How I Teach: Charla Tedder Parker

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 great educator from North Carolina who I got to meet at the 2013 National PE Institute who just so happens to be a 2013 National Teacher of the Year!

Name: Charla Tedder Parker
Where Are You From: Fairmont, NC
Where Do You Teach: Fuquay-Varina High School
One word that best describes how you teach:

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

Tabata Pro, Connected PE, and Team Shake.

What do your #physed classes look like?

My physical education classes look like students are responsible for their own learning through a teaching model I use. The elements of this model Sport Education include a training camp (skills), officiating clinic, pre-season, regular season competition consisting of small-sided games, a tournament and a celebration. Student’s participation is enhanced because they are actively engaged in their own learning as they select their role within the context of a team. Each student has a role on his /her team(captain, co-captain, coach, ,manager, exercise specialist, publicist or sports council) All students learn responsibility by performing their duties; these increase social skills as teams work together toward common goals in initiative activities and developing successful offences. This model has helped with discipline and skill development.

What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?

My program stems from student interest. If students enjoy what they are doing they are more likely to continue it for a lifetime. Students are allowed to plan the semester based on the interest of the class. My enthusiasm and rapport I have with my students’ are the biggest attributes that encourage my student’s participation in physical activity. Through my examples students understand that physical education is a genuine source of enjoyment that is rewarding. I provide humour throughout my lessons that relaxes my students in a learning environment . I provide positive experiences in my classes that encourage students to be successful and enjoy physical activity. The experiences my students have in my physical education class will have lasting effects that shape the attitudes toward themselves and toward future physical education classes and physical activity in general. Students enjoy working together and being creative while designing their own drills, developing offenses and making warm-ups to music. Always a fun, safe and caring atmosphere.

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

That every class I teach has a different personality and therefore needs to be taught with a different technique. Never stop learning and you will always stay interested in education. Attend state conferences and summer leadership trainings to stay up to date with your state standards and different teaching styles. One college professor told me to have confidence in myself and that it would take me far. I developed my own saying from an anonymous quote: “Love what you do and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Where can people find you online?

Twitter: @CharlaParker

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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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