A couple weekends I helped out at the Christmas Bazaar for St. Mary's school. Although this was not a physical education experience, it was a great thing for us to do since we gave back to the community, and it was not complicated work. I was in charge of the beanbag toss, and I had to take tickets from kids that wanted to play and hand them three beanbags. It was an great experience because it got your face out into the community, and it was shocking how many parents actually stopped and talk to you and what you were studying and how you liked it. The time went by a lot faster then I thought it was going too and meeting the kids was great. They get so excited to play these games and to have you there helping run the place really helps out everybody.
Lab D has come and gone. It's hard to believe how fast this semester has gone by. From when we walked in and were ambushed with teaching on the first day, to now when we all know each other and teaching the class is a lot less nerve racking then it was in the beginning. It seems so surreal that all of us have come such a long way from that first awkward four minute to lesson, to be able to teach, at least in my case, for half an hour without being nervous or without over thinking the process. As I watch my lab d video, I find it easier to reflect on not only the video but the semester as a whole.
The one thing I was nervous about when heading into Lab D was how long I would be teaching for. I had never even taught close to 30 minutes by myself but yet here I was about to voluntarily do it for the first time. I was most nervous about being able to keep everyone moving for long periods of time, but after reviewing my video and doing my time coding sheet, I was actually pleasantly surprised at myself since most of my lesson was the students doing some sort of activity. I didn't even have any wait time since when I went to go get equipment, instead of letting them hang on to the wall, I made them tread water until I got back. I also liked that through out the lesson, I felt relaxed and was having fun, and by watching my video, I think that you can tell. I was connecting with the students on a more personal level instead of having the typical teacher-student wall up.
One thing I wish I more was incorporate more of my lesson of biofeedback, breath control, and heart rate. I wanted to do it in a way that was not overly obvious, so that it flowed with my lesson more but looking at my video I believe that I did not touch on it as thoroughly as I should have.Also, looking back I wish I had demonstrated what I wanted the students to do so that they understood it more thoroughly. I learned that is hard to convey what you want them to do from the side of the pool. For them to have a full and complete understanding, you have to actually get in the pool with them and swim. For example, I should could have shown them the kicks from different angles. I could have sat on the ladder and showed them with me sitting forward on it, with me holding on the handles and kicking my legs behind me. I also could have had them get out of the pool and stand on the side while I get in the pool and show them exactly how I want them to perform the skill. Knowing this knowledge now, when I eventually do have to teach a swim class, I will not be the teacher that sits on the side and just talks at her class. I will get in the pool and swim with them, since teachers are able to have fun too, right? Another thing that I know I need to work on is my check for understands. I always do them at the end when it is just a closing statement, not really a CFU. I need to work them more into my lesson, whether or be verbally or written, to make sure my students a 100% know what exactly it is that I want from the,
opening. Looking back on other lessons, my weak part was always my introduction, even though that should be the easiest. I think it is because I get nervous and I over think it, but this time I did not let myself start over thinking what I was going to say and I definitely think it showed. I also liked that I was strong when I read my rules. In a pool setting especially, you have to get real detailed with yours rules because not only can something extremely bad happen such as someone starts to drown, but students can, and will, find new ways to misbehave in a pool setting, so I had to be firm on what I wanted from them so the students would not injure themselves, or someone else.
Over all, this semester has made me learn a lot about myself as a teacher candidate. It's easy to say oh yeah I want to be a physical education teacher and I am going to do this, but to actually do it is a complete different story. One of my professors definitely hit home when he said that in our profession, you are constantly going to be working with people, and things are going to go wrong. It is how you handle things that go wrong that makes you a great teacher, not how you handle things when everything is perfect. I feel that this semester showed us that, because all of us, including myself, went from not knowing how to handle student's misbehaving, to be able to correct the behavior and move on and taking this class helped out a lot. When it is all said and done, I think I took a huge step in towards being a successful p.e. teacher and to affecting lives around me.