It was always a given that Forestbrook Middle School’s teacher of the year, Meredith Moore, would be a teacher.
Her mother, grandmother, grandfather, several aunts and several cousins have been teachers. That, and her passion for exercise and sports made it an easy choice to teach physical education and health.
Moore went to work with her mother sometimes and helped, whether it was grading papers or cleaning up the classroom.
“I knew at an early age that I had a passion for being around kids and helping them,” she says, adding, “I knew I wanted something movement-wise and that drew my attention to physical education.
“I’ve always had a passion for learning about sports and I always wanted to share that passion for overall health and how our bodies work with the students.”
At FMS for all five years of her career, she teaches the sixth, seventh and eighth graders, and she teaches virtual archery and coaches in-person girls basketball.
“We’re in the midst of our season and we practice every day and play games twice a week. It’s nice to give them something to look forward to after school, especially in the midst of this pandemic,” she says about basketball.
Sometimes the changes middle schoolers go through impact what the kids want to do in physical education, Moore says.
“It’s a slow growth at the middle school age, and that’s awesome, but sometimes, something doesn’t seem cool. So, I try to make it as fun and as engaging as possible within the gym so they don’t feel like they’ll be teased.”
Those students who already are involved in a sport generally want to learn more about it. And, when the students learn about exercise and fitness, “that’s when they realize it might improve their strength and help them throw a football a little further and a little faster.
“That makes them want to learn even more about it,” she says.
Middle school students bring their issues to school, the teacher says, and a lot of those issues have to do with social media.
“Whether it’s through their personal social media account, or things they see on social media, things that occur on social media sometimes distract them and that carries over into their school life.
“At this age and then in high school, they all have cell phones glued to their heads.”
Moore said when the students stop her in the hallway to talk about their weekend or a game they played, “I enjoy being that person who’s in their corner for them.”
Moore, who is single and lives in North Myrtle Beach, is outside as much as possible.
Whether it’s at the beach or reading a book, if she can go outdoors, that’s where Moore will be.
Being what she calls "a fitness junkie," kayaking is a favorite sport, and being with family and friends is always preferred, especially outdoors.
Moore says she never thought she’d be teaching physical education virtually, “but we accepted it, persevered through, modified our lessons and figured it out.”
If she were giving advice to a brand-new teacher, Moore would say, “continue to reflect. If something doesn’t go right, reflect on that always, be open to change and learn constantly.”‘