Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Portfolio Showcase

Yesterday, I was chosen by Dr. Couturier, the physical education faculty and staff to display my professional portfolio in Park Center from 3-4pm. This is an honor and goal achieved for myself which I am very proud of. Below I am posting the letter given to me by Dr. Couturier which states why I was chosen for this event, and how I have developed into a professional educator.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Practice Interview Questions

Things to improve:
1) Look at the person interview me when answering my question
2) Be more confident with my answer and smile more
3) Explain how I could have improved the situation so the student will not be sitting out.

Any other suggestions?

Responsibility and Job Security in the classroom

As a future educator of many students, it's important to know the boundaries of both the student, and yourself. As every teacher should know, their are laws, prohibiting teachers from doing certain tasks, as well as laws for students to abide by while in the school. As a teacher, understanding ways in which you can be fired, as well as ways you cannot be fired, are extremely important. Being able to identify when things are going wrong during the lesson, and fixing them based on your responsibilities as a teacher. It may seem obvious to some, but yelling at students with negative criticism, or touching a student without consent is not allowed. Job security in the teaching profession can be difficult to some, but should not be. Understanding your obligations to teach these students, and the responsibility of being in charge of an adolescent, are crucial when finally landing a job. According to our EDU 470 textbook, "A teacher enjoys job security as long as the teacher's behavior and personal life do not disrupt or interfere with teaching effectiveness. Teachers may copy material for classroom use by adhering to three criteria: brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect." (2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education) During this portion of Chapter 8, it discusses these three criteria based on the term 'Fair Use'. The term Brevity discusses how a teacher can use another piece of work, depending on the length. An example of Brevity would be using a book, however you may only use up to 1,000 words or 10% of the entire book. In short, Brevity is made so teachers cannot use the full work of another individual and pass it off as their own. Spontaneity is discussed next in the chapter, about the published work of that teacher. If a teacher is currently publishing work, and wishes to distribute it to their class, they may do so due to the fact that it has not had enough time to be reviewed. However, if the teacher wishes to distribute the same work the next semester, it must be requested to be used in the classroom. Personally, I think this is a great idea because many times the teacher may have great idea's for the lesson, but not have time to get their work fully published and submitted. Lastly, the cumulative effect relates to the spontaneity criteria because this limits the amount of work a teacher can give to their class, without it being reviewed. With the federal law having such a huge impact in today's schools, teachers have to be aware of their responsibilities in order to protect their job security. Posted below is a video discussing job security across the country. Obviously this is not the case for everyone, but it is a major problem with future education majors. One thing I would like to point out, is the discussion of making yourself more marketable. Some girls discussed taking classes related to her major that may increase her likelyhood of landing a new job.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coaching Philosophy

III. Coaching Philosophy

            Throughout my lifetime, athletics have been a huge part of my life, giving me the opportunity to interact with others, develop my skills, and find lifetime hobbies.  As a coach, I believe in 4 ideas that help me successfully develop my teams which are: practice harder than you play, respect others like you would like to be respected, design practices for optimal use, and provide my students with enough knowledge, skills, plays and corrective feedback to become successful in that sport.

            As a coach, I believe that the work you put in during practice, relates directly to game play.  Being able to conduct a practice that is working on the needs of each player will benefit the team.  Similar to an educator, the coach is responsible for making sure his team knows the plays and rules before they get to an actual game.  Doing drills where the team is working together to accomplish a task, will help make them become a better overall team.  It’s the coach’s job to make sure his players are practicing hard, but at the same time correcting and improving their skills.

            In athletics respect is a huge characteristic that some people have, and some don’t.  As coach, I will make sure my team is respectful to themselves, to myself, and to the opposing team.  It’s important that the players know, sports are about the experience, not the win or loss.  During practice time would be great to reinforce the rule, respect others how you want to be respected. 

            While coaching any sport, it’s important to plan ahead so the practice runs as smoothly as possible.  Depending on the school, the athletic facility may be good or in poor condition, either way, it’s the coach’s responsibility to optimize his facility and equipment for maximum participation.  The coach needs to be evaluating their player’s strengths and weaknesses throughout practice and games, which will then decide what needs to be worked on during future practices. 

