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How I Teach: Steven Killeen

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 comes from a British teacher currently teaching in Ontario, Canada:

Name: Steven Killeen
Where Are You From: Liverpool, England
Where Do You Teach: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
One word that best describes how you teach:
Gritty

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

I would have to say Twitter has been a huge influence with regards to building my Professional Learning Network, and from there I have discovered so many new ideas, apps, and resources that have stretched my thinking. Although I stand on the sidelines a little right now, it is great to feel part of a bigger Phys Ed community!

My iPad has become an essential assessment tool. I use Numbers for a variety of success criteria, FMS checklists and rubrics, and general tracking. I also collect a lot of evidence using Evernote (Penultimate and Skitch too), and Coaches Eye for video.

My projector is important in my gym. I do a lot of morning ‘Daily Physical Activities’ and warm-ups at the start of class using apps like 7 Minute Workout, Fit Deck +, and Zumba Dance, and I also connect to YouTube to do some Just Dance. The projector is great in my teaching to show examples and also to give students video feedback of their progress.

Finally, I could not live without my ‘Learning Boards’ and peer/self assessment charts. I use a variety of white boards around the gym to work on success criteria, set goals, provide visual cues, give instructions, and allow students to track and reflect on their own learning.

What do your #physed classes look like?

High tempo and fun. I see my classes for 40 minutes twice a week, so there is no time to waste! Students change and get straight down to a ‘chalkboard challenge’ I have set them, which is designed to introduce some of the big ideas of the lesson and allows me to step back and watch them problem-solve. I give my students lot of opportunities to develop physical literacy regardless of the topic, I find the better they move the more confidence they gain. I enjoy teaching the TGfU model so that my students are really engaged in the activities and can learn a variety of transferable skills and strategies. Above all, you will see my students moving, laughing, and having fun together…once we have that the learning is the easy part!

What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?

That I don’t know all the answers! I think when you show you students that you make mistakes and that you are still learning, then they are more keen to take risks. They don’t feel afraid to fail at something but will show grit and perseverance to keep going. I believe life lessons can be taught in a powerful way through sport and physical activity. I don’t think I am unique in this thinking (guess I didn’t answer the question!) as so many Phys Ed teachers are fantastic at developing these important living skills.

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

Not to take yourself too serious. As educators we have one of the most important jobs in the world, but I have found that teaching with humour and humility keeps me sane and keeps life in perspective.

Where can people find you online?

Twitter: @killeenio
Blog: thehpeblog.edublogs.org/
Blog’s Twitter: @TheHPEBlog
Youtube: youtube.com/user/thehpeblog
Pinterest: pinterest.com/thehpeblog

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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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