In March, Draper Middle School physical education teacher Douglas Hallberg was selected as the recipient of the National Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award by SHAPE America — Society of Health and Physical Educators, the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. The organization selects a teacher for this honor “in recognition of outstanding teaching performance at the middle school level and the ability to motivate today’s youth to participate in a lifetime of physical activity,” SHAPE America officials shared.
Following his selection as the Eastern District Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year earlier this school year, Hallberg attended SHAPE America’s 132nd National Convention and Expo in Boston, where he was selected among five other district winners for this distinguished national title. He joins the ranks of other top educators around the country who were selected for awards in dance education, school health, elementary physical education, high school physical education and adapted physical education. Hallberg is one of only six teachers nationwide awarded with these high honors this year.
“Doug’s dedication as a teacher to his students and the profession is unparalleled,” Mohonasen Athletic Director Matthew Stein said. “Through the use of cutting-edge technology and modern teaching practices, Doug has demonstrated he is not only a leader in the physical education field — but also deserving of recognition as National Middle School PE Teacher of the Year.”
Hallberg has worked as a physical education teacher with Mohonasen for 20 years and has been praised for his innovative use of technology with students. He uses a large screen and sound system linked to an iPad to engage students and make the most of in-class time for effective student interaction and assessment. Hallberg makes a point to greet each student twice during their daily warm-up routines, reviews content with every student one-on-one, and works with them to set a plan to increase their heart rates, work through different speeds, directions and plans, bolster strength development and practice additional physical fitness skills.
In a press release, SHAPE America explained the utility of innovative technologies in the realm of physical education — “Using heart-rate monitors helps students understand perceived exertion and what working at a health-enhancing level of effort feels like. Hallberg individualizes the training zones for each student and also sends daily heart-rate data directly to parents, helping to build a connection that can foster conversations about healthy activity.”
Alongside Hallberg’s day-to-day work with students, he has also assisted with hiking camps and ropes adventure courses to provide children exciting summer activities and encourage them to stay fit, explore more options for exercise and engage in self-discovery.
“Serving as a positive role model is one of the most enjoyable parts of my life as a physical education teacher,” Hallberg told SHAPE America. “My students will often see me tracking my activity level during the day and are often very curious about how I’m doing, This curiosity often leads to positive conversations about physical activity, physical fitness, and the importance of being active for a lifetime.”
For more information about the 2017 SHAPE America National Convention and Expo, visit the SHAPE America website.