            One of the most crucial parts of being a coach, is being able to recognize what the athlete is doing wrong and also able to know the correct way to fix it.  As a coach, you need to give you players enough plays, drills and knowledge about the game so they can become successful.  Being able to tell individual players what to work on or correct, and give them specific drills to do, they can not only work on it in practice, but outside of school as well.

            A coach is not just a leader of the team; they are also educators of the sport.  Having the ability to improve the skills of players is a great motivator to become the best coach possible. 

Philosophy of Physical Education

II. Philosophy of Physical Education        

            As a professional physical educator I believe that all students should be given the necessary knowledge to be able to live a healthy and active lifestyle.  In order to properly physically educate the students, I follow these main ideas; the student should understand basic motor skills and movement patterns,  responsibility of personal and social behaviors, the idea that physical activity is for everyone, and understanding how to maintain a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.

            In physical education, basic motor skills and movement patterns are important concepts that should be highly stressed throughout each year.  In most activities, it’s the basic movements that are most relevant and more commonly used.  Everything that is new, must start from the easiest stage and work its way up to more complex.  As a physical educator, I believe it is my job to provide my students with the necessary skills, examples, and demonstrations to become successful.

            Responsibility of personal and social behaviors in each individual should be worked on and developed in the physical education setting, as well as the classroom setting.  Within physical education, students are constantly interacting with others while doing activities.  Activities such as team games work on sportsmanship within classmates, and ultimately create a better learning environment. 

            Being able to create a learning environment where every student is successful and can participate, is an essential part of being a teacher.  In every class, every student should understand that physical activity is for enjoyment, health and social interaction. Creating fun and exciting activities will motivate the students to give their best effort, and want to continue to be physically active.

            It is the physical educator’s responsibility to give every student the necessary knowledge to maintain a health-enhancing level of physical fitness throughout their lifetime.  Throughout the student’s years in school, they should be constantly learning new ways to stay active in the gymnasium and outside of school.  I believe this is a crucial aspect that needs to be understood by every student.  Through physical education, I will be able to give every student the necessary knowledge and skills to live a healthy and active lifestyle.


Philosophy of Education

I. Philosophy of Education

            As a professional educator I rest my philosophy upon three themes that I follow in order to properly educate my students.  Together, these three themes provide the basis of what I value, what I do, and why I do it as an educator.  These themes are: educating the student is the primary focus, the teacher must create a positive and successful learning environment, as well as adapt each lesson to the needs of the class.

            Throughout every class with your students, they should learn something new and important that relates to that lesson. In school, it is the teacher’s job to find creative ways to stimulate their minds and keep them interested.  As an educator, I feel it is important to create a positive rapport with students as quickly as possible, and be open to suggestions and ideas from the class.

            Creating an environment where students feel comfortable and safe is important because it allows them to relax and fully concentrate on what the teacher is saying.  By adding visual aids on the walls, it will allow the students to learn visually, as well as verbally from the teacher.  I believe it is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure every student has the same opportunity as every other child to have their opinions heard, and respected.  Being able to speak your mind and ask questions knowing it will be respected by others is the type of environment that all teachers should strive for.

            As an educator, I believe it is important to be able adapt each lesson to meet the needs of your students.  Being able to plan separate lessons, but still work on the same focus, is a skill that is essential when teaching.  While creating lessons, it’s important to have as many adaptations as possible, to allow for success in every student.  This is a skill that can be developed as a teacher, and if done effectively can benefit every student.

            My philosophy for education is based on the three themes that I truly believe in and teach by.  If given the opportunity, I believe I can instill every student with knowledge that will better them for the rest of their life.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Why physical education is important to me

