PE Teacher Helps Kids ‘Fall In Love With Fitness’ By Taking Them Fishing

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In elementary school, you often hear kids say their favorite subject is Physical Education.

There is a lot of fun to be had running around inside a gym. But one P.E. teacher in Minneapolis takes the learning to the lake. The life lessons they learn from Mr. Andrew Pritchard at Lake Nokomis Community Schools – Wenonah Campus, makes him an Excellent Educator.

It may look like his class is just all about fun, but Andrew Pritchard is on a mission.

“I try to make kids fall in love with fitness,” he said.

He is planting that seed young teaching kindergarten through 2nd grade.

“They’re excited they come in and they wait for me to say ‘go’,” he said.

And when he says go, it’s a group that can’t wait to do jumping jacks, push-ups, even burpees.

“In some cases it’s their first adaptation to something that is physical, I try to make it fun, I use music in here and that helps a lot,” he said.

But Mr. Pritchard’s popularity comes from what he does outside of the gym. Every spring his first and second graders ride bikes to Lake Nokomis. There he teaches them how to fish.

“I can show them how to take the fish off, a lot of them are skittish about that,” he said.

He bought the 35 fishing poles through a grant. He used another grant to buy helmets and some of the bikes, the other bikes were donated by parents.

“I wanted something more for the kids to do and I know our parents are great with donating, but if you can get a grant also and make good use of it, it benefits everybody,” he said.

The smile on their faces are proof of the benefits for both the kids and their teacher.

“The big thing is a love my job,” he said.

More from Kim Johnson
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