longer than I realized : )
3. When have you been your “best self” as a teacher? (In other words, describe a classroom experience when you felt prouder of yourself than any other time) Do not be modest — teachers need to celebrate their accomplishments!!
Last year (summer of 2015), I was one of 12 teachers from NC chosen to participate in the NC Museum of Natural Science Yellowstone National Park Institute. I proudly call myself an environmentalist. Yellowstone has always been one of the places I dreamed of visiting. My Yellowstone experience, pictures, and videos, along with The Walking Classroom podcasts (sunscreen, erosion, importance of being in nature, food chains -(I found a skeletal system that I was able to put together), respecting nature, etc.) and other resources has truly allowed me to get my students excited about nature and wanting to reuse, recycle, and reduce. We created posters and I gave students an assignment to think of ways we can reuse items; I could not believe the ideas they came up with and the research they did… My “best self!”
4. As a teacher, for what are you most grateful?
As a teacher, I am most grateful for the journey of becoming an AWESOME teacher and the opportunity to work and teach a subject that I am passionate about is pure joy. I am extremely grateful for all of the support my amazing principal Mr. Jim Workman gives me; as well as the awesome collaboration of the staff and faculty I work with. There are organizations like The Walking Classroom and Friends of Education who provided me with the opportunity to bring the WalkKits into my school; as well as Simple Gifts who provides me with so many professional development opportunities.
5. What are some educational resources that you utilize to help cover the curriculum?
I use a lot of different educational resources to cover my curriculum. Youtube videos, BrainPop Jr., SPARK, PE Central, The Walking Classroom, and Edmodo are the resources I use the most.
6. Please describe an experience that you and/or your students have had with The Walking Classroom.
One of the best experiences that I’ve had with my students with The Walking Classroom, is the unit(s) on diabetes and nutrition. While we were walking, listening, and learning, we had not finished the podcast when students started asking me questions about diabetes: How do you get it? Can you get rid of it? How does is it make you feel? Etc. Afterwards it was remarkable to be able to take the podcast and generate a classroom discussion. Soon after teaching these lessons, I can walk into the cafeteria and have students tell me about their healthy choices they made for lunch.