Due to the thanksgiving holiday, I was asked many questions regarding my status in school, when I'm graduating, what I will do when I'm done, and why I chose to become a teacher.  My family was hitting me with questions all day trying to figure out what was going on in my life the last three months.  All the questions were easy to answer except when my mom's friend (Who is a physical education teacher) why i wanted to do physical education.  For a few seconds I thought about it, and I actually had several answers.  I want to be able to help young students improve their skills, and I feel like I can connect with all students on any level.  I'm very good with handling kids, and being able to adjust to random situations.  Another reason I wanted to be a physical education teacher is because I love sports and would love to be a coach one day.  My whole life, my Father coached teams, some with me on it, some not.  Being able to be a leader, and having your team look up to u is something I take very seriously.  Being a role model is not something that comes easy, eyes are usually on you.  I feel like if I am given the opportunity, I can be a great role model, and help lead kids in the right direction.  My last answer for the question was, this is something I've always wanted to do.  Not many people can come out of high school and know what they want to do for the rest of their life.  I consider myself lucky to have found a major that fits my personality perfect, and something that I love to do.  One thing my mom always told me is you have to be happy with what your doing.  It doesn't matter how much money your making because if your not happy at work, all that money will be worthless.  Physical education gives me the opportunity to have an impact on people's lives, which is something I love.  Being able to put smiles on people face, or make their day better, doesn't sound like a job, but it's definitely a big factor when teaching.  Throughout my last four and a half years of college, I've never been more sure that this is what I want to do for my career.  Looking back, I would like to thank every teacher I've ever had whether at SUNY Cobleskill or SUNY Cortland.  The day I was accepted to Cortland, changed my life.  I was nervous I would have to change my major, until i got the letter in the mail.  Since then, my goal has been the same; be humble, take it one step at a time, and be myself.  These little reminders everyday help keep me composed when I have a lot of stuff going on, and keep me organized throughout the year.  Being in this major at Cortland, has introduced me to a lifetime of friends and hopefully one day colleagues.  I'm sure I will be seeing my fellow classmates in years to come, and I have SUNY Cortland to thank for that.  My time at this school was priceless, and if I could go back and change ANYTHING, I wouldn't.  Everything happens for a reason; live off your experiences.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coach K going for the most wins in Division 1

Recently,Duke University basketball head coach, Mike Krzyzewski tied the infamous Bob Knight with the most wins by a coach in men's division 1 NCAA basketball. With 902 wins, coach K will go for 903 tonight against an underrate Michigan state team. It's going to be a battle for both teams, but if I had to choose, I would say Duke will win this game for themselves and for their legendary coach. Personally, I feel like coach K is different from other coach's in the sense that hes very humble when coaching in game situations. Recently I was watching an interview with coach K and Bob Knight and they were discussing how his techniques came about. Some people may not know, but Mike Krzyzewski was a fairly good basketball player where he played at West Point Academy under coach Bob Knight. During the interview coach K talks about his experience playing at that school and for coach knight. Coach K says that he got a two for own experience because he got a chance to play for one of the best coach's of all time, and go to one of the best disciplinary schools in the world; both which are very true. West Point showed him how to be responsible, take control and be a leader, which are some of his best traits as a person/coach. While interviewing coach Knight, he was discussing coach K as a basketball player. Mike Krzyzewski was a leader on the court, playing at the point guard position. He wasn't the best shooter, but made great passes and controlled the game. His basketball intelligence led him to the starting position, along with his intense basketball skills. Coach K knew what he had to do to make his teammates better, which led to them being pretty successful. Shortly after coach K graduated from the academy, he got the head coaching position for the men's basketball team at West Point. For several years coach proved him self to be a great coach as well, and his near future was definitely a bright one. In 1980, Duke University sign Mike Krzyzewski as their men's basketball head coach. His team was thin with talent, but after he was given a chance to recruit his own players, he did it the right way. His second year at Duke, he had the best recruiting class ever, and put Duke on the map for good. Success has gradually come for coach K and now he is at the top of the list. Winning several national championships, with his most recent in 2010, coach K will attempt to set a new record, one for himself. Tonight at 7:00 pm in the worlds most famous arena, a.k.a Madison Square Garden, Duke battles Michigan State, each time fighting for a strong start to their season.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Joe Paterno's Last Run

