Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Lawrence elementary teacher delivers early-morning message

April 2, 2003

A physical education teacher from Lawrence delivered an inspirational message early last Wednesday morning during the annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast.

Jeff McAdoo, who won the coveted Milken Award three years ago, believes his job is the most important at Quail Run School.

"I believe it can be the most powerful position in the whole school," he said during the 6:30 a.m. breakfast at Tonganoxie Assembly of God Church.

And because children are eager to participate in physical education, he said, "with that motivation I can work on tons of life skills."

He took the 60 or so Tonganoxie area residents through a mental exercise, illustrating how he emphasizes with his students that physical education class is all about learning.

"Kids think physical education is a fun place," he said.

And it is, he admitted.

But it's more. His students know "to learn" is the answer to McAdoo's frequently posed question: Why are we here?

"It's just a mission statement," he told the group at the gathering sponsored by the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce. "A lot of times, those mission statements end up being fancy words up on the wall or on your stationery."

He said he encourages his students to try increasingly difficult tasks, whether it's shooting baskets or reading books. He encourages them to overload their muscles and overload their minds.

"The kids know that if they fail, they're trying difficult things," he said. "I tell the kids our state motto is 'overload.' It's one of those simple things. It just works. It just works."

McAdoo, who was baptized as a Christian eight years ago, believes the answer to why we are here is in a book: "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth."

"You probably know it by its acronym," he said, drawing laughter and nods from his audience.

McAdoo believes God made him to be a husband, a father and a physical education teacher.

"If you've found what God made you for, I hope you have fun," he said.

And he urged those gathered to think and act.

"Think about what you can do to become significant in the lives of other people," McAdoo said. ''... Try being an encourager. Encourage those around you to be the best they can be."

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