Isabella Ellis

Get to know Isabella

  • Major: Kinesiology and health – physical education teacher education option
  • Class: Sophomore
  • Hometown: Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Career goal: Elementary education physical education teacher or coach
  • Clubs/activities: Physical Education Club, Kinesiology Transfer  Learning Community Peer Mentor
  • Awards/honors: Dean’s List
  • Favorite place on campus: Lagomarcino courtyard
  • Most influential ISU mentor(s): Jenny Smith and Jenny Gibbs
  • Favorite class: Swim and Gym, KIN 282
  • Why Iowa State: Dad attended Iowa State, beautiful campus

Isabella Ellis develops physical education skills with hands-on coursework

After being physically active her whole life, Izzy wanted to learn more about the human body, and declared a major in kinesiology and health at Iowa State University. Her decision to specialize in physical education came from a personal experience.

“After nannying for one family, I really knew I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “I love working with kids; I think they keep life interesting and will help make each day exciting and new.”

Now, Izzy is working toward her kinesiology and health degree with an emphasis on physical education. Izzy said her favorite component of her major is the hands-on coursework that physical education students are required to take.

“Physical education students start practicum during their first year,” she said. “They want you to work with kids right away so you can make sure you’re in the right place.”

Another interactive component of the coursework for physical education students is Swim and Gym, KIN 282. Izzy said this class helped strengthen her skills as a teacher and leader.

“Kids from ages 5 through 12 come to the Forker Building for an hour twice per week, and the physical education students actually run lessons,” she said. “Swim and Gym really helped me feel more confident and comfortable when teaching kids.”

In addition to diving into her hands-on coursework, Izzy decided to round out her physical education experience with a minor in exercise science and a certification in health education.

“The health certification is only six extra classes, and with the exercise science minor, you get more classes that you wouldn’t get otherwise,” she said.

For students who love working with kids and want to pursue a career in physical education, Izzy highly recommends making the most of the classes that the Department of Kinesiology offers.

“It’s OK to mess up,” Izzy said. “Physical education classes are a place where you can learn.”

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