After 62 years of coaching NCAA football at Pennsylvania State University, as either a head coach or assistant coach, Joe Paterno will more or less be asked to leave after this season. Beginning this week, there were huge rumors and controversies discussing Paterno's future at Penn State. It all started with his weekly press conference being cancelled by the athletic department. In 2009, Paterno got into his 44th consecutive head coaching job at Penn State, and is currently holding the lead for most season's ever coached. It may seem impossible to overcome, but only time will tell. With Joe Paterno on his way out, who will become the next Penn State football coach, or better yet, what will Joe Paterno do with his spare time? These questions cannot be asnwered until after this season is over, but i know reporters and television stations everywhere will be awaiting those answers. Below, are some statistics about Joe Paterno's legacy at Penn State University. Paterno holds the record for most bowl wins with 24 and bowl appearances with 37. He also coached Penn State to 39 winning seasons. He is the only coach with the distinction of having won each of the current four major bowls -- Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar. Paterno has also led Penn State to two national championships (1982 and 1986) and five undefeated seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986 and 1994). He won Coach of the Year honors by the AFCA five times (1968, 1978, 1982, 1986 and 2005). On May 16, 2006, Paterno was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame' ( Along with his great legacy, goes something overlooked by most people in the sport world today. All over college football are allegations that teams are cheating to recruit by using any means possible. These teams were breaking the rules by giving cars, money, clothes, housing to these athletes so they would attend their school. However at Penn State, Joe Paterno has had no NCAA violations that set his team back by any means, and has had a student-athlete mentality rather than athlete-student like most big division one universities. Paterno's coaching style is one of a kind, and as the years go on, that becomes more and more obvious. During his press conferences he's a very quite, subtle man who is actually quite funny. During an ESPN film called, Difference Makers, Penn State coach Joe Paterno and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski talk about there experiences and strategies they used while trying to become a coach, and some of there philosophies while being head coach. Below I am posting a video which is an introduction to this film Difference Makers. Unfortunately ESPN would not allow people to embed there videos so I had to find an alternative. Hopefully this will interest you to watch the full interview online.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One of the greatest video's I have ever seen

Although a little off topic of our textbook, I wanted to post this video to everyone who hasn't seen it before. In a school located in Greece/ Athens, Rochester, NY, a senior in high school, who happened to be a highly functioning autistic, was the varsity basketball team manager. He was loved by the team, coach's and school which is what really made this event so special. His name: Jason McElwain, a highly enthusiastic and motivated manager who would do anything from his teammates and friends. After listening to his players, it sounds like everyone loves his intensity, and loves having him around everyday to help keep the team on track, and help the coach during practices. However, on the last regular season game, the head coach told Jason he will be given the chance to put on an actual uniform and be on the bench. With four minutes left, coach put Jason in the game, praying he would make a basket. It was at this time where everyone started taking a deeper breathe, wondering if this was really the right thing to do. His first shot; missed by a lot. His second shot; missed again. Everyone was itching for Jason to hit a shot, just hoping it would come at this moment. The next time down the court, Jason gets the ball at the three point line and HITS! The crowd goes crazy, and Jason goes on to hit his next 5 shots, making it 6 IN A ROW! Personally, I would like to know how many high school athletes have done that all year because that is extremely hard to do, especially in his situation with everyone watching. It was awesome how Jason's last shot went in at the buzzer so the team rushed the court to celebrate with him which gave me the chills while watching it. People like Jason are the ones who are going to make a change in this world. If you were to watch this video with no sound, I wonder how many people would know he was diagnosed with Autism, and rather think it was a highlight film for a great basketball player. A question I have is, could Jason have played on this team regularly, or was this a fluke? Being involved with a team for such a long period of time and practicing as much as he did, I'm sure his basketball skills were pretty decent. In this situation, Jason looks like the team manager position brings him more joy than sitting on the bench, but that's not for me to say. Another interesting part about this video is the reactions of the faculty and teammates after this happened. The athletic director was stunned and said he will be talking about this moment for the rest of his life. The head coach said he would not have believed it if he didn't see it with his own eyes, and his teammates said he was loved by everyone in the school, definitely the 'popular guy.' At the end of the interview, the announcer said a quote from Jason, "I'm used to feeling different, but not this different." It's different to hear somebody with a disability say that, and be aware of what just happened. He realized that he was autistic and that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that he will never forget. While working with students with disabilities in my adapted physical education class, I can see students who have the capability of doing the same thing as Jason, Being apart of a team, and making a difference on that team, is just as good as being a player. The problem is getting students involved and being accepted in these situations, that probably makes coach's and faculty turn there head and not even try to get these students involved. This just goes to show, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Learning While Exercising

As I was watching some t.v. the other night, this commercial came on and caught my attention.  During my time at SUNY Cortland I was introduced to a new way of exercising, and that's through video games.  It's the newest way to incorporate the casual video games of sitting down and using a remote, with exercising like your actually playing the game.  Over the past years, exergames has become more popular, and able to put together more devices for schools and teachers to use.  During my 470 class, we were introduced to about 5 different video games that make the player exercise at the pace they would like, almost like a treadmill.  The first one that caught my eye was the boxing game which was similar to dance, dance revolution.  The game is the same, but instead of touching the floor board underneath you, you are connecting with the boxing bag on either the top, bottom, left or ride side.  Another game which caught my eye was the PlayStation bike.  The actual game in the PlayStation was a racing game, so as the bike peddles faster, the car moved faster.  After three laps, people were sweating and saying it was definitely a good workout.

