Metro Atlanta teacher ‘stayin alive’ to engage students

ALPHARETTA — Many teachers are going above and beyond to make sure their students are engaged and ready to learn.

Channel 2′s Heather Catlin talked to one Alpharetta teacher who is trying to make sure that not only are his students learning, they’re also having a lot of fun.

Gary Abel teaches physical education at Crabapple Crossing Elementary School. In his virtual P.E. classes, he dons a wig and shows kids it’s all about “stayin' alive” though disco dancing.

“We try to keep things light because we know a lot of families are going through a lot right now,” Abel said. “I’m in it for the kids. You love the kids, you love seeing them, the high fives, the handshakes, the smiles.”

Abel has a big fan in 5th-grader Anna Grace Leigner.

“He makes everything so much fun,” Leigner said. “He makes fun little games and stuff.”

Her mother, Betsy, agrees.

“He likes to make it really silly and I think a lot of the kids really respond to that.”

Leigner said she looks forward to Abel’s daily dose of silly.

“It’s very important because I’m very active and I can’t just sit down all day and look at the computer,” Leigner said.

Abel said he just loves interacting with his kids, and being silly makes it easier.

“When you throw something in like that, that makes it fun, it just keeps everything upbeat,” Abel said.