Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Going the Extra Mile

More often than not, I find that many of my fellow physical education majors work toward their degree by only pursuing what is required for them to do. They go by what needs to be achieved on their CAP report to graduate and do not do much else in terms of teaching or assisting with their time at Cortland. Experience is key in developing as a teacher and sometimes one needs to engage in tasks outside of what is required of them. As teacher candidates, we should be looking for as many opportunities to get involved with teaching in order to improve our skills and help out others.

This past semester, I engaged in a number of hours of teaching/assisting outside of what was required. One of my tasks was being a lab assistant for PED 201: Motor Development. For PED 201, I was a lab assistant and did just that; assisted with the labs. At St. Mary's School Cortland, I would assist the students in Stephen Yang's class with preparing, performing, and debriefing activities. This was a very hands on experience as I was assisting students who were just beginning their teaching experience as well as interacting with the students at St. Mary's. I tried to go above and beyond what was expected of me, I would try and meet with my group as well as other groups for assistance, I would help coordinate the theme and make sure everyone was active at all times, and I also went to both labs in order to use my skills to help those students who were not receiving adequate help from others. The most rewarding part of this experience was helping others. It is good to see yourself improve as a teacher, but it is even better when you see others improve because of your teaching.

Aside from being a lab assistant, I was also a teacher's assistant for PED 288: Rhythms and Dance with Colleen Buchanan. My job was to assist in the teaching of the dances, provide feedback and assistance to the students, and help assess. I was only required to T.A. for one class but due to Ms. Buchanan not having anyone else, I T.A.-ed for two classes and was available for help for her other two. I will detail my experience as a teacher's assistant in a later post. But just as being a lab assistant, the most rewarding experience was seeing students improve because of your help.

Each week, I would go to at least one PED 201 lab at St. Mary's School and I would go to four dance classes during the week. This was my decision and I'm glad I did this. Some of my fellow students do not see the value in taking up the opportunity for volunteer teaching. However, I feel that the more experience I have, the more I will improve.

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