Monday, March 7, 2011

Reactions to Situations Cannot Be Tested on a Piece of Paper

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Day 26 - Monday March 7, 2011

You cannot anticipate the unanticipated, however, you need to prepare for it whenever the situation calls for it. In physical education class, one of the most critical and vital components the teacher needs to enforce is safety for self and others. Today in class, Terry Phelan's words of safety immediately came to mind. During a class, one student hit their head on the floor attempting to catch a fly ball in a handball game. While they did immediately get up, you could tell that they seemed dazed and confused about the events that preceded the fall. The student was immediately brought to the nurse's office for observation and following this, presumably brought to the hospital for an examination. Because of Terry Phelan's constant reminders, I always stress safety before and during game-play in class. However, it's a hard thing to take in once an accident occurs. For the remainder of the day, I issued an even more explicit safety statement before and during each class and had a zero tolerance attitude for any plays deemed dangerous or potentially unsafe. While this was an accident, it saddened me for the remainder of the day wondering what the diagnosis of any potential injury was for this student. I truly hope this student is alright and will continue to be an advocate for classroom safety as I continue my student teaching experience. I also need to continue to prepare to react accordingly to any potential situations that arise.
Today, I began my volunteer coaching position with the Mr. Roenbeck, Mr. Huey, and Mr. Gibson and the varsity girls' track and field team. I look forward to this experience and hope to learn as much as I can from both the coaches and the athletes!

**UPDATE 3/8/11** The student who was injured in class was diagnosed with a mild concussion and otherwise will be fine. Best wishes to this student on their road to full recovery!

Day 27 - Tuesday March 8, 2011
Today was the first of the last two days of the team handball unit. When this was announced to the class, their were mixed reactions with more students having anticipation to move forward and begin the upcoming floor hockey unit which will bring them through the remainder of the third quarter. As promised last week, this would be a day of champions as each class would crown a handball champion among the teams who had competed against one another for the past five weeks. In order to make it a little more enticing, I brought in a toy WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt as a prop to signify today's importance. As soon as I took out the belt to show the class, their faces lit up and they were ecstatic to see a tangible representation of success and achievement. I told them that the winners would be able to wear the belt if desired and physically become the champion. It was a true success as the game-play was the highest it had been in a long time. It was turned out to be a great day to and storyline to close the unit on for this set of classes. This storyline showed me that no matter how old students are, props and tangible accolades will always be motivators for success and enthusiasm. As we move into the hockey unit, and very soon to my elementary experience, I will discover new ways in which to capture their imaginations and let them run free!

Day 28 - Wednesday March 9, 2011
After 23 says, or 115 class periods, the team handball unit finally came to a close! While I do enjoy the sport, I must admit, I was rather burned out with the sport after such a long time of doing the same thing. Each class period would be a carbon copy of the original one and it seemed to drag on for a while. However, in order to sell the idea of the game to the students, I never once made it seem as if I was tired of the sport. I would continue to run each class as if it were the most important lesson so that the kids would be drawn into the action and maintain their enthusiastic attitudes. As a future teacher, there may be some units in which I will be given to teach that I may or may not have the most experience or the most tolerance for. That is, however, a mute point as I need to be an expert on whatever I teach and maintain a positive view of the content in order to get the kids involved. Wearing one's 'teaching mask' is vital to their success. If the kids can see that you are apathetic toward the content, then they will too be apathetic and the class will spiral out of control. While I wholeheartedly look teaching in the floor hockey unit, it will be bittersweet to depart with team handball, the first teaching unit of my student teaching career!

Day 29 - Thursday March 10, 2011
Every ending leads to a new beginning. With the conclusion of the team handball unit comes the beginning of the floor hockey unit. Considering that the great majority of the team handball unit was spent playing games in the XHL tournament, this would be the first actual lesson where I would teach rules, concepts, and skills. Going into the day, it was the first time this placement that I was a little nervous to be in front of the class teaching. And to make matters worse, whereas only three of the ten classes we had were double classes, all periods on both days were to become double classes. Instead of 25 or so students in a class, I now had to manage 50-60 students in a smaller gymnasium in a unit where safety was a crucial aspect. Many of the kids were a little apprehensive about beginning floor hockey. They all enjoyed the team handball unit and weren't too keen on change especially since most of the first lesson was rule explanation. For all five periods it was simply me as the lead teacher. The kids cooperated during the explanation and expectations and we were able to get to some shooting drills at the end of the period. As a teacher, I have to expect the unexpected. I planned my lesson around the belief I would have 25 students but had to modify on the spot to accommodate nearly 60 students which included some activities. For the future, I must plan my lessons around any potential curve-balls that may be thrown out at me. And for the students, I know rule explanation can be boring and repetitive. I tried to make it as interactive as possible in order to keep them interested. I am excited to continue into next week to develop the unit!

Day 30 - Friday March 11, 2011
After nearly seven weeks at Longwood High School, very seldom did I have any major behavioral or disciplinary issues. If anything, those issues were minor, dealt with swiftly, and did not impede instruction or activity time. Well, in today's seventh period class, I received all behavioral issues on a massive scale. As usual, this would be a double class with nearly sixty students. This would be the tenth time I explained the rules of floor hockey as well as the activities. At this point, I was able to provide a thorough explanation in a rather timely manner. However, I did not anticipate the students' actions. From the start, students would converse with one another while I was trying to explain the rules, they would continually ask irrelevant questions, and even at one point, three students who were not in the class entered the gymnasium and disrupted the class. Mr. Reilly interjected multiple times to try to get them to focus but it proved to be ineffective. After this, there was barely ten minutes left to warm-up and play so I moved quickly to get the activity in. However, when I was trying to explain the activity, the kids were throwing sticks on the floor, talking and being disrespectful. It was at this point I decided not to let them play. I instead provided a monologue regarding the incident. It was non-threatening and non-confrontational and yet stern. I understand that they may be tired after a long day of school but at the end of it, I am a teacher and I should still be treated as such. As a teacher, you need to be stern and assert control of the class otherwise it will be lost. I hope my final two days with this class will be more productive than this was.

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