St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, located in the Palisades section of northwest Washington, D.C., is a parish day school enrolling more than 500 students on two campuses. The program begins at the three-year-old Nursery level and continues through Grade 8. St. Patrick’s students, whose families live throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, go on to a variety of fine independent schools upon graduation.
The Physical Education and Athletics Department currently consists of four full-time teachers who serve all grade levels at St. Patrick’s, Nursery through Grade 8. Together, the members of the Physical Education and Athletics Department develop, organize, and implement a physical education program that includes instruction, challenges, and games that promote physical activity, a love of and respect for physical movement and fitness, and a healthy lifestyle among children and adolescents. There is a continual emphasis on individual effort, team cooperation, and social awareness. Within this environment, we seek to help our students establish skills, patterns, and habits that allow each individual to have a physically active and enjoyable lifestyle. Nursery School and Lower School (Kindergarten to Grade 3) physical education focuses on five major areas: Body awareness, spatial awareness, locomotion skills, manipulative skills, and social interaction. While the Upper School (Grades 4 through 6) also develops these areas of concentration and often uses similar, yet more advanced, movements, older students also take part in more formalized games and other activities that develop cardiovascular fitness, strength, and flexibility.
In Grades 3 and 4, St. Patrick’s begins to offer after-school developmental sports and, in Grade 5, interscholastic sports. Rather than take a physical education class during the school day, students in Grades 7 and 8 participate in required athletics or conditioning at the end of the academic day. Current sports include soccer and cross country (fall), basketball (winter), and lacrosse and track and field (spring). The members of the department—working with the Heads of the Nursery School, Lower School, and/or Upper School, as needed—determine which teachers will conduct physical education classes for which grade levels or class sections.
St. Patrick’s has one full-size gymnasium (the Gymnasium and Performance Center), one small gymnasium for early childhood use (the Mini-Gym), and two playing fields. One of those fields, a full-size turf soccer/lacrosse field, is on the nearby Foxhall Campus, a short walk from the main Whitehaven Campus. These facilities serve students from Nursery School to Grade 8 in both the physical education program and the Upper School developmental and interscholastic sports programs. Three playgrounds also provide settings for physical activity for Whitehaven Campus students during the day.
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
Like his/her colleagues within and beyond the department, the Physical Education Teacher/Coach is responsible for designing and implementing a curriculum that is consistent with the Day School Mission Statement; builds on an ever-growing knowledge of how children learn best; and reflects children’s developmental abilities, needs, styles, and interests. The curriculum should be individualized as much as possible to develop and extend the unique strengths of each child while, at the same time, supporting the needs of each child. St. Patrick’s encourages creativity and innovation in both curriculum and instruction and supports a teacher’s initiatives in broadening and expanding the existing areas of study or instructional methods at a grade level. All teachers are encouraged and expected to stay abreast of current trends and research in education and to apply appropriate strategies and techniques to meet the diverse needs of their students.
The Physical Education Teacher/Coach is responsible—perhaps collaboratively, if two teachers share a particular class or grade level—for selecting and planning the content of each class that s/he teaches and adjusting the curriculum to children of varying physical abilities and inclinations. The Physical Education Teacher/Coach collaborates with colleagues within and beyond the Physical Education and Athletics Department to develop a curriculum appropriate to the developmental phases of the students s/he teaches. In order to promote curriculum integration and share information about the students in class, s/he establishes strong relationships with other special teachers and with the homeroom teachers who work with the children s/he teaches. S/he participates in faculty meetings and is evaluated by either the Head of Lower School or the Assistant Head of School/Head of Upper School.
The Physical Education Teacher/Coach also coaches after school during at least two of the three athletic seasons (fall, winter, spring) and assumes a coordinator’s role in one of those seasons. As a seasonal coordinator, s/he works closely with the Athletic Director in planning, scheduling, and staffing practices, games, and other team activities. Additional duties are assigned to the Physical Education Teacher/Coach, primarily involving scheduled times of supervision and coverage in carpools. All teachers must arrive by 7:45 a.m. in order to prepare classroom activities and materials and confer with colleagues.
The Physical Education Teacher/Coach must have strong speaking and listening skills. Beyond being knowledgeable about physical development and education, s/he must be able to communicate and demonstrate her/his knowledge clearly and effectively. Further, s/he must create a positive atmosphere of support and safety that encourages students to attempt new skills. The Physical Education Teacher/Coach must maintain accurate observations of students and assess each student’s progress within the program.
A successful candidate for the position of Physical Education Teacher/Coach will demonstrate:
a passion for, love of, and depth of knowledge about health and physical development;
three to five years of successful teaching experience in the field of physical education, in a school or comparable setting;
a knowledge of the rules and competence in the skills of a range of sports and proficiency in a range of games that engage students physically;
a strong sense of collegiality and ability to work with a large and varied group of constituents (students, faculty, administrators, and parents);
attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) in an applicable field;
highly effective organizational skills, including a significant detail-orientation;
the ability to express ideas effectively both verbally and in writing;
successful completion of the required background check.
Candidates for the position of Physical Education Teacher/Coach should mail or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) a cover letter, resume, and list of names and telephone numbers of at least three professional references to Dan Spector, Assistant Head of School/Head of Upper School, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, 4700 Whitehaven Parkway, NW, Washington, D.C., 20007.
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School is an independent, coeducational, parish day school located in the Palisades section of Northwest Washington, D.C., serving more than 500 students from three-year-old Nursery through Grade 8. For 60 years, St. Patrick's has been providing a vibrant, challenging coeducational school environment that balances tradition and innovation in an educational program that ...emphasizes the acquisition of essential skills, integration of disciplines, and active learning. It seeks to educate young people who will grow in intellectual and academic strength, personal integrity, openness to change, commitment to service, and confident and ethical involvement in the world. St. Patrick's students, whose families live throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, go on to a variety of fine schools - including local independent day schools, boarding schools largely in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions and, less frequently, public schools - upon graduation.
Campuses include the Whitehaven Campus, home to Nursery through Grade 6 and Grades 7 and 8 math and science, and the MacArthur Campus, the traditional home to Grades 7 and 8. St. Patrick's also has a regulation athletic field and stadium complex on the Foxhall Campus, located a short walk from the main Whitehaven Campus. There are three divisions: Nursery School (Nursery and PK), Lower School (Kindergarten to Grade 3), and Upper School (Grades 4 through 8).