For MAA gym teacher, Coach Pat Shannon, incorporating the school’s core principles of kindness and compassion into his classes and after-school sports program is the best part of the job. “Nothing gives me more joy than watching a super competitive game and at the end seeing kids walk over and shake hands with each other,” he said. Coach Shannon plays an important role in ensuring our students are happy and healthy, giving them a place to expend all that extra energy and, most importantly, practice kindness and cooperation.
During gym class, he challenges his students through a creative and dynamic curriculum, encouraging them to help one another and test their abilities. “I incorporate team and individual activities into each class to help with creativity, self-expression, and confidence,” he stated. “Offering leadership roles to students during class allows them to practice leading their classmates in a fun environment. Also, it’s a great way to teach children to follow their peers respectfully,” he said.
In addition to being MAA’s gym teacher, he also helps students develop their athletic talents after-school. Coach Shannon has worked hard to expand MAA’s after-school programs, and believes that variety is important because it offers students more opportunities to find activities that excite them. “Not every student gets pumped about basketball,” he smiled. “That’s why I love having options like fencing, tag rugby, and even public speaking because they appeal to a wider range of children.” Coach Shannon encourages students to focus not only on a single sport, but test themselves by trying something new. “Playing multiple sports lets children practice different skills and grow by always challenging themselves,” he stated.
Sit down with Coach Shannon for a few minutes, and you will hear his enthusiasm and love for what he does. Whether at after-school sports and activities or during gym class, he is always looking for new and engaging activities for his students. “I’d love to have a rock wall! That’d be so much fun,” he laughed. We cannot wait for Coach Shannon’s next idea and are lucky to have him here to nurture and challenge our students.