How I Teach: Kari Bullis
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 passionate physical educator from Iowa:
Name: Kari Bullis
Where Are You From: Everywhere! My dad was in the Army so I moved a lot growing up. I graduated high school in Moline, IL.
Where Do You Teach: Williamsburg, IA
One word that best describes how you teach: Passionately
What apps/tools/resources can’t you live without?
All things Google. We are a GAFE school, so I utilize Google Classroom, Slides, Sheets, Docs, etc. as much as possible. The other thing that I couldn’t live without would be a camera. I use video a lot in my classes to give student’s feedback about skills and tactics.
What do your #physed classes look like?
I teach a 9-12 general physical education class called Personal Wellness. This class is team taught with the other teachers in my department. As a department we choose the priority standard/outcome and the activity/sport that we are going to use to reach that standard, and then students choose which activity/sport they would like to participate in during that unit. All students are assessed on the same outcome regardless if they are participating in water aerobics or weight lifting. We started teaching this way three years ago and it has really worked well. Students are in Personal Wellness daily for one semester each year they are in high school.
I teach a lifeguarding course to students that are interested in becoming certified in lifeguarding. This course is half in the classroom and half in the pool. The class can be in place of or in addition to their Personal Wellness class. Lifeguarding meets daily for one semester.
I also teach an 8th grade Exploratory Personal Wellness class. This class is in addition to their regular physical education and lasts only about a month long. It was started in order to add additional physical education time at the middle school level. Students do an inquiry project about a wellness topic of their choosing, they participate in a basic swimming and aquatic safety unit, and then finish the course with an introduction to heart rate monitors.
What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?
That the majority of my teaching happens in and around water instead of in a gym.
What’s the best teaching advice you’ve ever received?
“Always remember every student is someone’s son/daughter.” It’s an obvious statement but it really resonated with me. I keep that in the back of my mind at all times, especially now that I am a parent. Every student that you teach deserves extra attention. They are not just a name or a number but someone’s son/daughter that deserves a teacher who pushes them to give their very best, gives them second chances, designs appropriate lessons, and truly cares about them.
Where can people find you online?
January 11, 2020
July 27, 2018
July 20, 2018