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How I Teach: Andy Vasily

The more I teach, the more I realize how lucky I am to be a part of the #physed community. Every day, I find myself being inspired and wowed by this group of amazing teachers from around the world. That’s why I’ve decided to take a second each week and highlight one of these incredible educators. That being said, here is this week’s How I Teach post.

Name: Andy Vasily
Where Are You From: Windsor, Ontario
Where Do You Teach: Nanjing International School of China
One word that best describes how you teach:
Differentiated

What apps/tools/resources can’t you live without?

Well, I must admit that I am still in the process of researching age appropriate apps and how to better integrate technology in the classroom, but being from a Mac school, I couldn’t possibly survive without my MacBook, iPhoto, iMovie, Twitter, bitly etc. Much of what I do depends on my ability to video my students in action and to share these videos with other practitioners on my blog. As well, I use videos of my students as an instructional tool for their peers in other classes that I teach. It works great and I couldn’t possibly do it without the simplicity of iMovie. It has been great to follow the work of Joey Feith and Jarrod Robinson and apply some of what they do in my own PE program.

What do your #physed classes look like?

I think that anybody observing my classes would say that there is a lot of inquiry in action. Although the well-rounded development of skills are essential in my program, what is more important to me is that my learners are completely engaged in thinking their way through tasks and sharing this thinking with their peers. An observer would see lots of maths integration, problem-solving, goal-setting and reflection taking place in my classes on a regular basis. However, the most important point is that I do keep kids active as possible in the allotted time that I have with them each week.

What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?

I think that the most unique thing about my teaching is the ‘Sportfolio’. I created it about 8 years ago while teaching in Hiroshima, Japan. The ‘Sportfolio’ is a PE type journal in which I file away self and peer assessment, reflection, photos of the students in action, and PE awards. In order to differentiate, I allow students multiple ways to show their understanding of the big ideas/concepts in our units and keeping a ‘Sporfolio’ allows me to do just this.

What’s the best teaching advice you’ve ever received?

The absolute best advice that I have ever received was from my mentor teacher, Dr. Vern Stenlund, back at the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor. During the first week of classes he said to us that the only thing he wants us to remember once we start teaching PE is ‘to never hand out or let the kids touch the equipment before you explain the rules/expectations of a game or activity’. He made a big joke of it and it seems very simple, but what good advice it is!!!

Where can people find you online?

You can find me on Twitter: @andyvasily

or by going to my website/blog at www.pyppewithandy.com

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Joey Feith is the founder of ThePhysicalEducator.com. He currently teaches elementary physical education at St. George’s School of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

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