Monday, December 12, 2011

Bullying..A sad reality..that needs to be stopped..

This past month here in my home town has been horrendous. In the past month there have been two students that have committed suicide due to bullying in the school. It frustrates me to no end that there is so much bullying going on in a community and that no one is willing to stand up and stop it from happening. We are losing innocent students and people in general because of bullying and we as future professionals need to stand up now and be advocates against bullying. No one should feel that there is no other way out. We should be willing to be there are show individuals that we are here to help and if they need anything we can help, whether it be to listen to them talk or to just say hi to them everyday. Everyone can make a difference and I think that we all need to start now before this becomes an even bigger problem then it already is today in our society. I know that I for one am and advocate against bullying and I will not stand for any individual to be bullied in or out of my classroom!

Portfolio and Exit Interview

Working on my Portfolio was quite stressful, for me being a transfer major from a community college, I feel like I was left in the dark about what I needed to do from the beginning of the transfer process. I worked very hard to get my portfolio presentable and to make it look professional. After all of the work that I placed into it, I would be honored to take it and show it off to interviewers. The work up to our exit interviews was also very stressful! I was nervous on what to expect and how to go about answering the questions. One thing that helped was performing Mock interviews, it gave me a more comfortable speaking environment before being placed into the interview itself. I think that more classes should use the mock interviews because it helped to calm my nerves for the real thing. When walking into my real exit interview, my nerves were almost at nothing at all. I was very surprised at how calm I was when I was in the interview. I knew that the material that was being covered was about everything that I had learned in the past two years here at Cortland. I knew what I was talking about and I felt confident about it, because of how prepared my classes got me for it. After walking out of the interview, I felt confident and as a huge stress had been lifted off of my shoulders knowing that there were only a few things that were left until I was into Student Teaching. The only thing that I could think to myself was "I made it!" I am proud to be where I am at and I will continue to grow as a person, educator and coach.  Thank you to SUNY Cortland for what you have prepared me for, to better myself as a Professional.

Adapted Observations and Reflections

Below is a break down of my experience working with students with disabilities in the Sport and Splash Program here at SUNY Cortland. Again for me this experience was pretty amazing. I had the opportunity to work with two students who were diagnosed with Down syndrome, who gave me an insight to their abilities both physically and mentally. Now after this class, I believe that I will take what I have learned from both the class as well as the students themselves and will be more comfortable and willing to work with other students with disabilities. I had an amazing time with both of my students and I will miss them, but the experience that I had working with them in this program will stick with me for the longest time!

Day 1 – Sept. 19: Today was the first day with the students, it was very overwhelming at first, because I did not know what to expect. I had a little background on my students so it was very overwhelming. I was unorganized by not having a lesson plan, I had so many different activities planned in the Gymnasium to work on the different skills to see where the students’ abilities are.

Day 2 – Sept. 26: This class I was focusing on pre-assessing the students using the TGMD-2. The only reason for using this assessment was to check the locomotor and object control skills. I did not use the scores to assess the students; I just looked to see what the students were capable of doing. This class went pretty well as there was more structure behind the lesson.

Day 3 – Oct. 3: This week went very well; we finished up the pre-assessment this week. By doing this I was able to sit down with the students and gain a little more insight on what they like doing activities wise. I was also able to talk to them to gather their interests in general to make it more of a relaxed setting in future classes.

Day 4 – Oct. 10: This week we were continuing to work on the student’s cardiovascular endurance and I set up a scavenger hunt for the students. They had a blast, they liked having to search the school move around, they were very happy with the lesson for the day!

Day 5 – Oct. 17: This week we focused on soccer dribbling skills. They were interested in the skill but it was not something that they wanted to perform for the entire class. I needed to think of other activities for them to do, I made it into a competition and had them work on control while moving faster. By the end of the lesson, they were ready to go to the pool to swim.

Day 6 – Oct. 24: Today we were playing Volleyball, Michelle was willing to play Volleyball, but Jeni was hesitant to participate. We did our normal warm-up which went well, but when we went to play sitting volleyball, Jeni was not in the mood to play, she started saying that she hurt herself and could not participate anymore. So we changed it up and allowed them to stand up and play one versus one volleyball.

Day 7 – Oct. 31: Today we worked on cardiovascular endurance again. The lesson went very well and the participation was great. There was a whole lot of laughter going on as well. Overall a good day for 356 Lab!

