Faces In the Crowd – Jamie Schroeder
Black Hills State University alum Jamie Schroeder was recently named New Physical Education Professional of the Year for the South Dakota Society of Health and Physical Educators or SHAPE. Her impact is felt by students and staff.
Jamie teaches adapted physical education for the Spearfish School District. With a mantra of ‘it can be done’ rather than ‘could it be done?’ Jamie lives for the ah-ha moments from students.
Schroeder says, “Just the joy, I’m a big believer in movement, and how that benefits your life. I think it’s important to provide that – hey activity is still awesome, and it is still needed and it’s still a huge part of our lives, so I think that is what kind of drew me to that.”
Jamie took a less than traditional road to the field of education. She already had a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in exercise physiology when she decided to earn a teaching degree at Black Hills State University. Her involvement with Special Olympics students influenced her decision to go down the path of adaptive education and loves to offer exercise participation to students of all abilities.
“I think that they get that opportunity and I see a big change in just in like how they present themselves and how like they are not as scared to try things, they are willing to maybe go out and fail a little bit more. Even if they can’t verbalize that, I see it through smiles, ” says Schroeder.
Her creativity and innovative teaching methods earned her the New Physical Education Professional of the Year from SHAPE South Dakota. She focused on the standard then modified them, thinking of unconventional ways for children to learn and participate.
“I am a strong believer in just doing things different, maybe outside of the box, coming up with different ways that maybe might help kids with whatever they are facing,” explains Schroeder. “I think we get stuck in these are the rules of the game, and this is how we have to do it. We just kind of change equipment to get success and experience success.”
Jamie created an aquatic chair so an adaptive student could experience swimming. She also integrated virtual reality goggles with a cell phone so a student could experience scenarios such as hiking and biking. Her impact is giving many students a chance to grow and learn, but her for it’s just another day at the office.
Schroeder says, “If it wasn’t for the kids, I wouldn’t be here you know so it’s I love my job. It doesn’t feel like work, I get to play games all day and laugh and smile and so, that’s what I enjoy.”