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How I Teach: Alexandra Wells

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. This week’s post is by a great, young teacher that just happens to be one of my best friends.

Name: Alexandra Wells
Where Are You From: Oshawa, Ontario
Where Do You Teach: St. Jude Elementary School
One word that best describes how you teach:
Attentive

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

Unlike a lot of the #pegeeks, I don’t use much technology when I teach because my school does not have iPads/iPhones/iPods available for us teachers to use. However, on my spares, I find myself constantly checking what other physical educators around the world are doing in their classes to enhance my learning and teaching. With the PE community in the palm of my hand (literally, as I hold my phone) I feel I am surrounded by new ideas that I can use in my classroom. Learning what others do only strengthens my PE program and makes me become a better educator. The motivation I get from the PE community is great.

What do your #physed classes look like?

Half of my days are spent team teaching, my grades 1-4, with another wonderful physical educator and the other half is spent alone teaching my Kindergartens, my grade 5s and my grade 6s.
Team teaching or not, you will always see children moving from the second they step into the gymnasium. I believe, in order to achieve the ultimate goal (having students develop lifelong health habits), the number one rule in my gym is to come in with a smile and leave with a smile. I make sure each class starts with a goal and finishes by achieving that specific goal while learning a valuable lesson. In order to achieve this, throughout the 60 minutes, I am constantly engaging with the students, challenging the students to go one step further than normally and continually supplying the students with feedback.

What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?

At the end of almost every unit, I aim for my students to coach their peers in that specific sport. After teaching the students for 4-5 classes the rules, techniques and strategies of the sport, I want them to feel confident enough to coach a team. Letting each student coach, gives me more information than I would ever get only watching them play. While coaching, they reveal the knowledge they have acquired over the last few weeks. Not only do I get see their learnings and understandings, but it also gives them a sense of leadership and competence.

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

Well, this is a very easy question for me to answer! One year ago, while I was on my last field experience, one of the teachers told me something that I will never forget. She said, “You know, we only see these children twice a week for 60 minutes. We can’t make their lives perfect, and we can’t solve all their problems. What we can do, is make sure that for those 60 minutes, they feel loved, wanted and confident. If we can do that, we’ve succeeded.” From that day forward, I’ve gone into every class knowing that my class might be the best part of the children’s day, and it’s my responsibility to make them all feel special.

Where can people find you online?

Twitter@wellsalexandra

LinkedInca.linkedin.com/in/alexandrawellsphysed

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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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