Monday, March 14, 2011

It's Your Show and You've Done Well... Now Go Out with a Bang!

Day 31 - Monday March 14, 2011
Just because an idea works on paper, doesn't mean it is going to work in reality. That is how my offense and defense drill turned out in today's hockey lesson. My idea was to perform a 3v2 offense v. defense drill to reinforce these positions before we began games. I split the courts in half and had the students working in groups of 10 rotating in and out on a time based schedule. As it turns out, this drill isn't too fun nor is it easy to explain to kids who simply want to play and have fun. After two periods of this dreadful drill, I asked Mr. Reilly if he had any ideas on how to fix this drill or any ideas for a new drill. As it turns out, he was just the man to ask. He offered me a drill; 2v2 offense and defense in a straight line toward the goal. There would be eight lines and four goals with two lines working together and rotating through the positions. This turned out to be a huge success with the students. It allowed them to move freely throughout the space of the gymnasium as well as focus on the decision-making process I had been stressing for the offense and defense. Sometimes, your drill may not work and it's never bad to ask for help. Mr. Reilly helped me out today but as he said, each day is a learning experience. If it doesn't work for one class, make a change and see if that works. Otherwise, it will simply get stale.

Day 32 - Tuesday March 15, 2011
As I continue the final week of my experience at Longwood High School, the closure process begins: saying goodbye to students, say goodbye to staff, final evaluations, the list goes on. I met with Mr. Dillon today and he stated that, as with other student teachers, in their final week he performs a mock job interview with them. As it turns out, today was the day for my mock interview. Many of the questions he asked were simple, some I had heard before and others were new. However, when it came time to answer, I realized that I still had a lot of work to do in both answering more efficiently and making myself more marketable to potential employers. I answered the initial questions successfully but when he would follow up with continuous extensions to that question, I began to fumble. He told me that the most important thing in an interview is to be confident and comfortable. Talk early, talk often, and always ask questions. This process was one of the most valuable experiences of this placement. Mr. Dillon said that anytime I needed to practice or if I had any questions to feel free to contact him and go through it again. This was comforting as I now have additional outlets to help better myself as I prepare to enter the job market.

Day 33 - Wednesday March 16, 2011
After sitting through multiple rule explanations, numerous drills, and constant reminders, it was finally time to begin playing floor hockey in Mr. Reilly's sport module one physical education classes. Unfortunately, playing time was going to be rather low especially since we were in a gymnasium with Mr. Schroeder's classes for four periods and Ms. K's class for one period. We divided the gymnasium in half and played two separate games: competitive and noncompetitive. Throughout the day, there was rarely an even balance between the two sides. It would be lopsided one way or the other. And that is where it would get difficult to manage. The kids would get restless and hop on the court when their team was waiting on the sidelines. Initially, we would have games of 7v7 and at times they would balloon to 12v10 if we were not noticing who came on and who came off. Mr. Reilly noted this between classes that we cannot ever let that happen again. For the remainder of the day, I was strict with the number on each team and how much time each would play was balanced as evenly as I could. I know that in big classes it can be difficult to get a lot of activity time for most of the class. However, activity time must always be sacrificed for the well being and safety of the students in the class.

Day 34 - Thursday March 17, 2011
In this new era of physical education, students are not simply expected to know how to physically perform a skill or task, but rather they are also expected to know how to cognitively identify the critical components of a movement and how they associate with other aspects of the activities. Today, I administered a unit test for both team handball and floor hockey. I created the test myself based upon what was covered in class and based off of what my objectives were for the end of each unit. Prior to the test, I distributed a review sheet for student who wanted to study and prepare. On the day of the test, it was surprising to see many students struggle with the content. Several times in each class I received multiple questions regarding whether or not a certain concept was covered or not. Eventually, I would give hints to the whole class based upon questions in which numerous students seemed to have struggled answering. It is unclear whether this was a result of a difficult test, a lack of thorough explanation on my part, or a lack of studying on the student part. Regardless, next time I need to ensure that all concepts are covered and reinforced it they are going to be on a test. This way, students will all be able to excel in class.

Day 35 - Friday March 18, 2011
Unbelievable. After 8 weeks at Longwood High School, my student teaching experience comes to an end. It is hard to believe that I have only been in this school since January 24, 2011. I feel as if this is a place where I belong and would hope to one day work. Since this was my last day, I brought in bagels and orange juice for all of the physical education staff as a thank you for my time with them. The teaching portion of this day went without a hitch. There were no issues in the classes as the students completed their exams and played hockey with me for the final time. Perhaps the most important moment of the day was the conversation reflecting on my experience that I had with Mr. Reilly. In a one-on-one conversation, we discussed my growth from the first day up until today. He was very proud of the strides that I had made to improve myself both professionally and personally. And to him, I thanked him for hosting me as his student teacher and offered gratitude for all he had done in the form of a simple gift and the most powerful show of respect, a handshake. I feel as if I had grown a lot as a person through my experiences at Longwood High School. It was upsetting to say goodbye to many of the students and teachers on this last day. However, I know it will not be the last time that I see them. I will see them again in the future both in person as well as in the teacher that they all assisted in developing.

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