How I Teach: #SPEA2014

Next week, I’ll have the amazing opportunity to keynote the Saskatchewan Physical Education Association’s (SPEA) 2014 Annual Conference in Saskatoon. Having been involved with professional associations for almost seven years now, I know how much hard work and dedication goes into hosting an annual conference. To celebrate the incredible work SPEA has done (just wait until you see what they have in store!), I thought it would be cool to invite their executive members, most of which are full-time physical educators, to share how they teach. I hope you enjoy what they had to say and be sure to connect with SPEA on Twitter/follow the #SPEA2014 hashtag next week to enjoy the conference from wherever you may be!

Name: Saskatchewan Physical Education Association
Where Are You From: Saskatchewan
Where Do You Teach: Throughout our great province!
Words that best describes how you teach: Organized, Student-Centred, Purposefully, Collaboratively, Engaging, Dedicated, and Innovative

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

“Current favourites are pedometers, heart rate monitors, Twitter, Google Forms, YouTube, rare use of QR Codes, along with a network of amazing professionals within the Saskatachewan Physical Education Association (SPEA).
Jennifer Foley (@livethroughme77)
SPEA Role: Journal Editor
Shaunavon High School

“Twitter – full of great ideas.”
Dan Manning (@mandanning12)
SPEA Role: Advocacy
Assiniboia Park Elementary School

“Certainly could not live without my mac and my video editing software. From a teacher perspective I find Coaches Eye to be very valuable.”
Brian Lewis (@gymovers)
SPEA Role: PHE Canada Representative

What do your #physed classes look like?

“I teach grade 1-8 #physed and I strive to create classes that are inspiring, fun, organized, flexible, challenging, and engaging. My classes become active as soon as they enter the gym. To start their warm up my students look at the white board to find their cardiovascular, strength and flexibility exercises and begin immediately. Following their warm up students know to start their ‘daily challenge’ activity to work on until others are done their warm up. If you walk into my class at any given time you will likely hear music pumping and you may see my students participating in a small sided game that is focussed on developing the selected skills for that lesson, working on their fitness in a circuit or game, or sharing their strategies or feedback in a class discussion. Students often respond to the question, ‘What can we do to make this activity better?’ and shape the direction of the activities we are participating in.”
Kailey Smith (@kailssmitty86)
SPEA Role: Conference Co-Chair
River Heights School

“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!”
Naomi Hartl (@misshartl)
SPEA Role: Central Region Director
Star City School


Graham Hayes (@hayes_graham)
SPEA Role: Regina Region Director
St. Francis Community School

What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?

“I value respect and responsibility – this is a cornerstone of my teaching no matter my teaching space. With this foundation, students are better able to ask questions and guide their own learning and discovery.”
Daunean Dash-Rewcastle (@ddashrewcastle)
SPEA Role: Social Media and Awards
Hodgeville School

“My desire to try new things and incorporate new ideas into my classroom!”
Elaina Yelich-Guilmette (@ElainaYelich)
SPEA Role: Conference Co-Chair
Holy Cross High School

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

“When overwhelmed with things to do, take baby steps.”
Holly Stevens (@hstevensspea)
SPEA Role: Executive Director

“To stay on top of new things and stay in tune with the students and what is happening in the school.”
Darryl Elaschuk
SPEA Role: Past President

“Always focus on the needs of the child”
Reg Leidl (@regleidl)
SPEA Role: Curriculum

Where can people find SPEA online?

Twitter: @speaonline
Conference Hashtag: #SPEA2014

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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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