During elementary, middle, and high school, Drew Jones hated physical education classes.
I struggled to participate in sports like soccer and baseball, and running felt like a chore. However, dancing has been a part of her life since she was two years old, but it was never taught to her in school.
The major kinesiology major wants to change the way teachers approach physical education, especially for students with disabilities. Looking forward to entering a teaching diploma program in May, Jones wants to become a modified physical education (APE) teacher and incorporate dance and movement into her curriculum.
“I want to be in a physical education class where we teach students activities and skills that they can use for the rest of their lives, like yoga,” said Jones, the team leader. An idiom dance led by students at Chico Prefecture. . “We don’t always have to teach team sports. Teachers are now making physical education more creative.
A first-generation student, Jones wanted to be a public physical education teacher. But when she began taking modified physical education classes as part of her minor, and then found more impactful service-learning opportunities, she turned to APE.
“Whenever I work in the field with specific teachers, I know I want to do this. “I can imagine myself being a monkey teacher,” she said. “I know this is what I want to do. It’s great to be part of a team that helps someone succeed.
Over the past two years, Jones has had a world of experiences that have fueled his career choice. This past January, she took an 8-day trip to the UAE with five other students in Modified Physical Education and Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as teachers Rebecca Little and Jessica Lawrence. The students observed, trained, and collaborated with local educators who work with children with physical and cognitive disabilities.
In the summer of 2022, Jones was part of a group of students to participate in the inaugural study abroad program organized by Professor Carly Ross. Jones spent four weeks in the small town of Reggio Emilia, Italy, where she attended a camp dedicated to physical education, working with teens and young adults with physical and developmental disabilities. The group went hiking, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, and canoeing to enhance physical activity.
Jones, who keeps in touch with some of the international educators she interviewed, described her two experiences abroad as highlights of her time at Chico State, not only for the opportunity, but also because it speaks to his dedication to the program.
“I am most proud to have been selected and recommended for these trips,” she said. “I like to introduce myself and be helpful in every kinesiology service learning program. And I think my perseverance paid off.
For three semesters, Jones also volunteered for Chico State programs that provide accessible programs for people with disabilities. In her roles on BE: WEL and KIDS: PLAY, she is a friend, motivator, and coach.
“Drew is fun, creative, caring and reliable,” said APE teacher Marcy Pope. “She watches everyone around her by listening and knowing their needs and strives to make things inclusive and fair.”
Pope added that Jones is someone who focuses on an individual’s abilities and creates an activity that matches his abilities.
“I am proud of Drew and happy to see the confidence she has to take the content she learned in class and project it into the experiences she created for herself during her college semesters,” said Pope. “I can’t wait to see where all this takes her as she pursues her studies in education.”
For Jones, it was important going into the field of APE to diversify the curriculum to not only provide a variety of activities, but to empower his students.
“Students thrive when people recognize their strengths rather than their weaknesses — and I want to do everything I can to help students find their weaknesses,” she said.
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