Teacher of the Month: McFarland teaching, coaching about life – hays Post

Posted: January 29, 2021 at 7:54 pm


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Rose McFarland, Thomas More Prep-Marian coach and teacher, is January's Hays Post Teacher of the Month.

By CRISTINA JANNEYHays Post

Rose McFarland, a Thomas More Prep-Marian teacher and coach, said trophies, winning seasons and championships are not what have been the highlights of her career.

McFarland, 59, who has been a coach and teacher for 25 years, said the relationships she has built with her students and peers have been the most treasured aspect of her years in education and athletics.

She has taught all levels from kindergarten through college.

"When you see some of those kids who you have taught in the past go out into the world and find careers and find families, to me, that's very rewarding," she said. "It's about life. Hopefully, you are teaching some life lessons. Things aren't always easy. Sometimes there are challenges, but when things get tough, you have all those people around you to support you.

"I have been through that in my life. A lot of people stepped up and gave me support, and that is probably what I appreciate most."

Many of her current junior high students may not know, but McFarland faced a life-and-death challenge when she began teaching at TMP.

McFarland was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she went through treatment and was given a clean bill of health.

Shortly after coming to coach and teach health and PE at TMP nine years ago, McFarland's cancer reoccurred.

She underwent surgery, chemo and radiation.

Melissa Schoepf, TMP math teacher, said in her nomination for the Hays Post Teacher of the Month, McFarland overcame her cancer diagnosis, all while maintaining a positive attitude.

"She has inspired our students, faculty and staff to never give up and keep pushing through,"Schoepf said. "She rarely missed a day in the classroom or on the basketball court while undergoing chemotherapy, which demonstrates her dedication to her students and her mental toughness."

McFarland said coming to school was motivating during her treatment.

"It got me up in the morning. I had a lot of support, and that helped me a lot," she said. "People were very supportive here. People I've coached in the past and taught with in the past and family were very supportive."

She said she could remember coaching games, coming back to her office, laying down on her coach and not having the energy to get back up.

"It wasn't easy, but I did it, and got through there, and in another year, it came back again," she said.

She appreciated the school allowing her to continue to teach. Her doctor said he was amazed she was back in school.

"I think it is how you see things and just being positive," she said. "I had a lot of positivity around me. My faith helped carry me through. I am just happy for every day I am here."

She said she knows others have greater challenges, and she tries not to focus on herself or her challenges.

When she first was diagnosed with cancer, McFarland was substitute teaching and coaching her young son's basketball team. McFarland lost her hair during treatment, so all of the boys on her team shaved their heads.

"I am sure they learned to have more courage," she said. "They did that for me.

"Those kids I coached, those kids I taught, they got to see that I wasn't going to give up, and you get through those challenges and move on."

People were so generous and kind to her that it was difficult, she said, because she had to swallow her pride and learn to accept the help.

"I think sometimes it helps those people who do things for you," she said. "It helps them as much as it probably helped me."

Her faith and being a part of the religious community at TMP was important to her as she struggled with the cancer and still today.

"We can talk about our religion. We can talk about our faith. We can share our faith. We can talk about Jesus," McFarland said. "That's why I'm here. I am allowed to do that and share with others."

Schoepf, who nominated McFarland for Teacher of the Month, said as a physical education/health teacher, McFarland continually provides fun, engaging, active lessons to her students and works with helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

One activity she is very passionate about is the school's annual health fair, during which her students plan and present on current health issues.

McFarland has always put value on physical and health education. She started the physical education program at St. Joseph Elementary School in Hays, and also kicked off the program at TMP, when the junior high was added there.

"A lot of people think its just activities or fitness, but there is so much more," she said. "There is so much social/emotional wellness. You learn leadership skills. You learn teamwork. You learn sportsmanship. You learn how to stay fit, plus they have fun.

"It is a good break from academia over there. They can come and release and learn how to get along with others."

She said it is not just playing games.

"It's skills for a lifetime. Our health is so valuable. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don't have your health, what good is it?" McFarland said.

She said she tries to reach those students who don't like PE.

"If we can find that one activity to reach them, I think that is very important if we can get them to think they want to do it for a lifetime."

As a coach some of her best memories have not been the winning seasons, but the teams who were able to grow.

"Sometimes those challenging years are the funnest," she said. ... "Just seeing the growth when they finally do something, you are like 'Aha, they finally got it.' "

She wants to do her best for her athletes and for them to do the best they can for themselves. McFarland said she is very competitive, which lead to many sleepless nights, going over games in her head.

She said in the end, it's about teaching her students and athletes about life.

"I like sharing what I have experienced," she said, "the values of the things I learned in my past. It's not for the money.

"I think it is important to have good role models and leaders and instill a passion for whatever they want to do in life."

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Teacher of the Month: McFarland teaching, coaching about life - hays Post

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January 29th, 2021 at 7:54 pm

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