The reason I posted this commercial is because it directly relates to what I have been doing in some of my classes during college.  Being able to let students try these new ideas and activities are great, but I feel like we need to do it at a younger age.  This young boy is learning new letters and numbers while riding a bike.  As he gets older, maybe exergames will be more attracting to him because he grew up playing games like this, rather than the classic sitting down video games.  With the obesity problem rising in this country, parents need to recognize what is better off for their kids.  Introducing these games at a young age could set them in the right track for the rest of there life.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bullying in schools

A major problem in today's school system is bullying. Students who are bigger or popular, think it's OK to make fun of another student. It's not just the high school setting where this is taking place, middle and elementary schools are having to deal with this as well. In some cases, it's in the younger age's where the students are most out of control. Playgrounds, hallways, parking lots, are all places that bullies can be which puts a lot of stress on that student who is being bullied. As teachers in that school, you need to be aware of what is going on between your students so they all can have the same chance to succeed academically. Along with bullying, there is now cyber-bullying which is the newest form for kids to torment other's in there class. Personally, I know about cyber-bullying from my little sister. While in sixth grade, she had students sending her messages on AOL and through e-mails saying harmful things about her and our family. Of course my mother printed out the messages and took them to the police where they handled the situation. It's little situation's like that, that can get out of control to the point where parents have to get involved because there child is being made fun of by classmates. At that age it is terrible to see how kids can act and treat other's just for joy.
Unfortunately, bullying is not a new issue, it has been around for decades if not longer. All over colleges (fraternities/ sororities), there is hazing and bullying as part of 'rituals' for students to be accepted. (Something I've never understood, but people do it) At the high school level, student on the varsity squad can pick on younger freshman in most cases. In this short video below, the news reporter shows two young men who were on the Valencia High School Football team, who sexually assaulted another teammate who was younger than them.

Why anybody would want to be harmful to there own teammate is beyond me. A team is supposed to be a unit, as in all together for the same cause, to achieve the same goal. Apparently this team had some issues, on and off the field that should have been recognized earlier from either coach's or faculty in the school. Once again, this is not only happening in this school. All across the country kids are being bullied, and adults are turning their head the other way. Another video that I came across was done from a middle school called Long Branch. I think it's neat how these kids got together to make a music video for something they believe in, and something that can definitely make a difference for young kids.
Schools across the country have to stand up and make a difference together, rather than trying to do it individually. Personally, I have seen bullying in schools first hand while doing my 255 experience at a high school in Putnam County. The child being picked on was a quiet kid, but while I was there, I made sure this student had a fun time in class and was not bothered by others. In that situation, students cannot concentrate to their full potential because they are constantly thinking about what the bully is going to do next. As a teacher, having the power to do something about it and not look the other way is part of our job. Hopefully in the future, bullying and hazing will be a rare occurrence if any at all.

