Brack Hassell

Physical Education Teacher Wins More Time with Students

“A lot of other universities told me it wasn’t possible to become a PE teacher. Georgia State professors were flexible and helped me prepare for the master’s program.” —Brack Hassell, M.Ed. ’10, Health and Physical Education

Hometown: Rome, GA
Education: M.Ed. ’10, Health and Physical Education, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Job Title: Elementary Teacher, Health and Physical Education
Employer: Troup County School System

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Physical Education Teaching in Brack Hassell’s Words

Motivated by passion for movement and health

Physical Education - The College of Education & Human Development graduates about 800 students each year. Of those, more than 400 are teachers.After graduating from college, I worked as an outdoor recreation therapist providing wilderness therapy, and worked with children recovering from injury in outpatient transition care for 3.5 years. These experiences motivated me to return to school to become a PE teacher because I loved working with kids and was passionate about movement and health and seeing kids thrive in that environment. With PE not being something seen as a core part of school, I wanted to prove it was valuable.

Teaching was outside of my comfort zone

Although I’d worked with kids prior to enrolling in the Health and Physical Education master’s program, I didn’t have a traditional undergraduate degree or teaching certificate. I was outside my comfort zone in the graduate program, so I had to lean on my professors a lot. Whether it was via phone, email, office hours or struggling through issues, the faculty met me where I was at academically and supported me unconditionally. I graduated from the program six years ago and I still email my professors and run into them at conferences – they all remember who I am and where I’m at in my career.

Advocated for more exercise and won

The national standards for physical education drives everything I do. As an active member of the Georgia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, I spent years at my school advocating for administrators to increase physical education time from 50 hours per year to Georgia’s minimum requirement of 90. Fortunately, my principal agreed to hire an additional part-time PE teacher this coming fall to get us closer to the 90 hours! This is a testament to the positive outcomes that can be gained in schools if the right people are in place to make change happen.