How I Teach: Naomi Hartl

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 from yet another awesome Canadian teacher who is bringing a whole lot of energy to the #physed community:

Name: Naomi Hartl
Where Are You From: Lake Lenore, Saskatchewan, Canada
Where Do You Teach: Star City School, Saskatchewan, Canada
One word that best describes how you teach:

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

Music Workout App, Tango Remote, Vine, Coaches Eye, i-nigma, and Google Drive.

Resources that I would recommend for EVERYONE to check out!
Twitter,,,,,, and #pechat.

Tools I use that are a must!
QR Codes, Airserver, MacBook Pro, Projector, iPhone, iPad , iPod.

What do your #physed classes look like?

Over the summer I have had time to reflect upon how I teach and re-assess what my classroom learning environment looked like the past two years. I have had the opportunity to participate in many discussions with PE teachers from around the globe through twitter and google hangouts. My #PEPLC group and I have begun to dive into the topics of assessment, innovation and technology (if you do not know what #PEPLC is please check out the website I am really excited for where these discussions will go and how it will shape me as a teacher and improve my teaching practice.

I know the question asks what do your PE classes look like, but since it is the start of a new school year I would like to tell you what they are going to look like. Tweet me in a few months and ask me if I have stuck to this plan! Hold me accountable! 🙂

In my small school and community split classes are necessary due to staff numbers. So this year I will teach Phys.Ed to grades 3-12 (3/4, 5/6, 7/8/9, 10-12). There is always so much to think about and plan for, but I love it!

I have my students for an hour every other day this year and I want them to be active for as much time as possible. It is very important to take time during class to reflect, so I am going to spend a maximum of 10 minutes each class for any written reflection, self/peer assessment or sportfolio work from students. When you walk into my gym you will see the big idea, outcome and lesson objectives up on the white board along with the warm-up and a 7 minute circuit activity. Music is a huge part of my classes so I always make sure to have some of the latest songs (clean versions with great messages) and some classic ones too. With my elementary students I throw in free dance at the end of our warm-up where we just dance however we want for 2 minutes. I am getting really good at the sprinkler!

I try to seamlessly infuse tech into the lesson with students working with personal devices, netbooks, computers, ipads and ipad minis. They use these devices to analyze video and stats, reflect on their learning through sportfolios, and measure progress of smart goals and fitness appraisals. They are tools that I use to enhance learning and extend my students reflection. I also want to focus on using TGfU to drive my teaching. I love the idea of layering the lesson and it’s my goal to do this with my students.

I strongly believe in teaching my students sportsmanship and the right to fair play. We high five or elbow bump each other after each activity and cheer “1.2.3 FALCONS!” at the end of each class together. This is one of my favourite parts!

What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?

This is a hard one to answer. The infusion of technology helps enhance my students learning and enrich their understanding. This year I am piloting the ‘sportfolio’ with my 7/8/9 PE class to achieve self-reflection/assessment and show data and evidence of learning. I am really excited to see where it will take my students in their PE journey.

I want to instill in my students a love for physical activity and drive for wellness. I want my students to challenge themselves, and push out of their comfort zone! I came across this tweet the other day and absolutely loved it!

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Lee Schaefer (@Schaef9)

No truer words can be spoken. Challenge yourself, push the limits and go for it! Your students are worth it and so are you!

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

As I said earlier above, I have had the opportunity to participate in many discussions with PE teachers from around the globe. Everyone has been so encouraging and I learn from each and every person I connect with. I try to soak up as much information as I can.

Here is some of the advice and support my PLN expresses everyday,

Live your passion and dream to the fullest; you are amazing and your opinion matters. You can make a difference. Do not be afraid to speak up and share because in the end it benefits our kids and this is what matters most.

As Matt Pomeroy always says, when we work together #KidsAlwaysWin!

Where can people find you online?

Twitter: @MissHartl
Google Plus: +NaomiHartl


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

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