Obesity in America

The hot topic for the American culture is now obesity. It has gotten so drastic that 9 million American students, which is around 30 percent of all children, are overweight or obese. The number is rising every year, yet the problem can be lessened with ways we already know such as exercising and eating healthy. Schools are a major issue with obesity, especially because less schools are beginning to not require physical education. According to the textbook, Teachers, Schools, and Society, only two percent of schools require physical education at the high school level. The pressure students have with test scores, getting into a good college, homework, etc, they need to be running around and getting out of there seats. Adding more classes to there schedule is only making it worse. The average person's sustained attention span is about twenty minutes. Having hours of classes, back to back cannot be helpful without the child mixing in some lunch, recess or physical activity. The problem is not the child, rather what they are taught growing up such as what to eat, wear or how to act. At a young age, commercials, dolls, action figures, toys and lots more, are attractive to kids because that's what they want to be. They give off an appeal that kids want to become or look like, which can have an effect on them later in life.
While watching the movie Super Size Me with Morgan Spurlock, they went to a different high schools and examined the types of food in each school cafeteria. The first couple he went to, they served all kinds of unhealthy foods, and a wide variety of snack foods and ice cream's that these student's could choose from. As most young kids would do, they choose the unhealthy foods that taste good to them. One of the last schools they went to, had an amazing cafeteria for a high school. The foods were all made fresh daily by the people working there, and there were limited unhealthy choices for the students to make. When interviewing teachers and faculty, they said there was a change in the students attitudes and even there school work. This isn't the case for the rest of the nation, but if one school can do it, i believe the rest can too.
Below is a video that discusses some of the problems with obesity in this country. It also discusses a way that neighborhoods can make the right decisions by eating at healthy places such as the one in this video.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I know it's a little late, but I wanted to do a post on breast cancer awareness month. Over the past 10-15 years, the color pink has become more known for breast cancer than anything else I can think of. I think it's very important for people to realize how much of an impact this disease has on people in this country. Breast cancer is the most common source for women in the United States, aside from skin cancer. "According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year." However, in today's society, there are approximatley 2.5 million survivors from breast cancer. The advertising they do for breast cancer is everywhere, which is why I believe they are so many survivors. It's neat to see how sports teams supports it as well such as football. Players wear pink gloves, socks, shoes and more to show their support. The picture on the left is reggie bush wearing pink wrist bands and gloves. The picture on the top right, is a New York Giants football player getting tackles is the end zone. During the game I noticed that the end zone was outlined in pink which was interesting because not many teams in the league do that, if any at all.
Breast cancer is a deadly disease that is divided into two main categories; noninvasive cancers and invasive cancers. The noninvasive cancer does not spread to the surrounding tissue, while invasive does spread. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death to women, behind lung cancer. As a male, my chances are significantly lower, but it does occur in men around 60- 70 years of age. The movement that the NBCAM (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month) has done to promote awareness and educate the public is amazing. Most of the information I have talked about is from Support breast cancer awareness month!

Monday, October 17, 2011

NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children)

After reading chapter 3, I decided to search the web for some more information on diversity in schools. The more I know about cultures in schools, the easier it will b for me to adapt my lesson's and really understand these students. I came across the NAEYC from a PBS website that has a few articles related to cultural diversity in the classroom. In these articles they try to give teachers and parents ideas that can help with different languages and finding a connection between school and home. I encourage others to read any articles that they find interesting because there are some great ideas there.

Once I read through the articles, I found a link which led me to the homepage for the NAEYC. Searching through this site, I found tons of resources that can be used if you are in an elementary setting. Whether teaching physical education or any other subject, learning about the way young children learn and some of there characteristics will help to teach them correctly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


As most people know, America has become an extremely diverse country over the past century. More schools are becoming diverse with children from all over the world. The question is, are schools adapting there ways to accommodate ESL students, and others so they can succeed? According to our textbook, 'Hispanic, Native American, and African American students score consistently lower on standardized tests than do their Asian and white classmates.' 'In Houston, Oakland, Cleveland, and New York, with large populations of poor and students of color, between 60 and 70 percent of the students do not graduate high school.' This problem can become worse as time goes on if schools do not start making their tests and curriculum to fit these students. There are several theories that explain why some students do good in school, and why others struggle. The deficit theory discusses how students struggle due to social or linguistic problems. Not all students speak English as there first language, so this puts them at a disadvantage for reading and writing. The expectation theory states that students do poorly because there teachers do not expect much from certain racial and ethnic groups. The teacher will teach these students differently thinking they are doing the right thing, but in reality they are making it worse. If the student does poorly on the test, the teacher believes it's because they are from a certain racial or ethnic group. The last theory is called the cultural difference theory which tries to explain how academic problems can be fixed it we study the cultural gap between the students home life, and their life at school. If I had to choose a theory based on which decreases the students chances to succeed, it would be the deficit theory. While doing my 256 field experience at Brewster High School in Putnam County, I got the chance to observe a former ESL student. Both of her parents were from separate, Spanish speaking countries, and raised their children to speak Spanish because that was the only language they knew at the time. She went on to tell me how it was hard growing up trying to learn a new language, and at the same time trying to learn what the class was learning. As a teacher, you have to be aware of the student's in your class, and adjust or modify the lesson so these students can succeed as well.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why I chose Physical Education

