Edmondson taking PE to a whole new level

Published 6:43 pm Monday, August 20, 2018

As an educator, Tiffany Edmondson holds a special position at Sherman Avenue Elementary.

As the school’s physical education teacher, she is tasked with teaching the students how to live a healthy lifestyle while they’re learning to improve their minds.

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A Vicksburg native and graduate of Warren Central High School, she returned home to teach after graduating from Mississippi State University.

Her interest in physical education, Edmondson said, comes from her own lifestyle.

“I love fitness; being active,” she said. “I’m an assistant swim coach with the Vicksburg Swim organization. I’ve always been involved with sports, and being healthy really hit me in college; and I went through all the kinesiology and exercise physiology classes, and I’ve always worked with kids. My summer jobs have always been with kids, and I’ve enjoyed that.”

Edmondson has been teaching at Sherman Avenue since 2015. This year, she said, will be interesting.

“It’s going to be an innovative thing,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot of new equipment this year, and I want to take that and use the cooperative team activities that I’ve worked with and taught the kids in the past, and combine those with individual activities.”

Part of that involves developing a HIT, or high intensity aerobics program for children. “I want to make it child-appropriate for aerobic stations, and teach the importance of exercise and nutrition,” she said.

Other equipment includes a ball pit, a rock wall for climbing, trampoline with safety bars and balance balls.

“It is taking PE into a whole different level for sure,” Edmondson said. “It’s getting more into the fitness aspects and emphasizing motor skills and a different way of teaching it. I’m going to instill in the kids at an early age that exercise and good food choices lead to a healthy lifestyle, and I want them to enjoy it, so it is a lifestyle and not just during the 50 minutes they’re with me.”

Edmondson teaches children from pre-kindergarten to second grade at Sherman Avenue.

“I have to adjust the way I work with my classes, because what I teach to children in pre-K is not going to be the same thing as second grade,” she said. “At the beginning of school, you try to see where the kids are, and you just meet them where they are.

“You have to learn where each individual student is, and come to meet them wherever needed, and make adjustments wherever needed, whether they need to be more challenging or easier. The children love it. Anything where they can get to move they are generally are all for it; all in.”

And she said she tries to incorporate what the children are learning in class in the physical education classes.

“One lesson we have might include site words with dodge ball, equation bowling, there’s just a lot of ways you can incorporate it; teaching children about heart rate and what that means, and about the muscles in the body,” she said.

The activities don’t just focus on reading and math. For geography, Edmonson has done baseball around the world, where each base and each position is a different country or region. She also has the students learning reading and math from exercise and stretch charts.

“I’m very excited about this year,” she said.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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