Day 8 – Nov. 7: Today we were working on cardiovascular endurance. We had a obstacle course that they went through, working on jumping rope, running, skipping and hopping. They were participating throughout the entire lesson but they will focus better on a particular skill.

Day 9 – Nov. 14: Today we performed our regular warm up which went very well. We then moved down to the racquetball courts to play racquetball. Jeni was hesitant to play because she did not want to play using the safety glasses. Once I convinced her that it would be

Day 10 – Nov. 21: Today I took, Jeni, Michelle, Ken and Benson to the weight room, they were very intrigued and participated the entire time of the lesson. They did not want to leave to join in to the group activity because they wanted to stay in the weight room and lift weights. Today’s lesson went very well and I was very impressed by the amount of effort that they placed into their work out for the day.

Day 11 – Nov. 28: Today we were working on juggling with Jeni, Michelle, Ken and Benson. It went well but the students were not as interested, so changed up my lesson to bowling a little bit as well as some beach volleyball. I feel as though this lesson was not as prepared as I had hoped for and that I needed to prepare better for the last lesson of the week.

Day 12 – Dec. 5: Tonight’s lab was a good way to end the lab. Our main focus was bowling to let the students enjoy their last day of Sport and Splash for the semester. It was kind of a surreal experience because it was the last night of lab which was good, but it was upsetting too because I have created a relationship with Jeni and Michelle and it will be interesting to not come to lab every Monday night. One complication in today’s lab is that Jeni was starting to have a “meltdown” because she was not able to see Dan as he was absent.

355 Observations

Overall my experience with the Elementary Students was an Eye Opener. I had never worked with students before the age of 10, excluding my nephew who is two! I realized that elementary students are very fun and energetic and they like to stay moving all of the time. most of the students tend to get antsy if they sit still for too long. They are perfect examples of what we are trying to get all of our students even ourselves to do on a daily basis. They showed me that there is a possibility that I would like to teach them in the future, where before me working with them, I had no set interest. Below you will see a little break down of each of the days that we had together. The pros and maybe even some cons, but of course mostly the Pros! I hope you enjoy my reflections on the day!
Day One: Soccer Trapping Kindergarten and 1st

            Question 1. This was the first time that I had ever worked with Elementary students, so it was quite overwhelming at first. During the lesson the students were very loud and energetic and I learned that in order to teach at the elementary level Kindergarten especially you need to be upbeat all of the time. The students feed off of how you are acting, so I was acting shy and so were the students.

            Question 3: In the first grade class there was one student with a disability. She had an aid with her at all times, but there was no particular APE teacher at this school at this point and time, they were in the middle of trying to find someone that would be able to work with her during her scheduled class time, but at that moment, she was just sitting against the wall on the mats or she was allowed to wander around the gymnasium. She was not completely and totally included into the program. Although she was in that class, that was the only time that I was introduced to her, they finally found someone that was able to work with her one on one, which is what she needed.

Day Two: Poison Peanut Butter

            Question 1: For the Kindergarten class it was interesting to see how the students worked together to get from one mat to another with only a scooter and a rope. This was like a problem solving activity. With the Kindergarteners we were more of a helper for them to give them ideas on how to get across without falling off the scooter and needing to start over. I learned that after observing the students, they are capable of working together to get across the “poison peanut butter” but they get very excited and cannot sit still for a long period of time, so maybe problem solving activities that don’t include a lot of movement may not be for this age level.

            Question 1: The first graders were more into the competitive component of the game. We as the teachers and observers gave them the concept of what they were supposed to do, which was to get from one mat to another without touching the floor and only using the tools provided. They were able to work together as a team and figure it out, it did take them a while to figure it out, but another thing that I noticed is that there are varying personalities in this grade level and the students are more apt to argue over who is going to do what in the activity. So, when making teams for these activities, I learned that I need to take that into account for the future. Maybe to make the teams before they come in to the classroom, once I know each of their set personalities.

Day 3: Gymnastics

            Question 2: Today the students had an obstacle course of gymnastics. The Kindergarteners shocked me at how well they were able to perform particular tasks. For example, I did not think that the students at that young of age would be able to do a backward roll, while some of the students were able to perform it quite well. They were also able to recite the different names and demonstrate their understanding of the different skills that they were taught in a prior class. Such as the pencil jump, roll, star jump, etc. 

            Question 2: The first graders were also into doing the obstacle course for the Gymnastics unit. They were placed into groups of about 4 and they demonstrated the different rolls and jumps that they were performing in the class. I was able to have them recite the names of each of the skills as they went by me. I also noticed that affectively the students were more willing to speak about how they were feeling that day, I had asked some of the students to rate themselves on a scale of 1-3 one being not happy, and 3 being really happy. It was interesting to see their responses as well and their explanations as to why they were feeling this way.

Day 4: Pre-assess and Stations

            Question 4: Today in the kindergarten class we started the class by reviewing our throwing skills. While reviewing the skills we had students that were not listening to directions and were just blatantly throwing the ball wherever they felt necessary. Finally, the host teacher Mr. Lamson asked the student to go sit over at the wall and to think about why she was sitting there. He allowed her to sit there for 2-3 minutes and then went over and discussed why she was behaving the way that she was. Once they were done discussing, she was then able to join back in to the group, which is where we divided the students up into their stations. The students are well aware of the rules in the class and if they are not followed they are to sit out and think about their reactions and discuss them with the teacher before returning into the activity. I believe this is a good managerial task because it helps to keep the class in toe, so to speak.

            Question 8: When working with the first grade class, there are aids that come in to help with some students that may miss-behave. It is apparent that both Mr. Lamson and the aids discuss how the students are doing in both his classroom and for the day in general. This will help Mr. Lamson be prepared as to how the lesson may run for the day. For example, one of the students was having a very bad day in school in general and the aids relayed the information to Mr. Lamson, so now he was able to keep an eye on the student throughout the entire lesson. It is very important to speak with other colleagues because it can help you better prepare for the future lessons in a year and for future years ahead.

Day 5: Lesson One for Kindergarten and 1st

            Question 7: Today I was preparing for lesson one for the Kindergarten students, I was running through my lesson at the particular throwing station. Mr. Lamson came over to check and see how the lesson was going. We then began to discuss how I was assessing the students. I explained to him that I was using a check list of the cues that they used in the classes before; he then stated that that was a good way to assess how they were remembering cognitively. In order to assess student learning we can focus on quantitative how accurately they are throwing, whether they can recite the different cues back to you when asked and affectively, they can rate themselves on a scale of 1-3.

            Question 1: Lesson one went pretty well with the first grade students, it was very interesting to see how well most of the students were performing the skill, but their major misconception with throwing was stepping in opposition. That was one thing that I learned that maybe breaking down the skill and helping them by placing a rubber band on the throwing hand and tape on the opposite foot, may have allowed for more of a visual cue, which could have helped them grasp the concept. I will keep that in mind for my future teaching in schools.

Day 6: Lesson Plan Two K-1

            Question 5: Today with the Kindergarten students we went through my second lesson plan, with throwing through the hoops again but now trying to hit the balloon in the center of the hoop. This lesson plan focused on the NYS standards because it was to help the students get moving in a safe and healthy environment and allow the students to know that they can play sports outside of school that involve throwing, like football, softball, baseball, etc. I wanted to include all concepts into the lesson, so at my station I reviewed the cues and then spoke with each of the students about their interests and ways to participate outside of school. They were all very intrigued to talk about their interests in different sports.

            Question 1: The first graders were very upbeat for today’s throwing lesson, because they were able to throw the ball through the hoop to try to hit the balloons. While performing it was interesting to see what students actually took their time to go through the different cues to help them to increase the chance of hitting the balloon. It was interesting to see how they took the time and effort in order to succeed; it was very refreshing to see that what I was saying to them was setting with them.

Day 6: Punting K-1

            Question 1: In the kindergarten class today the lesson was working on punting, but their treat at the end of the lesson was to go play on the playground. So the students knew that in order to be able to go play all the students needed to behave and participate to their fullest through the activity. Toward the end of the activity the students were all listening very well and performing the skill as best as they could. I learned that in some instances if the students are out of control, you can tell them let’s get through this activity and then we can go and do something more of interest to you; but I feel that is a partial down fall because they may now connect the idea that acting out means we can play on the playground. It is kind of a lose, lose situation in some points.

            Question 9: After observing the 1st grade class performing their punting skills it was apparent to me that if you are not watching all of the students, you will have some that are just sitting on the ground because they think that they can get away with it. I also learned that you have some students that will just keep doing the poor behavior even if you move into their vicinity/space and if you talk to them. They sometimes like to test your buttons so to speak, so Mr. Lamson stated that remaining cool and collective is the best thing to do. Speak with the student to find out why they are not participating and maybe there is a different route that can be taken. This lesson was a great insight and Mr. Lamsons advice was very helpful.

