5 Questions with… Naomi Hartl

One of the best lessons that we can teach a student is to encourage them to live an active, healthy lifestyle. There is a great group of educators at #PhysEd who are finding innovative methods and strategies to inspire students to become active and healthy as part of their physical education programs. One of the educators leading that charge is Naomi Hartl, who has a passion for infusing physical education with technology.

We are honored to have Naomi share her insight with us this week.

5 Questions with… Naomi Hartl

     1. What do you most want your students to take with them from your classroom, school or district?

I want my students to take away with them a love for movement. I want them to leave school with a goal to continue on their journey towards becoming physically literate individuals. To move confidently and competently in a wide variety of activities in multiple environments. Dr. Amanda Stanec said it best in her Keynote for the #PhysEdSummit 2.0 (click here to view video). “Physical literacy and a healthy active lifestyle will take our children places they never knew existed. We need our future engineers to refuse to build a bridge without a bike path, and our future contractors to make sure that when they build a new neighbourhood there are sidewalks”. I hope they leave school and champion health and wellness in the lives of their families and communities. I want my students to know that they matter, and that I will do anything to help them understand that their health is the most important part of their lives.

     2. What are the most rewarding and/or the most frustrating aspects of education?

Since I have been out of the classroom for three months, I am beginning to realize the most rewarding aspect of education – working with students. Watching their passion and love for learning grow each day is truly an amazing gift. There is no better moment than seeing your students smile when they have accomplished a task they deemed impossible.

     3. What advice would you give to young teachers?

Each and every child has the ability to learn. Some kids come to school ready to learn, and some come because it is their safe place. Welcome each child with open arms regardless of ability, and thank them for coming to your class.

Learning is a journey that does not stop at the end of the day. You will continuously grow and learn. You will fail, and that perfect lesson plan will bomb. It is okay. Reflect on what happened and move forward to the next day. Take it from a self-proclaimed work-aholic who is trying to work on balance in her life – make time for you. Find the time to exercise, eat right and get your sleep. Your students need you, not the perfect lesson plan. If you are not in your best mindset, then they suffer. Take care of you and the rest will fall into place.

     4. What has influenced your career the most?

I would not be where I am today without the support of the online #PhysEd community.  I had the great fortune to stumble upon this AMAZING community on Twitter a few years ago and I have not looked back. They challenge, support and inspire me each and every day to be the best version of myself for my students. They are there to support you when times are tough, and to celebrate with you when life is going well. I no longer feel like I am alone.

     5. As an educator, what are you currently focused on?

As an educator I am focused on supporting teachers, particularly health and physical educators, from many different avenues and angles.

In the work that I do with SPARK Programs ( I am part of the development team. I have the opportunity to create content and resources that teachers can use to guide their teaching, as well as show them how to incorporate technology into their PE classes in a meaningful and purposeful way.

With the PHYSEDagogy team we are focused on pushing the profession forward by helping physical educators engage in meaningful discussion about best practices. We try to accomplish this through the work we do on the website ( with the blog, each #PhysEdSummit, the basecamps and the podcast.

I am very fortunate to be part of the Oregon Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) Association ( We promote healthy, active lifestyles for all Oregon school-age children and youth through professional development opportunities and advocacy. Our role is to provide the best professional development and advocacy supports for health and physical educators across Oregon.

Naomi Hartl has a passion for physical education and all things tech infused. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Education. She taught for four years in Saskatchewan, Canada and has relocated to Oregon, USA. In her pursuit to push the profession forward and to advocate for quality physical education, she started a new career as the PE Development & Technology Specialist for SPARK Programs in January 2015. She currently serves as the Secretary for the Oregon Society of Health and Physical Educators, and is a co-collaborator on  

You can contact Naomi by email at [email protected] or tweet at her on Twitter at @MissHartl.


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