"Leading is not something to take lightly, and there are only a small percentage of people willing to take on this role and the responsibilities that come with it." I heard this upon my arrival into NCO (non-commissioned officer) training course for the Marine Corps. As intimidating as this was to hear, knowing that soon we would be leading our own troops, I took it on with an open mind and a positive attitude. It was here that I built my base of confidence and how the skills of how to lead.
One of these skills was teaching my fellow Marines how to do certain tasks. It encompassed everything from leading/teaching new P.T. (Physical Training) exercises, to repairing tilt-rotor air crafts. I began timid and uncertain, but as time went on I became a strong leader who was willing to take risks in order to benefit my group. Not all of these risks worked out the way I had hoped, but each failure taught me a new lesson. These different experiences were filled with multiple victories and failures, but each made me work harder to improve my skills to better myself and my group.
My moment to shine was during a squadron wide workshop with over 1,000 Marines in attendance to discuss training requirements and policies. While many followed in each other’s footsteps, basically repeating what their predecessors before them stated, and in all actuality this was no different than what was already in place. They were all taking the easy way out and in essence just “rolling the balls out”, but I was ready for change and was tired of the current outdated style of how things were done. Prior to speaking I had created a new training model that would revamp the policies and procedure, to something more relevant and substantial.
While I was quite nervous, and wasn’t sure whether or not I should brave this new trail, I decided that it was worth the risk. When I finished presenting this model, I stood there terrified of the responses I was about to receive, instead I was greeted with a standing ovation. This story took place very shortly before I exited the Marine Corps and entered school to become a Physical Education Teacher. I knew that I could teach people how to move, and how to think differently about the way they do things, so I set out on my new path. Having gone through the triumphs and failures of teaching and leading in the past, I took a different view on leading a classroom than many others.
One way I did things differently, was that I was constantly looking towards change. I wanted people to change their lives, but not for my benefit, instead for their own personal growth and prosperity. I firmly believe that as a future physical education teacher, I can and will have an impact on my students that will create forever change. I know that I won’t affect everyone the same, but I will strive to reach out to all of my students and push them to their highest potential and hope that they will reflect back on it later in life knowing that I helped to promote this positive change.
I will do all that I can for my students so that they will know that I am not here just to teach them how to play basketball or soccer, but instead that I am trying to help them to create a foundation of overall lifetime wellness. I will do this by teaching them about different activities that are readily available to them that will not only improve their fitness levels, but also give them a time to mentally relax and let go of their everyday stressors. I want us to break free from the stereotype that we are the swishy pants crew who only teaches in order to coach. While I love to coach, my first love and preference is to teach those non-athletes and get them excited about being physically active. I already know that the athletes like being active, so I want to reach out to all the others.
With that being said, I hope that I am willing to reach out and affect as many students as I can. If I am only able to affect a few of them, and possibly have a large enough impact to drastically change their path of wellness, than I have been successful. I am not going to rate my success on quantity, but the quality of attention and effort that I will give to each and every one of my future students.