Brock Tracy teaches health to 1st through 5th graders and physical education to kindergarteners at .
This was the first teaching job out of Lock Haven University for the York County native. He has taught the same subjects in the same classroom for seven years — and he still loves it, he said.
Tracy's wife Tracy (yes, that's correct) is a guidance counselor at the school. The two have a 13-month-old daughter, Reese.
He sees his students once a week and covers topics like nutrition, fitness, injury prevention, body systems, and drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
"Not a lot of elementary schools teach health as a regular subject," he said. "I have to find ways to keep it engaging. Everything I teach is a life skill."
What's the biggest challenge your students face?
As the students get into the higher elementary school grades, Tracy said he notices that many of them show signs of social and other pressures. School, home, sports, culture, society — "I think there's alot of expectations" on them, he said.
Tracy said he tries to teach that falling into peer pressure can lead to bad decisions.
How do you approach teaching health?
"I want kids to be in control of their health," he said. So he gives them activities and encourages them to teach their own families what they learn. (This can get him into trouble when children lecture their parents about drinking wine.)
"It's good to talk about their heart rate, but it's even better when they can feel it," Tracy said.
He also notes that in general, children who exercise regularly perform better in class and are more open to trying new physical activities.
What advice would you give to a teacher starting out?
"Be organized. Be flexible. And remember why we went into teaching — for the kids," he said.