Meet the Teacher: Online P.E. instructor Mike Philipp

Mike Philipp balances his laptop and his soccer ball between classes. (photo courtesy of Scottsdale Unified School District)

Name: Mike Philipp

School: All five Scottsdale Unified School District high schools

What do you teach?: eLearning (online) Physical Education classes for grades 9-12

What I like most about what I do: I get the opportunity to work with kids in a unique setting and help to educate them to be independently healthy, hopefully for a lifetime. When I see current and past students at the gym working out, this brings a smile to my face!

Where did you come from: Green Bay, Wisconsin – GO PACK GO!

If I had picked a different occupation it might have been: A chiropractor or personal trainer

What I’m looking forward to most for the summer school online sessions: I am looking forward to seeing past students from when I taught elementary Physical Education at Copper Ridge School when they come in to take their high school online P.E. pre- and post-class fitness tests.

Having another opportunity to make a difference and getting the chance to catch up with former students is always fun and exciting. Due to the popularity of summer school eLearning P.E., I also get to enjoy collaborating and working with other P.E. teachers in the district.

My vision for online learning: I want to continue to learn and integrate new ideas and strategies using the online platform to keep interest and the program growing. This past semester, I had a fuller than normal schedule of students, and would like to see continued popularity and positive support for eLearning P.E.

Below is some feedback we have received from some of our high school online P.E. students:

  • “When I was signing up for the online course, I thought it would be hard to communicate with the teacher. However, I thought it was very easy to get in touch with Mr. Philipp if I had a question or concern. I always received a fast and thorough reply.”
  • “I thought the wellness plans helped to make my health a priority, even when life gets busy. It forced me to get physical activity when I would have otherwise skipped it.”
  • “I thought the assessments were great because they asked you questions that made you think about the information you learned and remember them by applying them to everyday scenarios.”
  • “I also appreciated Mr. Philipp’s communication. It helped me stay on track and helped ensure I didn’t miss something important like a run. Thanks for making this class interesting and manageable.”
  • “Overall, I would rate this online P.E. course a 10/10 because of its ease of use, important information, and helpfulness to everyday athletic life.”

People who inspired me (and how): I took over this position from Ann Holst-Pregont, who mentored and taught me how to run, manage, navigate and teach eLearning P.E. for summer school. When she left SUSD, we talked, and she said, “Mike, you should take over. You would be great at it and you would love it!” The enthusiasm and confidence I heard in her voice was all I needed to hear to convince me to take on an exciting, new challenge. Thank you, Ann, for your words of encouragement!

One thing I want parents to know about me: My work ethic came from both of my parents. My parents have always worked several jobs, especially my mom. I work hard, and my dad once told me that if you’re going to do something, do it right! I think he stole this idea from UCLA Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden. With that said, I want parents to know I take pride in my job/position and care about each of my students and their success.

My advice to today’s youth: Be honest with yourself, work hard and make simple better. I leave you with a quote from Emily Dickinson: “If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.”

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