The primary role of the state’s educational service centers is service. Each year, with the input of county educators and the ESC’s governing board, the ESC determines what services would be beneficial to offer Pickaway County schools.
One new service available this year is adapted physical education, taught by Kim Martin, a former PE teacher at Teays Valley.
Adapted PE was a need for all of Pickaway County’s districts – Circleville City Schools, Logan Elm, Teays Valley and Westfall locals – but none needed a full-time teacher, the districts’ special education directors explained to me.
This is where the ESC works best: providing a service that benefits all the districts we serve.
Kim works three days a week, working with about 50 to 55 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in each district.
“I can work one-on-one or in small-group settings,” Kim said. “It’s very individualized; every student I see is different.”
That individualized attention is very important to students with special needs.
“They need more time (for the activities) and this way they’re getting it,” Kim said.
Adapted PE creates an opportunity for the student to get the lifelong benefits of an active life that includes exercise and activity. This yields a healthier person.
“I think adapted PE is a benefit to students socially and physically,” she said. “It also can help with behavior issues.”
While Kim taught PE for 35 years, teaching adapted physical education requires an endorsement, so she is also a student again, taking two classes through Kent State University.
Learning as she goes was a little new for Kim but she said it is coming together, thanks to the support of staff members at the schools where she teaches.
“I was a little nervous at first, like any new job. I think we’re all kind of learning this together.”
In the end, though, she’s enjoying her break from retirement.
“Working with kids is what I missed most.”
Ty Ankrom is superintendent of the Pickaway County Educational Service Center. He can be reached at email@example.com.