LEAD BY EXAMPLE AND BE HAPPY
CREATOR OF GOOD
Chris was an athlete growing up and he currently coaches varsity football and baseball in two different school districts in Rochester, NY. He's married to his loving wife (my sister) with a beautiful 4 1/2 year old daughter (my niece). As a PE teacher in the city he gets fulfillment out of seeing his kids succeed and talks about the value of mentorship and leading by example.
Did you always know physical education was something you wanted to do?
It was about my junior year when I was contemplating what I wanted to do and I wasn't sure as most kids are at that age when it comes to what you want to do for the rest of your life. But I loved sports. I loved phys ed class. It was my favorite class and I just knew I wanted to work with kids and help them succeed and get better in things and sports was always a great avenue for me so why not help them find happiness in sports?
What do you find most fulfilling about your job?
Seeing when a kid gets a skill or seeing them succeed. When they say "oh man that's what my teacher told me and it actually works!" When they have that look on their face or when you just have a conversation with a kid and you know that it means something to them....I find it even more fulfilling that I teach older kids. I'm able to have that dialect with them or have a conversation with them and it's not just about phys ed. It's about what they did last night or what they ate for dinner, what type of workout they want to do, or something along those lines you know?
So do you consider yourself a good gym teacher?
Yes, I definitely do and as a mentor too. I mentor three kids at my school who are trying to graduate and some of them are almost choosing the wrong paths. When they have an issue with a teacher they come to me and talk to me and I kind of give them a positive way or positive spin on what they should do to handle it.
Why do you think they come to you?
I think I'm very approachable. I make myself approachable for them or I've created a bond with them. Like one of them was a young lady who was trying to graduate early last year and she had to drop some classes because she wasn't doing the right thing. I ended up having her in summer school and my relationship with her has turned her into doing the right thing and now she's on track to graduate.
I'm honest. I try to be happy around everybody. If I'm happy, it's contagious.
What is your definition of happiness?
Something that brings a smile to your face. You know when you think of something like what you do or what you love it makes you feel happy. Something that your passionate about, that you care about, that you love. I would think that the underlying thing is love.
What inspires you on a day to day?
My family. I like to do right by them. I wake up every morning and I have to do good at my job so I can support our family. I want Gia to grow up like Mell and me. I think we're both very good people. I think we both work very very hard at our jobs and I want her to see that we work very hard. But also the kids, my students. I look at those kids like their my kids. I want them to see me as a good person. I eat healthy around them so they know they have to eat healthy. I workout and I make sure that a lot of them see or know that I work out because I think they should work out. Just to make good decisions around them.
Just do your job because that one thing doesn't have to be your life. you might have
do things you don't like
just to get to a place
like. Grind it out.
It can pay off
Watch the full interview here: