Wednesday, October 26, 2011

adaptive/elementary continued

Continuing on Elementary and Adaptive education
Over the last couple of weeks I have continued to work with my Adaptive student (Peter).  I feel that Peter and I are definitely a little more comfortable with each other and it is a really good feeling to know that I am making some progress with something that I am so new at.  In my last few lessons that I have been working on with Peter we have been really focusing on his fitness and improving his loco motor skills and even getting him to talk a little more.  I have been getting Peter to talk a little more by having him count during the exercises rather than me always doing it.  Peter’s loco motor skills have slightly improved, however it’s pretty hard to get him to really try because he always just wants to run.  I found that the best way to get him to really try is just to do it with him.  It never hurts to break a little sweat; after all we are inspiring to be physical education teachers.  My comfort level with adaptive students has definitely improved a lot since day 1 adaptive lab which I am very happy about because I was extremely nervous on that first day.  I have done about seven lessons with Peter so far and we have only had probably two really bad days.  One thing that I have noticed is that Peters mood really affects his performance in that day’s lesson.  Theirs been times where he walked in to lab and was just not happy from the start and we had a really tough day.  However when he walks in with a big smile on his face I know that we are going to have a good day.  Something I learned from taking this Adaptive class is that you always have to plan a lot more for your lesson plan than you think.  My student gets bored very easily and I always have to have a backup plan for him otherwise he will just lie down on the floor and not do anything.  I have a few more weeks left with Peter and my next lesson is Halloween theme which I am excited for!
Elementary Observation
Last time I went to the elementary school to observe the physical education teacher gave me and my partner the opportunity to lead two different classes in a warm up activity.  The grade level we got to work with was second and third graders.  We decided to do a tag game because at that age I figured most kids love to play tag.  For the first class we played a game called “line tag”.  The rules of this game are that you have to run along the lines of the gym and you cannot fall off or you’re frozen.  If you get frozen on the liens it then becomes a wall where no other student can come across you.  The way we modified this game was whenever I blew my whistle they had to do the loco motor skill that we shouted out such as; jumping, hopping, skipping, galloping etc.  I think that the tag game was pretty successful, however next time we need to figure out something for the students to do when they are frozen because I noticed that they were getting bored very easily when they were not doing anything besides standing still.  For the next class I decided to switch up the tag game and play something different.  So we played “super hero tag”.  This game has the same exact rules as freeze tag except when you get tagged you freeze into the pose of your favorite super hero, and to get unfrozen another classmate just has to mirror the pose that you are frozen in.  Overall I think that this tag game was much more successful than the line tag because the main factor that the students can be unfrozen and rather quickly too.  We ended up staying for one more class to observe the fourth graders and I’m glad I stayed because they played a game called “continuous tag” which I really liked and definitely plan on using in a future lesson.  I go back to observe this Friday and I am pretty excited because not only do I get to do a new warm up with the students I also get to lead them in stretching,

I hope, I believe, i will

Professionalism is one of the most important things related to physical education.  There are a lot of people that do not take physical educators seriously so it is important for us physical educators to always be as professional as possible.  Some key things that promote professionalism is appropriate attire, language, and the mood that you are in.  Appropriate attire is important because it would not make sense for a teacher to wear shorts and a t shirt to teach a class you still want to wear clothes that you can be physically active in such as a polo shirt and a pair of cargo shorts.  It is important to wear professional clothes because you do want to separate yourself from the students.  Language is another important aspect of professionalism because any type of cursing would be completely inappropriate for any type of teacher to use in a classroom setting.  If a teacher starts using inappropriate language most likely the student will feel comfortable using that language as well.  As teachers we have to remember that sometimes the students look at us as role models.  The mood you are in is a big contributor to professionalism because your mood as the teacher can affect the students learning and their attitudes.  It is important to always have a positive attitude while teaching physical education because you want the students to enjoy what they’re doing.  If a student sees that you are having a bad day and aren’t excited about anything that the class is about to do most likely the student is not going to get excited about the activities either.
                Physical Education has always been very interesting to me even when I was still in school.  I always found myself lucky to be able to pick a major right out of high school and fall in love with it even more throughout my days as a college student.  The reason I first chose to be a physical educator was because my middle school physical education teacher had gotten me into wrestling and wrestling changed my life.  When I first came in to the physical education major I was doing it because I wanted to become a coach one day.  After years in this major I began to realize how many lives you can change as a physical educator.  There is so much physical education out there that just is not being pursued correctly.  One of my personal goals as a future physical educator would be to lower the obesity rate first in a single school and eventually the whole district.  The physical education program at SUNY Cortland is outstanding and exactly what I need to pursue these goals.  There are so many students out their today that I see just lining up to get the new xbox  but don’t even own a single bicycle.  Things like that I find absolutely mind blowing and in the future I am guaranteeing that I will be able to convince the young minded students how much better physical activity can be then things such as a video game.

