A Bronx physical education teacher didn’t just educate her students about sports and exercise, but taught them character development and how to be good people.
Glo DioDati, who retired four years ago, taught for 37 years, 21 of those at P.S. 14, Senator John D. Calandra School, 3041 Bruckner Boulevard.
In September, she published a book ‘Glo-wings Luke,’ which deals with a young boy learning how to behave and treat people.
In the book, Luke misbehaves and runs into a tree full of butterflies. It is there where the butterflies tell him in order to be a better person he must do three nice things each day.
She used to tell the story to her students and they always enjoyed it. It was only recently that she was able to attach illustrations with it and make a finished product.
“I think mainly it (the story) made them feel good about whom they were,” she said.
While the book came out a few months ago, her passion for sports and teaching began when she grew up in Yonkers.
During her tenure at P.S. 14, she developed programs that encouraged students and staff to think with their heart. She sang songs with the children, did meditation and even made three CDs; ‘Turning the Tide,’ ‘Celebrate Yourself’ and ‘Under the Stars.’
“Two or three years into the job I realized it’s such a perfect platform to teach kids about respecting and loving each other,” she said.
DioDati knew that kids bullied and insulted each other too much and wanted to change that. She noted that often in sports kids were picked on if they were slow or couldn’t catch.
“When that started happening, I realized this is not happening in my gym,” she recalled.
She introduced character education lessons and taught kids to respect each other. DioDati used slogans, such as ‘Think with Your Heart,’ ‘Celebrate Yourself,’ ‘Your Beautiful’ and ‘Change.’
She taught the kids there’s no such thing as failure and that their actions affect everyone, not just themselves.
“When I said think with your heart, you could kind of see their wheels turning,” she remarked.
According to DioDati, one of the most important lessons she taught the youngsters was about self worth. She would look them in the eye and ask who they were and it wasn’t until they truly got to know themselves that they realized they were loved.
She joked how often at parent teacher conferences, moms and dads were astonished to learn how well behaved their kids were in class and at home were the opposite.
DioDati read the book to P.S. 14 and it was a big hit with the kids. In fact, one student said it was one of the he best books she ever heard.
“The fact that they embrace it and you can see that kids want to hear the positive message, it kind of inspires me to keep moving on,” she commented.
To learn more about her go to www.glodi