Day 7:  Basketball Dribbling

            Question 2: After observing and watching the Kindergartners dribble a basketball it was apparent that they were able to perform the skill, but not at a competent level. I did notice that the students were very determined in mastering the skill. We worked on standing still while dribbling, walking and dribbling. The students were grasping onto the concepts very well. Very intriguing to see how well they can perform the different skills.

            Question1: Today toward the end of the 1st grade lesson the students were getting bored with the activities. We included the dribbling concepts from the kindergarten lesson, but we also asked the students to show us their best tricks. The students would try anything to make it into a trick. We also just asked the students to sit in a circle and roll the ball from one person to another across the circle. It was interesting to me to see that the simplest games are fun for the students and not all lessons need to be strict in structure, because the student’s moods change so quickly.

Day 8: Farmers and Turkeys (Variations)

            Question 1: Kindergarten: For the kindergarten lesson we had the students become turkeys and stand in the circle (which was considered a turkey coup) we then had 4 taggers become the “farmers” the object was to have the turkeys run outside of the coupe grab a foam ball (turkey feed) and place in back in their coup without getting tagged by the farmers. By placing a theme behind the game it made the students more interested in the activity. That was one thing that I learned, by adding simple little themes into a game the students become more interested.

            Question 1: Now working with the 1st graders we kept the same concept behind the game but this time, there were hula hoops placed in the center of the coup, once they retrieved the feed they were to place it into the correct color coordinating hoop. This was interesting to see how well the students were able to maneuver between other people in their coup, the farmers outside of the coup and coordinating different colors. Very interesting to see how the students were able to react to one another in the game as well as how honest they were when getting tagged. One thing that I learned was to enforce the concept of honesty in my class room, that if someone says they tagged you then you were tagged, but the tagger should not lie. Very important concept and I was impressed at how well the students performed at that.

          Question 1: We switched up the game a tad for the 3rd graders; we have four groups a red, yellow, green and blue group, which each had their own quadrant. The concept was to gather all of your colored foam balls and return them to your quadrant first. It was a competition. I loved how competitive and how hard the students worked to perform this activity. They were moving the entire time. I learned that by making games a competition tends to vamp up the lesson a tad, at least in this class it did.

            Question 6: For the fourth grade students we used the same concept of the 3rd graders, but now we added taggers into the mix in each of the quadrants, so there was a safe zone along the outside of all four quadrants. But in order for the students to grab a ball in a quadrant they needed to perform a different skill, such as skipping, hopping, jumping, etc. into and out of a quadrant. At this level most students were performing all skills pretty well. It is always an insight to see that students at the elementary level are capable of many things. Definitely this experience was an eye opener for me as I had never worked with kids at the elementary level.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Education Philosophy

            General Education is very important for people. The purpose of school is to get students to learn the skills and material necessary to succeed in life to continue on to get associates, bachelors, master’s degrees and more. It is to prepare students for life, it is the basis for individuals to learn and grow.

            Education has many important parts to it; things that education includes would be curriculum, different instructional approaches, including parents and the community, and the students themselves. The curriculum is a very important part of a student’s education, what a student learns while in school tends to stick with them their entire life, so we as educators need to choose what we teach our students wisely. Curriculum should be an ever changing topic, it should be open to new things and it should include the student’s interests as well as what the educators are supposed to teach in the time allotted. The curriculum should be made fun and entertaining to get the students more interested in the material. Instructional approaches are another important part of education, but the one thing about instructional approaches is that they are different depending on the class that you have. It could change from year to year or even topic to topic, but we as physical educators and educators in general we need to know our students and how they learn best, so we can teach to that learning style. You may even have multiple learning styles in one class, so you need to be flexible to use different instructional strategies at one time. Next in education it is important to include what your parents and community feel is important as well, depending on the community dynamic may have a huge impact on what and how you teach as well, communities and parents are all going to be different wherever you are in the world, so again as educators we need to be flexible and change and modify when needed.

            An ideal school would include an open close nit community allowing for the educators to teach so that the students will succeed. The school leaders would stand by the educators that they hired as long as it is in the interest of the students. There would again be a Top down planning for each subject in education and there would be open communication for all teachers regarding students as well as the curriculum being taught, which an ever changing process is as well. Education is very important for a student’s success in life and we as educators need to take this opportunity to help the students succeed.

Physical Education Philosophy

            Physical Education is one of the most important components of a student’s school day. Physical education teaches students how to move properly, how to stay active outside of the school day as well as things they can do to be physically fit their entire lives. Physical education also incorporates history about different sports and sport skills it is not just getting students in the gymnasium and rolling the students a ball and saying go play. There is so much more behind teaching students to be physically educated individuals. We as physical educators need to make what we are teaching the students something fun and interesting, we need to continually grow and change based on the changing times as well as the prior lessons that we teach, from what worked to what did not work. Physically educated individuals are not only learning the physical component of how to perform the skill, but why the skill or activity is important and where and how we can perform the skill outside of the classroom in our daily lives.

            The ideal Physical education program would include many things. Some of these things would be teachers that are excited to teach different activities and skills, teachers that are willing to work together with all other teachers and school personnel to make sure that the students are successful. There would be Top-down planning and previous set scope and sequence prior to the years start, so that the teachers will all be on the same page. There will be communication between the teachers and the parents of the students, so they know what the students are doing and how their students can succeed. There would be an ever changing curriculum in the physical education classroom, based on past experiences of teaching lessons as well as what the new interests are of the students. The teachers themselves would be educated in what they are teaching and the teachers would want to know as much as possible about their students and their abilities to succeed. Overall, an ideal physical education program would include communication with others as well as students moving 95% of the time in the gymnasium setting. Getting students moving and active is an important concept, getting students physically educated and showing students what they can do now and later in life.

            Physical education is so important not only in a student’s life but everyone’s life. We as physical educators have a great impact on students to become physically educated individuals at a young age, we need to take advantage of this opportunity and run with it, do what we know how to do and help those individuals to succeed in being physically educated.

Athletics Philosophy

             Athletics are very important aspects in a student’s life. Athletics teach students many different things. Some of the things that they learn would include discipline, respect for oneself and others, determination to succeed and do well in everything, multitasking and also team work. All of these skills are important things that people should learn and hold onto in order for people to succeed in life. Athletics also is a way to keep students out of trouble; it gives students something to focus on instead of going out into the society and finding something else to focus on.

The role of the coach is a very important aspect for athletics, without a coach the team cannot run as smoothly as possible. The coach sets the mood of the team and the season. If you have a coach that is not interested in the team or even in the sport it will rub off on the students and deter their interests. The coach needs to be passionate about what they are coaching and they need to make sure that they do everything in their power to allow the students to succeed. The coach is also the mediator for students when it comes to athletics and the “normal” classroom. The coach is the one that needs to set the standards for the athletes with grades and if they do not meet the standards, then they sit down and make a plan of how to help them succeed. I believe that academics are the basis of a good education and that athletics is a plus for students to become more physically active outside of the school day.

The ideal athletic program would include a positive up-beat coaching staff, that knows what they are coaching and that is showing interest in the sport as well as the team’s ability to grow and succeed not only physically but as a team and also academically. I believe that the ideal athletic program will focus on having fun and winning and not just the winning or losing. I believe that an athletic program should also include time for the students to perform their daily skills and enough time to focus on their academics. The ideal program would have all people involved in the athletic program to be on the same page and have each sport to be believed as equal between all. They will give all students an equal opportunity to participate in the athletic program.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chapter 3: Thoughts

Chapter 3 has brought about a lot of questions for me! The statistics that are stated within the first few pages are very interesting! For me, I came from a small school where our graduating class was 84 students and I believe that probably 95% or more of the students were Caucasian/white. I was raised to believe that everyone is equal, no matter their race, ethnicity, etc. I think that I like to look at everyone as an equal now, not only in day to day life, but when I am teaching! I want to make sure to look at students as equals, no matter what their race, ethnicity, etc. I believe we as educators should all look at students as equal and give each and everyone of them an equal opportunity to succeed. I don't think that we should give special treatment to one particular race or culture. I do believe though that in our society there are many people that believe that one race, ethnicity, or culture should be higher on the "to tum" pole. After reading the paragraph on being born a different race and then needing to be changed to another, how much do you think you should get for compensation? Is that really a valid question? I mean again why should one race be considered better than others? To me that just doesn't make sense. I don't know what are your thoughts on it? Do you think that one race or culture is better than another? Do you think that they should receive special treatment in the classroom, outside the classroom and out in the real world?
What do you think about the Deficit theory? My thought is that this could be an issue for students to succeed in the classroom. There are some instances where students are lacking the necessities to succeed, due to lack of materials, such as books. I think we as educators that is part of our jobs is to help the student strive and succeed by giving them as much help as we can in the classroom. Expectation theory? I think that there are some teachers out there now that are just going through the motions and they have certain students who they believe don't have a chance to succeed and I think that we need to think of the students as blank slates or clay that we can help mold, if we are expecting them to fail, then we are failing as professional educators. Finally, the Cultural difference theory, I do have to agree with what they say, that we as professionals, should be willing to learn about the differing cultures of our students to better help them succeed in the classroom.
If we as teachers do not work to learn about all of our students, no matter what race, ethnicity, or culture or whatever, we will continually to fail as teachers because our society is continually growing and continuing to change. We need to focus on the DIVERSE teaching skills which include, diverse instructional materials, inclusive, variety, exploration, reaction, safety, and evaluation. I think if we learn about the students and incorporate all of these teaching skills we can get back on top and make sure that all of our students succeed, no matter what religion, race, etc.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why I chose Physical Education as my Major?

