Saturday, March 31, 2012

Educational Philosophy (work in progress)

Education is not simply the delivery of information from teachers to students, but rather is a means by which teachers instill the capacity to learn and achieve in ways that will make students successful individuals later on in life. I believe that students need to be able to relate the learning experiences to the world around them, and that it is the responsibility of the teacher to make students hungry for knowledge.
For as long as I can remember, I have always believed that what I am learning in school should relate to a real life situation of some sort. I recall sitting through numerous lessons in high school and thinking to myself “how and when am I ever going to use what I am learning right now in life?” Thus I truly believe that as a future teacher, it will be my responsibility to facilitate learning in my students using a student-centered approach. This does not simply mean teaching all the numbers and facts from a textbook, but rather helping students connect what they are learning to real world experiences. Connecting learning experiences to students lives’ most definitely requires social interaction, which I believe is another crucial part of learning. I believe that anything from small group work and projects to larger class discussions and debates are fundamental parts of a child’s education.
            I am a firm believer in structure in the classroom. The classroom is a place where students learn and it is important that teachers create an environment that is warm and inviting to the students. I believe that good teachers instill in their students the desire to learn and the drive to succeed and have a bright future. They do this by motivating their students in many different ways. Students become bored very easily, especially when learning a subject that it is not easily related to real life situations. Thus teachers should use different methods to reach all the different learners in their classroom. It is extremely important to remember that all students have a different preferred style of learning. Not all students will learn by looking at a colorful poster or graphic, just as not all students will learn by listening to a teacher lecture. Teachers must plan their lessons with individual learning differences in mind.
            Teachers have an immense impact on student’s education. I believe that all teachers share a passion for working with children and bringing them the knowledge they need to be successful individuals later on in life. Teachers touch the lives of their students every day and are role models for their students. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bullying in Schools
I recently decided to change my research paper topic to bullying in school. I think that this is a major issue that every teacher in the school needs to be aware of. It is important to know the difference between cyber bullying and bullying. I also know that teachers should be educated on what to do if they see signs of bullying, including violent or suicidal thoughts.
One article that I have found gives some great statistics on the percentages of students in a high school being bullied. Statistics showed that boys were bullied slightly more than girls in school, and girls experienced cyber bullying slightly more than boys. The article breaks up the percentages of students being bullied into different grade levels as well. It was interesting to see that 21.4% of students reported being bullied 9th grade and that this number is cut in half as only 10.6% of students in 12th grade reported being bullied. I was somewhat surprised to see that the percentages of whites being bullied was just about the same as the percentage of non-whites being bullied. There was a slight difference in the percentage of heterosexually identified students compared to the percentage of students who were non-heterosexually identified. The students who identified as non-heterosexual were bullied slightly more.
Another reason I liked the article was because it divided the different effects of suicide into depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, self-injury, suicide attempt, and suicide attempt with medical treatment. It was definitely interesting to see how cyber bullying and school bullying had different effects.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Source #1

This article talks about a model in which theorists believe that if a student has high achievement in the verbal domain, they most likely lack confidence in the mathematical domain. The opposite is also believed to be true as students that show high scores and achievement in the mathematical domain are seen to have a poor self-concept in the verbal domain. This model is referred to as the Internal/External Frame of Reference Model. The word internal relates to the students comparing their own personal achievement in one subject to their achievement in another subject. The word external refers to a student comparing their own achievement to the achievement of their peers.  For this study done in the article, investigations were done to link physical education to the verbal and mathematical areas and see if high achievement in physical education can be linked to high achievement and a positive self-concept in the classroom in verbal and mathematical subjects. The study was done in France and surveyed about 451 students with the mean age of 13.5 years. It was ultimately found that physical education showed no significant relationship with achievement or self-concept in verbal subject matter. Yet there were positive implications for self –concept in the mathematical domain.

Take a look at the full article here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dancing through life

Today in my PED 356 class we began discussing different implication for teaching dance to students with disabilities. My professor Dr. Craft showed us this video before we even began our discussion. I think that the fact that she showed us the video before the lecture and discussion made a huge difference because seeing the video showed me just how much students with disabilities are really capable of. I think that this video is absolutely incredible and so humbling. To see a young man with no function in his legs dance the way he does in the video using his crutches and great upper body strength is phenomenal. It was interesting to learn about teaching students with disabilities different dances, and it was awesome to learn how much these students really enjoy dance units. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some Shocking News

Dribbling Lesson for EDU 355
Today I once again taught at the Cortland Christian Academy. My partner and I decided on a lesson that would focus on dribbling because our host teacher has mentioned to us before that she thinks the students need a lot of work on this skill. We did a short activity called “busy bee” for the instant activity and the students really seemed to enjoy this activity. We then went into a series of dribbling progressions. It was important to make sure that the students were first comfortable with the basketball and then we moved on to actually dribbling. The students were all working very hard and were very on task today for our lesson. After we had gotten through everything we had planned in the dribbling progression, we closed the class by playing a small game that we learned in 355 lab called Forest Ranger. This game is a lot of fun, but also requires patience. It was great to end the class on such a positive note.

Today at the school I found out that my “master teacher” is really not a certified teacher at all. She was a teaching assistant at the Cortland Christian Academy last year and they had to cut her position due to budget cuts. So out of the goodness of her heart, she stepped in this year as a VOLUNTEER to teacher physical education classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was absolutely shocked when I heard this and was actually quite disappointed. It is because Cortland Christian Academy is a private school that they are allowed to get away with having a volunteer parent as the physical education teacher. I think that the biggest reason that I found this disappointing is because the school is not seeing physical education as important and do not see the need for a teacher certified in teaching kids about motor skills and physical activity. With this new knowledge, I feel that it will be my duty to show the students what physical education is really about for the rest of my time there!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Coaching Philosophy

Athletics is not only a means by which students practice and compete in sporting events, but is also a place where a lot of individual growth takes place. Many physical education teachers also have a passion for coaching but the goals of physical education and coaching athletics are very different. While the goal of physical education is to teach students ways to stay fit and engage in lifetime activities, the goals of athletics are much more competitive competition and to develop proficiency in sport skills. Through athletics, individuals develop character though hard work, dedication and teamwork. It is the responsibility of the coach to facilitate the acquisition of character through these different aspects of sport.
            One big difference between athletics and physical education is that every child on the sport team in interscholastic athletics wants to be there. This differs from physical education because physical education is a state mandated requirement and mandatory even though some students may not really want to be there. Thus the players on sports teams are more likely to work hard to improve their skills both to better themselves as athletes, as well as for the benefit of the team as a whole. It is the job of the coach to motivate the players to keep practicing and working at 110%. A coach needs to find creative and innovative ways to keep practice sessions interesting and rewarding while improving the skills and mental capacity of the team. A coach is a person who is always learning and constantly acquiring ways to challenge the athletes. After all, coaching can be seen as an extension of learning as coaches teach their players lessons both on and off the field.
            Athletics almost always requires a large time commitment. Players and coaches who are truly dedicated will put in countless hours to practicing so that come game day, they are more than prepared.  This dedication leads to a discipline in athletes. As a coach, it is crucial to make athletes know that all their hard work and time will pay off.
            The way that a player acts on the field can really show a lot about their character. Coaches should strive to mold their athletes into respectable individuals who show compassion for their opponents and who have an unbreakable bond with their teammates. Learning to work together as a team towards a common goal requires a great deal of effective cooperation and communication. Both cooperation and communication are skills that can be carried over to many other life situations besides athletics.
I believe that the number one most important part of being a coach is finding the balance between being a friend and role model to the players while maintain authority at the same time. I have had several coaches throughout my life who were the most inspiring people in life and really pushed myself and my team to succeed even when none of us had faith. A coach believes in his or her team at all times and is an approachable individual who players look to for advice, both on and off the field. I believe that the coaches I had and the experiences I had in interscholastic sports really shaped me into the person I am today. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Boston Blackout!!

On a tour of Boston Harbor

Quincy Market
I had been looking forward to the 2012 National AAHPERD Conference in Boston for a very long time. I was so excited to continue to pursue more professional development and check out my first national conference. But on our 9 hour train ride back up to Boston on Tuesday, we got some bad news. There was an electrical fire that blew two transformers, leaving much of the city without power. It was a huge blackout in Boston and even our hotel did not have power. The next morning I was really excited for Day 1 of the conference but it ended up being cancelled because of the power outage. So some of my friends and I went on a tour of the city of Boston! It was my first time ever in Boston so I was excited to learn a little about the history of the city. After all the touring around Boston, we were all ready for the conference the next day but were just disappointed once again. On Thursday AAHPERD decided to cancel the entire rest of the conference because of the blackout. I was extremely disappointed because I really was looking forward to the conference and was excited that I was also going to have a chance to present with one of my professors at a national conference. But a situation like the blackout is not any one’s fault and just really unfortunate. After we got news that the conference was cancelled for the entire rest of the week, we realized that the hotel rooms and train tickets were all paid for already so we would be spending the next two days in Boston. I ended up having a great time with some of my fellow physical education majors and we got to see some really neat things in Boston. Despite the AAHPERD conference being cancelled, we all had a great time in Boston and got to know one another well. Some of the different things that we saw in Boston were the Boston Harbor, Quincy Market, the Freedom Trail and Fenway Park. Another highlight of the trip was when I got to meet up with one of my physical education teachers from high school for lunch. It was also cool to see that wherever we went touring around Boston there were other physical education teachers. For example, when we went on a boat tour of Boston Harbor, we met a couple of physical education professors from Arizona State University and a few professors from West Virginia University. They were also making the most of their time in Boston even though the conference was cancelled. We got to talk to these professors about what the physical education programs are like at their schools and it was interesting to see the similarities and differences. So even though we were not physically at the AAHPERD Conference, we still got to network with other teachers at the same time. I have a lot of great memories from my time spent in Boston this past week and formed some great relationships with my peers which will be helpful in the future when we are all teachers. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" Campaign

After taking a look at PE and what it was like back in the Cold War Era, I wanted to take a look at Michelle’s increasingly popular campaign called “Let’s Move”. She talks about how her family was not very healthy and then decided to make some changes in their lifestyles. Her new campaign is to all children more active and moving. She divides the campaign into four different parts:
1.       Making Healthy Choices
2.       Healthier School Foods
3.       Access to Healthy Affordable Food
4.       Increase physical activity
As a future physical educator, I know that I will be involved in the movement. I think that it is great that a figure head like the First Lady is so passionate about this type of movement. I believe that Obama hopes to not only fight childhood obesity that is such a problem right now, but she also hopes to start a proactive movement to prevent childhood obesity for even starting in the first place. Michelle Obama is also encouraging families to be active together which I think is another great idea. I remember growing up my parents always had my family doing activities together like going on hikes and going snow tubing.
I really like that Michelle Obama is trying to get everyone involved in the movement. It is awesome to see in the video how many professional athletes are getting involved in the movement.