It's easy to say that Phys. Ed was my favorite class throughout middle and high school. Everyday it was the only class i looked forward too, other than lunch, of course. Many times, I would find myself in the gym during my free period, playing in whatever class the teacher would let me in. In my high school, there were usually 2-3 teachers per period teaching a different thing. Usually there was one teacher in the weight room at all times, and the two other teachers were doing different sports. For me, just playing sports and being in that environment helped my day's go by quicker. The time I had during my Phys. Ed classes definitely influenced why I want to become a teacher. Being able to make students days better, like my teacher did to me is something that interests me and motivates me to become a better teacher. Obviously there was one teacher who influenced me the most, but I had a great relationship with all of them, so whomever was my teacher for the year, it didn't matter to me.
Another person who I believe inspired me in my little sister. She was born when I was eight years old. She was born with a disability so the doctors always told my parents her physical activity would be limited. As she got older, I was able to help her improve her loco motor skills to the next level. Knowing that I was the one helping her (along with my parents and brother) made me feel good about myself. As she got even older, I was able to help her with the sports they were doing in the 'regular' physical education class. For years she was put in the adapted physical education class, but this year the teacher is willing to help accommodate her so she can participate with her friends in the class. All along I knew she was capable of being in the class she wanted, and I'm happy to see that a teacher is willing to work with her so that she can succeed in physical education. To me, that's a great accomplishment seeing my sister be happy, and be able to be physically active after all she has been through.
As a teacher, I feel like you have the ability to impact so many students lives. While in raquette lake this past summer, we were doing our night activity when our leader told us a story about his physical education class. He wanted to make a point to his students who truly influences there lives and there future. He had several questions such as: List the last five American idol winner, the last five super bowl, mlb, NBA champions, the last 5 winners on survivor, and a few other questions along those line. The last question on the test was list your teachers starting from kindergarten. What he found was that all of his students could name there teachers, and not answer the rest of the questions. His point was simply that teachers are the ones who influence our lives, and everything else going on around the world that we think is important, and influencing our life, is really not as important as we think. I thought that was the coolest was to prove to students who has an influence on there life, and definitely plan on using that at some point in my career.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Time Management In The Gymnasium

The key to becoming an efficient physical educator is to use all the time I have properly. It may sound easy, but with 20-30 students running around in a small gym, it may cause some unexpected things to come up. Unlike other subjects, physical education is different between school districts. The time you are given with your students, is all the time you have to make sure you get your point across. Being able to transition from different activities will help keep the students moving and not allow the students to get side tracked. Personally, I like to write in depth lesson plans stating exactly how much time I will spend on each activity, like I had done in one of my classes. As I learned quickly, the time you have set, doesn't always go as planned. Having backup ideas in your lesson plan will be reassuring just in case the lesson gets out of control.
Having other options like a whistle, scoreboard, stopwatch, etc. will be good to start and stop activities going on. This is not just about physical education either, I'm talking about all subjects. Lot's of time during classes are spent doing miscellaneous things that are to benefiting the student. It may be easier to me to talk about it because I currently have a sister in 8Th grade. I get to see her schedule and talk to her about other things going on inside the school. Many teacher's often ave there lesson and expect the student's to learn through doing homework or other assignments. Unfortunately there are more than one way to learn (visual, auditory or experiential), and the teacher should try to accommodate the different styles, In the gymnasium this may be a little tougher, but bringing in visual aids and videos can help.
Going back to the physical education perspective, time in the gym is the most crucial thing a teacher must keep in the back of their mind. For example, if your lesson plan says your spending a certain amount of time on this activity, then switching, but you never switch, you could be liable if it came down to it. Making sure you stick to your lesson plan, and make reasonable times for each activity and transition. It's easy to forget about transition time while writing lesson plans, but having a general idea will keep the times as realistic as possible. Whatever setting you are in (inside or outside), have a plan, and stick to it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Man Without Legs Hopes To Inspire Students As A Physical Education Teacher