Physical Education has been a very important part of my life. I have played sports since I was five years old. Even before then I can remember me and my sister just going outside and playing games, running around inside playing tag and hide and seek. I have been active for my entire life. I did not first choose to become involved in the Physcial Education Major, I took a long widy road to get to where I am now. Ever since I was 14 years old I said that I was going to go to college to become a Veterinarian. My first job and one of my jobs now is working at an animal hospital where I was getting first hand experience into the life of a Veterinarian. Everyday was different there were emergenices that would walk into the door, and you would need to just go with the flow. When I finally graduated High school, I was accepted to Wells College which was a private college where I was pursuing my degree in Veterinary Medicine. While at Wells, I struggled to want to focus on my classes, I would have rather go and play a pick up game of basketball or play softball then to focus on my school work. That was a turning point in my educational plan. After two years of pursuing a degree in Veterinary Medicine I decided that this was not the degree that I wanted to pursue anymore. I did not have the passion for it as I had hoped. So I went home over christmas break and sat down with my parents and broke the news to them. I thought they were going to be disappointed in me for changing my mind after being so set on becoming a Veternarian, but to my surprise, they were actually very happy with my decision. All they kept sayiing is that they can picture me being a Physicaal Educator or a coach, since that has been such a big part of who I am. In high school I was a three sport athlete all year round every year starting in 7th grade, so this was a good start for me. I then enrolled at Finger Lakes Community College where I began to pursue and start my education over in my new field of Physical Education. While attending Finger Lakes Community College, I took an english class for one of my general education classes. In this class the instructor asked us to think of a person that could have inspired us to become what we are and we were going to write a letter to them explaining how they impacted our lives and why they were so important to us. I chose to write about my Varsity Basketball coach, he was also the Guys Physical Education Teacher in our High School. He was new to the school when I started JV and he was not afraid to step outside of his boundaries to make us better not only as a person but as a team as well. He taught me that you can not get anywhere by yourself, everything you do is dependent on other team memebers. For example, you can not succeed in school if it were not for your coachs, teachers, parents, etc. He inspired me tremendously. When I finished writing the letter, we sent it out to the teachers, coaches, etc. This jsut showed me that there were people who inspired me to succed and to be the best I could and he made me realize that I wanted to be the one to inspire students as well. I went on and received my associates in Science of Physical Education at Finger Lakes Community College and transferred into SUNY Cortland in hopes of completeing my Bachelor's degree in Physical Education. As you can see I have had a nice windy road to get to where I am, but I know one thing is for sure, this is where I want to be from now on! I want to inspire students to perform at their best and to succeed and have a successful, healthy future.

*I did get a response back about my letter: My parents ran into my old coach at a community function and he stated that he received a letter from me a while back, and he has it framed in his office, and he asked that they thank me for him for the letter, because it truly inspires him to continue on everyday.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chapter 2 Questions

