Through PED 201, I gained a greater knowledge of an age group that I previously had very little experience with. With this being the first step on the path to my teaching career, I learned a great deal about teaching methods and how to deal with children of this age group. We immediately learned that young children had plenty of energy and excitement for whatever activity there were going to participate in. They all want to play and are quite eager to learn new things. However, at this age they are still developing quite a bit and learning how to listen, share, and work/play with their classmates. Anything told to them will immediately engage their interest as they try to understand it and try to adapt it the way they want to. We also learned that the key to keeping their attention was activities that had them constantly moving the whole time and engage all the kids in physical activity at the same time. Endless Bucket was a great game because it had all the kids involved and had them doing different tasks after they completed one rather than performing the same thing over and over again. The key to the success of any activity was in the task explanation. Clear directions and guidance were needed to ensure the kids stay on task and do what was expected of them because with little direction, the activity could turn into a disaster.
My experience at St. Mary’s School Cortland is just the beginning of my path to becoming a Physical Education teacher. However, I have already learned a great deal about myself and the profession as a whole. I have learned that excitement and energy in the material you are presenting is crucial to the success of your lesson. If you as a teacher aren’t passionate about what you are presenting, then the students will lose interest. Also, I have learned that a loud “gym voice” is necessary in order to maintain structure in the classroom and keep the students on task and the activity flowing smoothly. I feel that even after this short time at St. Mary’s, my teaching style is beginning to emerge. I am starting to see myself as becoming very involved in the activity where I will be very enthusiastic presenting is and dressing the part if necessary. Plus, I will engage the kids’ interest by continually adjusting focus and task where necessary. I feel that I can be confident in front of a class by myself but can also team teach with one or more teachers.
I am very proud of all that I have achieved and learned during this experience. Our group, 'Jumping Jack and the Thriving Five' worked extremely well together professionally and became close friends personally. I thank Jenn, Brenda, Chris, Pam, and Ashley for an excellent time and memorable experience. I am very grateful and thankful to all the students and teachers at St. Mary's for all of their help. Also, to our lab assistants and Dr. Yang as well. They helped guide us through this part of the journey and helped us develop as teachers.
With this experience behind me, I look forward to continuing the journey and am excited for all the new challenges and knowledge yet to gain next year in 255/256 and beyond!