Physical Education in Burlingame

Bodie Dressler, Credentialed PE Teacher

Bodie Dressler photo

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with one of the Burlingame School District’s Physical Education teacher, Bodey Dressler, aka “Mr. D”. What was apparent from the start is that he is a huge proponent of a healthy lifestyle for our kids and that there is something special about the Burlingame Community that contributes to the passion he has for his job.

When asked why he commutes all the way from Dublin every day, even with a new daughter at home, Mr. D didn’t even hesitate. “There are plenty of other PE jobs… but the support of the teachers, the district, the parents, and BCE is incredibly unique. For example on field days, parents email to ask if they can help! That just doesn’t happen elsewhere.”

Mr. D came to this profession naturally as the son of two PE teachers and himself a collegiate athlete. This combined with his passion for working with children and his education in Kinesiology simply make the job a natural fit.

Mr. D joked when asked about the perception of the difficulty of teaching PE saying, “It’s interesting because many peer teachers and parents many times think that when you teach PE ‘Oh, you just play games with kids each day.’ However, we do a teacher swap day each year and the other teachers who get PE are surprised at how hard it is to teach PE. You simply have to love PE to do it!” He went on to add that it’s truly about helping kids understand that physical fitness and eating right can have many positive ripple effects. Not the least of which is the much-documented research showing the direct effect of academic achievement being tied to a healthy lifestyle.

Mr. D is a “credentialed PE teacher” which means he took required courses that the State of CA deems necessary to not just teach, but to specialize in PE. He has also taken his education further and is certified in Adapted PE (APE), which allows him to work with students with special needs. What many may not realize is that in fact not all school districts have credentialed PE instructors due to budget constraints. Thankfully, our school district values having this specialized credential for all BSD students. Thanks to our generous donors, BCE Foundation’s grant helps fund credentialed physical education instruction.

When asked about what he’d like parents to know about their kids’ PE skills, Mr. D suggested that a kids’ attitude towards PE directly stems from home. He noted that the more parents can do to keep their kids in regular physical activities, eating healthy foods, and paying attending to healthy sleep habits, the better overall students they will be AND the better attitude they will have towards PE. He’d also ask that part of this is encouraging them on days they have PE to have the proper clothes and shoes so they can fully participate and truly enjoy the activities.

Mr. D’s goal is for kids to look at exercise and health as FUN! And that it can be easily incorporated into any lifestyle. He even joked that “even though I’m a football player, I can still have fun dancing around even though that’s just not my thing.”
–Christine Ardito, Washington School parent