How I Teach: Ash Casey

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 leader within the #PhysEd community who has done so much to bridge the gap between academics and practitioners:

Name: Ash Casey
Where Are You From: Yorkshire, UK
Where Do You Teach: Loughborough, UK
One word that best describes how you teach:

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

My go to tools for my teaching and research are Google Scholar, Keynote, Word, iStockphoto, Twitter and iAnnotate PDF. Without access to these I would reliant on my existing knowledge base and my interoperation of things. This hasn’t changed since 2002 when I started to look outside of my classroom and my biography and started to look at the wider world and what other people were thinking. That was a game changer.

What do your #physed classes look like?

Different and the same. I like to think that I’m an enthusiastic teacher (either in the gym or in the lecture theatre) and I move around a lot, tell jokes, and try to teach through stories and ideas. I try not to assume that my students know nothing and like to use different approaches to getting people involved. I teach through pedagogical models such as Sport Education, Teaching Games for Understanding, and, of course, Cooperative Learning. I am not afraid to look silly and I will whoop and holler and try and get my students engaged.

What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?

I have a stutter and I used to be very protective about it and get shy when I stuttered but now I just embrace it. It is as much a part of me as my knowledge and enthusiasm. So…I stutter. Everyone’s different and we need to get used to it. Apart from that I guess the unique thing (from my experience) is I am always learning as well. I used to pretend that I knew everything and if I didn’t I would find ways of hiding my ignorance. Now I embrace it. I am no expert and we (my students and me) are on a learning journey together. Yes, I have more life experience but I make mistakes as often as the next person. Like my stutter it is refreshing to share this with my students and try and find the solutions together.

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

The best piece of advice I was given was that I didn’t have to be such an idiot.

I was working on a kids camp for disadvantaged kids in the summer of 2001 and I was carrying my traditional, teacher-led practices with my disciplinarian ‘head on’ and I came across a guy (a mentor of mine in future years ) who was talking about some fundamental, child-centred ideas that I couldn’t get my head around. He and I locked horns but rather than showing me the door he helped me to realize that just because it had always been done in a certain way that doesn’t make it right. It took me long time to acknowledge the shift that occurred in my thinking on that day but it has led me to where I am now.

I used to considered myself as the finished article until I came to realize that I am a co-learner in every session I teach. I have to prepare for my lectures and practicals and that means researching my field and making sure I know what I’m talking about and acknowledging my weaknesses. This didn’t always happen but when I realized that being stuck in my ways wasn’t the way forwards I had to stop being an idiot and look at other ways of helping students to learn.

Where can people find you online?

I can be found on twitter as @DrAshCasey and I write a weekly blog at that explores some of the major themes in physical education research.

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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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