How I Teach: Rich Wiles
by Joey Feith
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 truly inspiring teacher from Maryland (not to mention one of the founders of #espechat):
Name: Rich Wiles
Where Are You From: Millersville, MD (15 mins from Annapolis, MD)
Where Do You Teach: Severna Park Elementary School in Severna Park, MD which is a National Blue Ribbon School
One word that best describes how you teach: Practical
What apps/tools/resources can’t you live without?
Apps: G Suite, Canva, Planbook.com, Voxer, Twitter, Rocketbook, Evernote, Comic Life, Performance Matters, Spotify, and Weebly.
Tools: Mac Mini with 27 inch monitor, Acer Chromebook, IPhone 6, Nexus 10, three shots of espresso and a pot of coffee each morning, pair of Smith sunglasses, and a trucker hat.
Resources: Physical Education Digital Library from Human Kinetics, OpenPhysED.org, professional articles, journals and magazines from the outdoor industry. I have ten magazine subscriptions and try to read one book a month.
What do your #physed classes look like?
My classes are quick with thirty minute periods twice a week. My lessons are standards-based lessons with alignment to the SHAPE standards. Most of my lessons are student centered and inquiry-based lessons with thematic essential questions.
My gymnasium looks more like a STEM lab with numerous white boards, technology and critical elements posters on the walls of fundamental skills and concepts. I use a good amount of floor tape on the walls and floor depending on the unit. We also go outside about four-five months of the year.
I model every skill and wouldn’t ask a student to perform anything until they are ready. Students need to be comfortable in their environment for growth and development to occur. I also still ride my bike to school throughout the year to reinforce physical activity in adulthood.
What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?
I try to link everything in class to the neighborhood or practical applications for students. We are very lucky to have a bike trail next to school. We are also minutes away from the Severn River and have numerous county and state parks in the area.
I grew up on the trails and waterways and my teachers educated us on the importance of the environment. We will need another generation to take care of the Chesapeake Bay estuary to preserve this amazing place. I try to create a home school connection that increases student’s participation in outdoor recreational activities to foster this relationship with the environment.
What’s the best teaching advice you’ve ever received?
Be yourself, challenge yourself, and stay current with best practices. We are preparing students to be lifelong physically active learners.
Where can people find you online?
#ESPEChat Website: ESPECHAT.Weebly.com
January 11, 2020
July 27, 2018
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