From Communications to Physical Education Teacher
“I’ve had several nominations for teacher of the year, but my greatest achievement is reaching students who are troubled and helping them turn their lives around.” —Chris Rice, M.Ed. ’10, Health and Physical Education
Hometown: Boston, MA
Education: M.Ed. ’10, Health and Physical Education, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
B.A. ’02, Communications, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Job Title: Elementary Teacher, Health & Physical Education
Employer: Fulton County Schools
Physical Education Teacher in Chris Rice’s Words
Intended to have a career in radio broadcasting
I moved to Atlanta after graduating from college to pursue a career in communications given the city’s reputation for being a media magnet. I quickly discovered, however, that getting my foot in the door had more to do with who you know, not what you know. Having been an athlete in school, and experience working with kids, I took a part-time job at the YMCA and fell in love with it. The sports and health aspects, coupled with youth development just clicked for me.
Teaching is lots of work and lots of fun
I started working as a full-time provisional teacher (i.e., teaching while earning a teaching certificate and master’s degree) once I enrolled in the Health and Physical Education master’s program. This allowed me to immediately apply what I learned in class to my PE instruction. Over the course of the program, I traveled to elementary, middle and high schools as a student teacher which provided me with invaluable experiences. It was a lot of work, but I had fun doing it. Not everything was strictly business and I appreciated that.
Making a difference in the lives of troubled students
I’ve had several nominations for teacher of the year, but, my greatest achievement is reaching students that other teachers aren’t reaching or are untouchable. That to me is more rewarding that any award I could receive – to have a student that’s so troubled turn their life around. If you want to pursue a career as a teacher, don’t give up – the work pays off in the long run. You’ll be stressed at times, but it’s fun and enjoyable.