Teresa Borelli: Teaching Excellence in Physical Education
by Helena Tsitouras
Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE) has awarded Teresa Borrelli, Phys-Ed teacher at Edgewater Elementary School, the National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical Education at this year’s PHE National Conference in PEI. This award recognizes Canadian teachers who provide outstanding teaching performance at the elementary, middle, or secondary levels, who have an exceptional ability to motivate students to participate in a lifetime of physical activity, and who further Physical Education in Canada.
Teresa’s commitment to her students, school, and community sets her apart. As an active member of APEQ and the LBPSB Elementary Steering committee, she not only contributes to her profession but also plays a key role in the social committee of LBPSB’s physical education initiatives. At Edgewater Elementary, she is committed to creating engaging lessons through innovation and technology. She goes above and beyond to organize intramural sports during students’ lunch hour and particularly enjoys the annual “Power Hour” where every student joins outside to take part in a choreographed dance.
Meaghan Macro, Physical Educational Specialist at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School described her as “a one-of a kind in her field. She is a natural-born leader who constantly thinks of others.” According to Physical Education Consultant Scott Taylor, Teresa’s program stands out due to its diversity and her continuous pursuit of innovation and growth.
Coming from a family of educators, Teresa always aspired to become a teacher. Combining her passion for sports and working with children, she has found fulfillment in her career in education. Her approach to teaching is to promote a lifelong heathy lifestyle for students. “I touch on different aspects of physical education to find something that will intrigue them to be active. They can try different things and find something they’re passionate about.” Explained Teresa.
To encourage her students to stay active year-round, Teresa learned to embrace the winter months regardless of her initial distaste for the cold. She introduced cross-country skiing to Edgewater Elementary School, first by teaching herself then her students. She was faced with an obstacle when one of her students would potentially be left out, due to the need of a wheelchair accessible set of skis. “She is committed to making her Phys-Ed program accessible to all students, including those who are differently abled.” Explained Meaghan. “A very clear example of that is that she found a way to include a student who uses a wheelchair in the cross-country ski program.” By sourcing wheelchair-accessible ski equipment, she ensured that every student could participate in the winter fun without any barriers.
Teresa Borrelli’s exceptional dedication, leadership, and innovative approach to physical education have rightfully earned her the National Award for Teaching Excellence in Physical Education. She continues to give 110% to her students, and her peers. Her strive for innovation and commitment for her students serve as an inspiration to educators across Canada.