Coaching in Physical Education

Coaching and Physical education goes hand and hand at most school districts.  The main reason I got into the major of physical education is because I always wanted to become a wrestling coach.  It was later on through my years of college how much I realized physical education could truly change a student’s life.  I think it is important if you are able to both coach and teach physical education because it makes you a better rounded teacher.  However one of the biggest problems about physical education teachers being coaches is that sometimes they like to favor the students that are athletes on their sports teams.  I do not think that is fair I think that every student needs to be treated equally just like they should be in a normal classroom setting.  For educators that are trying to pursue a job as a physical educator it would help you a lot more to get a job if they are also looking for a coach in the school it is like the metaphor “to kill 2 birds with 1 stone” I think Physical educators usually make the best coaches because it is in their profession to be around an athletic atmosphere.  As physical educators we are taught all about the human body and we know it best when it comes to things such as getting into shape, what’s the best exercises for specific people, we are taught multiple drills for almost every sport, and most of us have grown up around sports so we as physical educators are in good shape as well and can set a good example for the students.  I think it is very important for a physical education teacher to be in shape because why would a student take your advice in physical fitness activities if it is not even working for the teacher.  I know it might sound a little harsh but I think part of professional look for a physical educator should be for them to be physically fit themselves.
I think that physical education teachers also make the best coaches because we are taught to work with students of all different ages.  I know that every teacher is taught how to work with all ages of students but the key thing about physical education teachers is when we work with students we are teaching them skills such as their basic motor development.  So if we are coaching a student and they have bad mechanics say for throwing a baseball we will know how to start from scratch teach them the basics all over again and correct those basic mistakes.  The most obvious reason a physical Education teacher would make a great coach is more than fifty percent of the time the physical educator has played the sport when they were in high school or college so that gives them plenty of prior knowledge to the game.  I think a student will listen to their coach a lot more when they know that their coach was a player himself or herself.  For example I always listened to my wrestling coach because he was state champion in high school and then division 1 all American in college.  Things like that made me trust his knowledge in the field of wrestling.

Benefits of a good P.E. Teacher

A lot of today’s youth do not always receive the proper physical education that they deserve.   I believe the main factor of that lack of proper physical education is due to the lack of motivation by some of the physical education teachers out their today.  From listening to a lot of my peers that have been out in situations such as observation hours or student teaching I have definitely gotten a lot more negative feedback then positive.  I heard a lot about how lazy physical education teachers actually are which blows my mind because we are supposed to be the most awake and energetic.  I think it is very important to always be very enthusiastic while teaching your classes because students will feed off your energy.  If you the teacher is having fun and giving one hundred percent every day then most likely the students will as well.  I know there is a lot of teachers out there that choose this job because realistically you can get away with doing the bear minimum.  A physical education teacher can show up every day just roll out the balls and let the students do whatever they want and call it a day and still get paid as much as a teacher that does the complete opposite.  I personally blame those teachers however for the student’s lack of knowledge and interest in the importance of physical fitness and physical activity.  If you give the student the opportunity to learn nothing a majority of them are obviously going to be okay with that because kids would rather do other things than anything school related that’s just how kids act when they are young the understanding of how important education is doesn’t really register until you’re older for most people.  As a physical education teacher you have to look at the big picture if you are putting effort into your job every day you go to work you are benefitting the lives of multiple classes which can sometimes add up to hundreds of students a year.  I don’t know about the rest of the physical educators but I would much rather benefit all those lives then be held responsible for making them worse.  If you want to look at the even bigger picture if you’re a physical education teacher for many years you can be benefitting the lives of thousands of students.  I think that can be a great accomplishment for someone that can be classified as just a “gym teacher”.