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Chicago PE Teacher Enjoys Every Level Of The School System

Melissa Pekar is an elementary physical education teacher in Elgin School District. Pekar has been teaching for eight years and has taught PE at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She states that people always ask her which is her favorite level, and she honestly cannot pick one because each level is unique and fun in its own way.

(Photo Courtesy of Melissa Pekar)

Currently, Pekar teaches students in grades 1-6; she focuses on gross motor skills, team building, fitness and sportsmanship. This year, she will also be incorporating nutrition into the curriculum.

Pekar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from Western Illinois University and a Master of Education degree in school leadership from Concordia University.

Pekar explains the responsibilities of her role as a physical education teacher and also shares details about the pure joy she experiences while working with children everyday.

What are the scope and responsibilities of your current role?

"In my current position, I am the sole PE teacher for our school (grades 1-6) and I also play a large role in our school's behavior intervention team. I got involved in the intervention team because as a PE teacher I get to know all of the students in the school, and on a different level than the classroom teachers do. Many students who struggle with behavior in their classroom do fantastic in a dynamic environment like PE."

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

"I love seeing my kids everyday. I really love to get to know my students as individuals, and then tailor my lessons to instill a love of physical activity and health in them!"

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

"It did! I had a fantastic education at Western Illinois University. Of course, education is a field that is constantly evolving, so like most teachers, I am constantly learning and applying that knowledge to my practice."

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

"It is the best job in the entire world. Just make sure to bring a lot of energy, a lot of patience and a lot of love."

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of and Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on

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