Teacher Spotlight: Meet Thomas Uhrig, Otisville Elementary physical education teacher

Teacher spotlight artwork

Thomas UhrigMeet Thomas Uhrig, who teaches physical education at Otisville Elementary School!

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”Mark Twain

My favorite aspect of my job is that I get to do something I enjoy at a place that I love.

I love seeing how students grow and mature from Kindergarten throughout their academic career.  Through coaching sports, I get to see them as young adults when they are in the high school.  As a teacher, I try to instill a love for sports and physical activity.  Sports have shaped my life in so many positive ways and I want my students to have those same opportunities.  Having students in college and beyond come back and still remember some small minute moment that happened in class is what makes this job so special.  The ability to positively affect the lives of my students.

Why do you believe in and support the work of the Minisink Valley School District and what it does for the community?

I have basically spent my entire life here in the Minisink Valley community.  I was born and raised here, went to school here, my best friends and family are all still here.  Straight out of college when I had an opportunity to begin working here, I knew there was no other place that I wanted to be.  For as long as I can remember, the school district and community have always worked hand in hand.

How has this pandemic refocused the work you do every day?

Not being able to interact with all of the students in person on a daily basis has been difficult.  Technology has become both a friend and a foe at times.  I am lucky to have Mrs. Giufre here with me at Otisville.   Having students remote has forced us to adapt and be creative in the ways that we teach.  Our biggest goal is for our students to be active and to be healthy.  We are willing to do whatever we have to in order for that to happen.

What do you want to say directly to the community about the importance of your work?

I would say that I know everything has been difficult and confusing at times.  As teachers, we are trying our best to make everything work and give our students the best possible education during these circumstances.  As a physical education teacher, I try to stress the importance of being active and eating healthy.  Exercising, playing outside, and helping around the house, are all things we can do everyday to make sure we are staying healthy.