1. Cognitive, Affective, and physiological factors have a huge impact on learning. They affect learning because how you are explaining something may be difficult for one or more students to grasp the point. You can say something in many different ways, which will affect the cognitive learning. Affective can impact learning because say there are two students in your classroom that do not get along very well or you have a few students that are being a disruption in the classroom, which can cause an issue. Finally physiological factors can impact learning because students have a wide range of needs, so there can not be just one specific set of educational environment.
2. Teachers can respond to different learning styles in many ways, you can change where you are teaching whether it be inside or outside, with other students or alone, you can play music in the background or not, you can dim the lights or turn them up, you can add colorful posters in the classroom. Depending on the needs of the students in the classroom you can change/adapt/modify, where and when needed.
3. According to Gardner's Theory, he stated that "teachers plan their lessons to incorporate and develop intelligences that go beyond the traditional verbal and mathematical logic"(56). For example, in a history class you can dress up for the particular time period that you are teaching about, you can use dance to express how you are feeling. You are teaching outside of the box, not just for the verbal, but much more.
4.Emotional intelligence influences both teaching and learning. As a teachers you need to be able to read the students and see how they are acting that day, you need to find out what motivates them by observing and asking them. It will also be of great importance to teach the students how to "read" someone, so that they know whether they are in the mood to "fool around" or if they jsut need to be left alone at that point and time. Everyone learns differently and their emotions on topics may be different you need to be able to read this as a teacher and manage your class around these details. If you believe that there are two students that do not get along you are going to remember that when placing them into a group to work on group activities, they may not mesh well together. You should always take that into account.
5. Teachers can meet the diverse needs of an inreasingly multicultural student population by incorporating everything into the classroom, do not just focus on one solid thing. Make sure to make everything broad idea and make the focus more specific.
8. Depending on the school system and the amount of resources allowed/supplied depends on ho the needs of special learners are met in today's society. One way is by determing an IEP or Individualized Educational Program. This program helps to determine what the students need and ways to accomplish these needs. This is an important aspect for making sure that specail learners needs are met, so that they succeed.
9. I do not believe that technology makes racial, class, geographic, and gender divisions worse. I feel as though technology helps individuals who need it. Technology is not necessarily given to students who are in a particular class necessarily. I think that the use of technology in a classroom should be used to help the studens that need those necessities to succeed. I do not think that just because you are in a particular social class or race that you should be given better opportunities then those of a different class and race. Everyone should be equal, so technology should be placed in different settings for those that need it.

Chapter 1 Questions

1. There are many aspects of teaching that can be advantages as well as disadvantages. Hopefully the advantages will keep pushing you to strive as a teacher. Some advantages of teaching could include the idea of working with children on a daily basis, helping them to succeed and grow in not only Physically but Mentally and Emotionally as well. As a teacher we need to work together to help the students to strive and having daily contact with them can help. You can also give the students interaction with you and others, the students can help you stay motivated to help them. Also, you can have caring coworkers, who want to help you to succeed and to also help the students to succeed, which in turn makes your job well worth it. A disadvantage could include having a set routine all day long everyday, even some teachers it could be every year. There is also a lack of respect that comes not only from some students but other professionals and people outside of the teaching profession. I would hope that going into this profession that there are more advantages for you then disadvantages. If you are in this profession for the money then you are going into the wrong profession, some would consider the amount of salary that you will receive as a teacher as a disadvantage, but again hopefully you are more focused on the students learning.
2. Some satisfactions for today's teachers include student interaction, a fun up beat schedule each day. You are being able to teach what you love, while staying physically active. Some complaints that teachers have no in today's society would include the pay. Some feel that the amount of work that they place into getting the year, day and class scheduled is well worth more pay. They are not nearly paid as high as they should be, which I do agree with teachers not only work from 7:30-3, they are planning outside of the school day, staying late to make sure that everything is picked up and set up for the next day. Another complaint is that teachers are not necessarily getting the support from administration and parents as they would like to have. Although depending on the school that you are teaching at you can have a very good connection with the students. For example, while observing at my 256 Experience in the middle school, the teacher there had a very good rapport with parents and would call them after school if there was an issue that day in class(disciplinary). She was able to discuss what they did and how they could possibly improve the next day and what the next step was going to be. Teachers can be very satisfied with their jobs and lets hope that the satisfaction outweighs the complaints.
3.Teaching is and can be considered a profession. We as professionals have to go through years of schooling, we need to become certified in different skills as well as take tests to prove what we know. Just like a doctor we need to know our students we need to go to school and learn the necessity and more. I think that teaching is definitely a profession and there is no way around it. There is no doubt about it.
4.Teaching Preparation has changed over the years. We now need to become board certified to teach in the specified profession, we can and need to be certified in other programs, such as, first aid, CPR, etc. Certifications and qualifications have stepped it up in the years. It becomes harder to become certified, for example within the next year they are changing the amount of tests needed to become certified in NYS to teach. This is just showing more predominantly that it is not as easy to become a teacher now with all the preparation and certifications needed.
5. The National Education Association is "the largest and one of the oldest professional and employee association in the nation"(26). The national is more open to everyone, where the AFT or American Federation of Teachers is more specified to a particular area in the United States, which is affiliated with the labor movement.
6. There are many different traits and characteristics that are needed in order to become a successful teacher.According to the book it states that there are 5 core components to become an effective teacher. The first is that teachers are committed to students and their learning.  In other words the teacher needs to get to know each student and their needs/capabilities, you are willing to change up your lessons so that all students will succeed. Next the teachers know what they are teaching and how to teach to each student. So as a physical education teacher you need to know all components of a sport or skill, so that you can teach the sport or skill correctly. You also need to determine the different modifications that can be done so that you can break down the skill and sport so that it is easy to teach and easy for students to learn. Thirdly, teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning. In other words teachers need to assess each of the skills that the students are learning, you need to make the assessments clear and concise to the students. So if you are testing the different rules for a sport, you need to make sure that you first go over the rules in the class, make sure that they are understood and only test on what you taught. You also need to make sure that you are testing more frequently then not testing. Next, teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience. Here is where the teachers need to reflect after each lesson, to see what worked and what did not, maybe change it or modify it as needed. You want to make sure that with every decision that you make it is clear and concise as to why you decided it. You need to think outside of the box and incorporate what you know and what you don't into the lessons. Pull from other teachers that know what they are talking about, "steal" ideas and grow from them. Finally teachers are members of learning communities. As a teacher we need to continue our education even as we already have received our degree. We will go to conferences to gather what seems to be working well in the classroom and to see what has since changed and grown. They work with other professionals to develop curriculum from top down planning and scope and sequence throughout the school year. We are learning and growing as professionals it is a never ending cycle.
6. Finally, do I think that teaching is a good fit for me? I do, I believe that I am a determined person to succeed in what I do. I believe that this trait and quality is important because I am determined to help students succeed, I will learn and like to learn from other professionals about what works and what doesn't. Right now I am a whiteboard and eager to learn from others to see what they know. I am also willing to work with other to help the students succeed, I like to modify so that everyone achieves their goals. I am determined, driven, responsible, compassionate, and a team player. All around I know that this profession is for me!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Extra time to Text in School?!?!?!?

