Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Day 31 (66) - Monday May 16, 2011

This would be the beginning of the final three-day stretch of student teaching. It is simply astonishing how quickly time has gone. In not but five days I will be graduating with my degree in physical education. However, before we can get there, there are three more fun-filled days at Ridge Elementary School teaching kindergarten and first grade. This week, we would begin the testing of the shuttle run for the President's Challenge Physical Fitness test on the second day of class. On the first day, I made sure to explain, thoroughly, once again how to perform the shuttle run and tips for being successful. It is always interesting to note that the children will immediately cheer for the student who is in first but not for the one in second. I made sure to note that students are simply running against the clock and not each other. Therefore, everyone had an equal opportunity to win and be successful. I also stress that cheering people on means to cheer on everyone. This enlightened the students to cheer for all of their classmates leading to improved performance. It is important to note these humanistic behaviors and address them as such. This can help develop and create positive sportsmanship within all children at a very young age for them to carry through the rest of their lives.
Saying goodbye to someone can be a very difficult task. None more difficult than saying it to a group of kindergarten children. For one class, it was my last day as their teacher. I made sure to give them a meaningful and thoughtful closure that they could help bring forth to their parents and families. Strangely, it was their sadness that made me happy. They had become so accustomed to me and welcoming that they were upset to see me go. And I was equally upset to part with them as well.

Day 32 (67) - Tuesday May 17, 2011
After a week and a half of non-stop practice, it was time to begin testing for the shuttle run component of the President's Challenge within some of the classes. The students were understandably nervous because they had not had an extended amount of practice but enough that we the teachers were confident in their abilities to perform the test accurately. In order to model the proper way to run the assessment for the class, Ms. Hinton assessed their abilities on the test while I observed and acted as the field judge for any potential disqualifications. It is interesting to note that even after repeated practice and constant feedback that the children are still making the same repeated errors. They only have two opportunities to perform the test and it is nerve-racking for both them and me to see these errors happen. However, since this is the test, I am confident they will 'wake-up' and fix these errors on their second attempt.
In our adapted physical education class, today's thunder proved to be quite the distraction. Some students became frightened with the noise. As the teacher, along with the one-on-ones, we were able to calm the students down and continue our scooter activities. One may not know what can scare a children so the teacher must be ready to act on their toes.
My goodbyes to the students continued through today and they were not any easier. It is always sad to say goodbye but it makes me feel very good when the students tell me that they are going to miss me. To me, it signifies that I was able to make an impact big enough to affect them. This is truly what teaching is all about.

Day 33 (68) - Wednesday May 18, 2011
It is difficult to say goodbye but no scenario is more difficult than to say goodbye to groups of kindergarten and first grade students after eight weeks of being their teacher. Today was my last day during my student teaching experience at Ridge Elementary School. It is rather sad to go from the school. The students and faculty have all been very welcoming and I could not have asked for a better placement here and in the district in general. As a final closure to each class, I discussed their futures using the book 'Oh the Places You'll Go!' by Dr. Seuss. I described how they can do anything as long as they try and that in 2022 and 2023 respectively, I will know that my Ridge munchkins graduated from Longwood High School and be excited about all the places they will go. As I graduate from SUNY Cortland this Saturday, I look forward to my future as well, and all the places I will go during my journey.

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