For This Teacher, Teaching Is Golden
Above the door of the gym at Hunting Ridge Elementary in Palatine, Illinois, physical education teacher David Sobel has posted a sign that reads: Play together and leave as friends. Sobel, a 2001 graduate of the Adult Studies Education program at Trinity, is a recent recipient of the 2009 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.
A total of 972 teachers from Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties were nominated for the award, which was given to 10 Chicago-area teachers of grades Pre-K through 3.
Sobel teaches Kindergarten and grades 2-6. His class sizes range from 22 wide-eyed, energetic kindergarteners, to 26 enthusiastic second-graders, to 39 excited third-graders including special needs children. He believes that in physical education, some things come easy and natural for students and others are as difficult as math. He asks his students to display a good attitude about physical exercise and give their best effort.
Every day of the week is unique in Sobel’s P.E. classes. On Friday mornings, he involves students in intramurals. Not one to watch from the sidelines, Sobel joins his students in a game of dodge ball. This “distinguished teacher and mentor,” as he is described by his fellow educators, also incorporates music and his love of photography into his teaching, documenting his students participation in class, in intramurals, and in special activities.
Golden Apple winners receive a tuition-free spring-term sabbatical at Northwestern University; a personal computer; $3,000; and membership in the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, which now has inducted 230 expert teachers who work together to ensure that all children have the excellent teachers they deserve.
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