So today I heard that there is a thought going through a school district that they want to expand the amount of time between class periods so that students have time to text one another. They have 3 minutes to get from one class to another right now, but they want to expand that to 5-7 minutes and cut down on the amount of time that the students are physically in the classroom. How crazy is this? I think that it makes no sense for them to do this. Their reasoning behind this thought is because they believe that students are not entirely focused in the classroom because they are more worried about texting and what their friends are doing then they are to pay attention in the classroom. I believe that if they make the decision to expand the amount of time between classes and cut down on the amount of time that the students are actually in class will make many people angry. For one, the tax payers will be angry that their money is going to pay for students to spend time texting as opposed to learning. I believe that they are also showing the students that it is okay to text while in school. When I was in High School the policy was that cell phones were not allowed in the classroom, they were to be left in your lockers and if you were caught with them then they would be confiscated for the rest of the school day. Where did that rule go? Is it still there? And if so, why have the teachers and administration become so lax on the consequences? I think that it would be a poor decision to expand the time between classes to text, if the students can't focus for 40 minutes a class then how are they going to be able to focus in a "real world" job? Its not like you can be standing at a cash register texting your friends while working. You can't as a teacher have your cell phone out and text while teaching. Over all I think that cell phones should be kept in their lockers and/or I think that they should make it a rule they stay in their cars or once they enter the school they are to drop the cell phones off in the office and they can pick them up at the end of the school day. I think this would cut down on the students so called "necessity" to text. What is your opinion on this? Do you think that it makes sense to lengthen the amount of time between classes and decline the amount of time actually in the classroom, just so the students can text one another?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I hope, I believe and I will....

Today I believe that there is a bad reputation for the Physcial Education. As future Physical Educators one of our jobs is to remove this bad reputation! Check out my thoughts and ideas based around three main points, I Believe, I hope and I will.....Check me out on Youtube - HillsStephanie!

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Session 470

I'm trying to get the handle on everything that needs to be set up for my 470 class. It is hard trying to get the hang of all of the technical portions of the class. Setting up a blog account, gmail and twitter. I do not usually twitter or blog, but it is always a good thing to try new techniques.

Twitter account: @hills_stephanie
g-mail account:

Feel free to follow along with my blogs, twitter or even e-mail!