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How I Teach: Ashlea Mills

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 a teacher from Down Under who is doing exceptional work in Physical Education:

Name: Ashlea Mills
Where Are You From: Melbourne, Australia
Where Do You Teach: Firbank Girls Grammar School, Junior School
One word that best describes how you teach:
Enthusiastically

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

Twitter would definitely top this list. There is no doubt that Twitter is one of the most powerful tools for professional development and some of the best PD I have access to. I am amazed everyday by what I see members of the #physed community doing in their PE classes, especially in regards to the implementation of technology in PE. I feel very fortunate to be part of such a collaborative online community.

My iPad comes everywhere with me at school and I will often use our Apple TV for PE classes. The Google Drive app is used mostly for organizational tasks including student assessment. I am always taking footage for student portfolios and use iMovie to create videos to share with parents. My students love using Coach’s Eye in PE for video analysis.

What do your #physed classes look like?

Busy, collaborative, differentiated and inquiry-based. Students in my PE classes are almost always active and there is lots of questioning and feedback. Students are often engaged in cooperative group activities or peer teaching. We like to use the iPads for our portfolios or to help us develop a better understanding of our units of inquiry. I have discovered that music is one of the best motivators for girls so there is always music playing during our lessons.

What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?

My unpredictability is what makes me unique as a teacher. I have the tendency to surprise my colleagues and am not afraid to take risks and try new things with my classes. No two lessons are the same and I don’t mind relinquishing control to allow my students to determine the direction of their own learning. I see myself as a facilitator rather than a teacher.

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

“Be yourself and never stop learning. Keep reinventing yourself and seek a range of experiences. Strive for authenticity in every aspect of your teaching practice”. This advice has become what I strive for in my teaching.

Where can people find you online?

Twitter: @ashleamills
Blog: healthybodies-happyminds.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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