Recipient: Larry Ney
Number of years teaching: 27
School: United Synagogue Day School and Ner Israel
Grades: JK to Grade 12
Subject: Physical Education
Inspiration/Motivation for being a Teacher of Excellence:
Larry feels very fortunate to teach and loves to see the joy on kids’ faces when they are successful in an activity where they thought they ‘couldn’t do it’. This ‘joy’ motivates him to create situations for success so he spends as much time with his students as possible. This is one reason behind offering “Early Gym” for Jk to Grade 8 students. It gives Larry an extra hour a day to interact with his students and teach them life lessons like getting along, solving conflicts, being inclusive and the value of physical fitness.
Larry wishes that physical activity was more of a priority in schools. He makes sure he does as much as he can to get kids active and models the value of fitness by staying active himself.
Larry describes a good day of teaching as one where he has played and had fun.
Two of Sandra’s children have had Larry as their gym teacher. She wrote:
Mr. Ney is one of the best, most devoted, most important teachers my children have ever had. He is unusually capable to relate to human beings—children and adults alike—as very respectable and important people.
I say, and with admiration, that Mr. Ney always manages to take out the factor of aggressive competition and inequality from the children’s games and has always used gym as a means to teach very important interpersonal values to them. He helps children grow in life and to know what to do in different situations they will have to face.
My children have been going to Mr. Ney’s “Early Gym” classes at 7:30 am. They therefore have had ample opportunity to spend time with Mr. Ney, and always come back home with stories about that early hour, always feeling good about themselves and about what they have done. Mr. Ney treats his students with the utmost respect.