Seeking Out Student Feedback Helps Improve PE Class Engagement

Teachers looking to improve student engagement should turn to an often overlooked source for advice: their students.

According to the 2017 Gallup Student Poll, only 47 percent of more than 700,000 responding students in grades 5-12 reported feeling engaged at school, either in class or in general, during the most recent school year. Ashley Riley, the 2014 SHAPE Florida Middle School Physical Educator of the Year, found several strategies that worked for her:

  • having students look at class from the teacher’s perspective, and
  • requesting student feedback when things aren’t going quite as planned

“I think our students are valuable resources,” she said. “Older ones – for me it’s eighth graders who have been in my classes before and know what the teachers’ expect – especially enjoy being brought into the process. It’s no secret that we all work harder on something we have ownership in, so what happens when we give the students an ownership in PE?”

Riley recalled a specific example where a student came to her PE class but would not engage with the lesson or participate in the activity. To curtail the student’s attempts to chat with her or students who were participating, Riley turned the tables on the student, so to speak. Read More


Seek student feedback and leadership, advises top teacher

StudentsJuly 7, 2016

By Ashley Riley, 2014 Florida SHAPE Florida Middle School P.E. Teacher of the Year

No matter the type of teacher we are, whether we teach social studies or physical education, we strive to get the most out of each of our students. Speaking as a PE teacher, I know I often turn to my colleagues to find new ways to motivate students to reach their maximum potential.  Read More