My dear friend Marie started her new job today after recently relocating to Wisconsin. What's her new job you ask? She's the new recreation specialist (PE teacher for ease of reference) at a pre-school. Let me explain to you why I'm so excited for her new position...
First, as the mother of a child who what lucky enough to have Miss Marie as her pre-school teacher, I can't even begin to explain what an amazing pre-school teacher she is. Marie has this incredible, natural ability to connect with that age group of kids in a way not many people can. She meets them at their level, respectfully, with such enthusiasm and un-intimidating expectations, that the learning environment she creates is incredibly dynamic. She respects the kids as little people, and they in return respect her as their teacher and friend. It's a hard phenomenon to explain, and one you can't truely appreciate until you've seen it first hand.
Second, as a wellness professional in a time when unhealthy lifestyle habits are resulting in HUGE problems for the health of our nation, I'm so excited that she's using her amazing connection to encourage kids to be active. It's well known that people who where encouraged as kids to be active, and who had positive experiences with both organized and unorganized physical activities, are more likely to live an active lifestyle as an adult. An active lifestyle usually translates into better individual health. And turning around the current state of affairs in relationship to our nation's health is gonna have to start one individual at a time. Marie will provide one of those positive experiences that can help shape a healthier population!
Finally, as her friend, I know she's gonna rock this job like she does everything she puts her mind to in life. While this may be a temporary stop on her road to "bigger things", I hope she realizes how much all the "little" stops she's made on her journey have touched those of us who have been blessed by her presence in our lives.
Love you Marie!