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Warrior Wellness: An inside look at Willowbrook’s Leadership Training class

Pictured is Mike Haussmann, Willowbrook Department Head for physical education, health and driver education.

Willowbrook students are working hard every day to become more educated with their health and wellness, and we are thrilled to showcase those accomplishments through this monthly column.

In this edition, we are proud to highlight one of our most dynamic physical education (PE) classes at Willowbrook – Leadership Training.

Leadership Training is one of the few full-year PE classes at Willowbrook and is offered to juniors only. Students are enrolled in this course based on recommendations from their past PE teachers for being highly motivated, supporting others and demonstrating leadership potential. The goal of Leadership Training is to prepare students to spend their senior year as PE Leaders.

Selected students spend first semester of their junior year learning the freshmen and sophomore curriculum from the perspective of the teacher and a senior leader. They are taught a variety of activities and how to help the teacher implement the curriculum. Leaders assist with fitness testing and a class warm-up and help underclassmen navigate the transition to high school.

Second semester is when the real fun begins! Leadership Training students engage in teambuilding activities and cooperative games and begin teaching lessons. They are required to develop and implement one-day lessons of their choice to the class. At the end of each lesson, the class is brought together to provide constructive feedback. This is an awesome experience, as it encourages students to step out of their comfort zone and be in charge of the class. It also allows them to become familiar with a variety of lessons and develop a constructively critical eye for what skills are needed to successfully lead their peers.

Students also are responsible for developing small-group fitness lessons, where they lead groups for five minutes at a time in fitness activities (pictured below, middle and right photos). They use heartrate monitors that show each student’s effort level while exercising (pictured below, left photo).

I recently asked students in Leadership Training to complete a Flipgrid describing why they like the class, as well as what they would like to see more of moving forward. Below are two of the excellent submissions I received. Click the images to view the videos.

Amina Mohiuddin:

Aidan Alandy:

As you can see, we keep this class fun, and the kids create a great atmosphere. It’s truly a joy to be able to teach this class, and it’s a highlight of my day.

Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next month!

Willowbrook High School
1250 S. Ardmore Avenue Villa Park, IL 60181
Phone: 630-530-3400 Fax: 630-530-3401
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