Following the successful launch of daily fitness breaks in NYC public schools with Exos and Wellness in the Schools, our partnership has expanded to include NYC Public School’s Office of School Wellness Programs (OSWP) with the launch of a first-of-its-kind Coach Council. Building on core elements of our Coach for Kids program, together we developed the first Coaches’ Continuing Education Summit for NYC public school physical education (PE) teachers. On October 6th, 100 PE teachers from all 34 NYC school districts came together to learn from the Coach Council, move together, and inspire each other.
The Coach Council is comprised of notable coaches and wellness programming leaders, including:
- Jason Garrett, NBC Correspondent/Former NFL Player & Coach
- Errol Jones, Wellness in the Schools Senior Program Manager
- Liz McSpedon, NYC Public Schools OSWP Instructional Specialist Liz McSpedon
- Mark Verstegen, Exos’ President & Founder/Elite Training Coach
- Jenna Wolfe, Elite Personal Trainer/TV Journalist
The Coach Council and Exos’ performance coaches inspired NYC PE teachers with resources to take better care of themselves and learn how to empower their fellow teachers and students to do the same, creating a sustainable cycle of well-being for NYC students and educators. Summit workshops incorporated key foundations of mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery with professional learning practices for NYC public schools.
One of the memorable workshops was called Flow & Recovery for the Students & Physical Education Teachers. PE teachers started with one piece of notebook paper. The instructions were to fold the piece of paper in half every time the answer to the question was false. The presenter went on to ask several questions, like: “I fiercely protect my sleep and get an average of 7.5 or more hours each night. I prioritize natural light exposure every day. I have a regular stillness practice in which I focus on being present away from technology and distractions.”
After about 10 questions, there were several gasps heard throughout the crowd as the pieces of paper kept getting smaller. It was an eye-opener for the importance of prioritizing your well-being.
The electric day included remarks by Flavia Puello-Perdomo, Chief of NYC Schools for Community Supports and Wellness, who remarked on the power of this gathering; Jason Garrett, who emphasized the importance of believing in students; and a panel among the Coach Council members moderated by the wonderful Jenna Wolfe.
This event was the first in-person professional development for these NYC PE teachers since the pandemic, so the enthusiasm of the in-person team bonding was grand. As Liz McSpedon remarked, “Thank you for providing an unforgettable experience for all of our teachers and coaches! The event rekindled the why of what we do as Physical Education teachers.”
The teachers all felt empowered as ambassadors to share what they’ve learned with their colleagues and increase wellness activities in daily school programming, including the recently launched Exos x WITS daily fitness breaks. The overarching message was one of support — supporting these physical activity role models to be their best as they teach, coach, and inspire all NYC students toward healthy habits.