Before beginning to read another chapter of our textbook, I decided to search online for interesting physical education articles. Ones that were interesting enough to talk about and grasp peoples attention. While I was scrolling through google, I came across an article, 'Man Without Legs Hopes to Inspire Students as Physical Education Teacher.' This caught my attention because I also am considering working with disabled students when I graduate from college. The man on the right, is a 24 year old college student, studying to become a physical education teacher to students with special needs. His name is Doug Forbis, and has a goal to help students just like him to be successful at whatever they want.
At two years old Doug had his legs removed due to a disease called Sacral Agenesis. After reading the article, it made me think about all the discussions I've had in my adapted physical education class, and here is Doug answering most of them. According to Doug, he doesn't know any other lifestyle than having no legs. He's used to walking on his hands or in a wheelchair, he's used to doing thing differently than others because of his disability, but that makes him unique, and one of a kind. Doug currently drives a minivan, with hand controls. A topic in class that came up was should disabled people be able to drive, and the answer is why not? Just because they have an issue in there life does not mean they are any different from you or I.
In 2008, Doug tried out for the U.S. paralympic team, where he felt more comfortable being around people with similar problems. As for the mental aspect of Doug's life, he says he has no physical problems, but does get frustrated when people look at him funny in the mall, or wonder why hes hanging around certain people. A lot of people have close minded opinions, and don't want to learn about anything but themselves. Being optimistic and willing to learn, will make you an overall better person. On the left is Doug playing Frisbee with another person, but I thought it was interesting to see how he was throwing the Frisbee from a physical education perspective. He is balancing on one hand, which is very difficult and requires strength. I assume he will then somehow twist his body to gain enough whip on his throw. Regardless, it is very impressive to see someone with no legs, balance on one hand and throw a Frisbee.
Is it beneficial to have a disabled physical education teacher, teaching students with special needs? Of course everyone is going to have different opinions, but I'm going to tell you mine. I believe it is definitely beneficial for a few reasons. For one, the students will be much more comfortable seeing someone else with a similar problem, trying to complete the same tasks they are. Second, the teacher will be able to recognize what the student is doing wrong and be able to give them feedback quicker. Third, while giving demonstrations, they will be more realistic, than if these students had a stud athlete doing it to perfection every time; it could discourage the students. Being around students and peers with similar abilities makes it more fun for everyone because nobody is left out, and everyone has equal chances to participate to there full ability. Below is the link for the article, I encourage everyone to read it, it's a great story.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cultural Diversity

As time goes on, things are changing all over the world. More than ever, people are coming from different countries to America for a better life; a better education for their children. Schools are becoming more diverse, and the major minority group is becoming extinct. One in every five children speak a language other than English at home, which is extremely higher than in the mid 1900's. Cultures that are becoming more popular are Hispanics, Asians/ pacific islanders, and American Indian. Everywhere around us things are changing to accommodate our new citizens. Just thinking about it, I can name the SAP button on the television, voice mails asking to press a button for which language, and the newspapers printing out there own Latino section. Accommodations are mainly made for the Hispanic culture since Spanish is the second language. But the question is, will English ever become the second language? I doubt it, but it could happen. Currently only 30 states have English as there official language, while 20 others no no such law. Very interesting.
Along with cultural diversity in school comes racism, one of the worst things a person can do to another person. In high schools throughout the country there are extremely diverse schools, and some that are solely one race. The one race schools probably don't have much to worry about in there schools, but the schools in urban areas and suburban areas have problems with racism every year. In one of my classes we watched a movie about dance in new york city schools. However, it wasn't just about dance, it was about bilingual students communicating with their teachers, learning something new. I think that's what this world has to do to accept all the diversity, be willing to learn something new. If you are not willing to learn about your peers and there culture then you will never know if the way you are living is better or worse, in your own eyes. Diversity is part of our lives and is becoming apart of most cultures. Being able to embrace it and learn from others, will help the communities come together and become one.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Special Education

An interesting topic that I came across while reading the "Teachers, schools, and society" textbook was special education, and how it compares later years to today's society. It mentions bits and pieces of information about how special education came about, and a little historical background of some important information. It was weird to read how people in the 1800's and earlier, perceived this type of movement. Before the revolutionary war, the most that was offered to these students was protective care in an asylum, which is definitely inadequate to say the least. After the revolutionary war, procedures were made to help the blind and the deaf, which was the first step in the right direction. In the beginning of the 19th century was the first time people were attempting to educate these students.

It's good to see that there were movements made at that time, but it wasn't until post world war 2 where the world saw and emergence of new pioneers (Grace Fernald, Marianne Frostig and Heinz Werner) that helped further develop special education. Finally, in 1970, parents took this issue to the courts where they decided on five critical principles of special education: zero reject, nondiscriminatory education, appropriate education, least-restrictive environment and procedural due process.
The zero reject principle states that no child with disabilities may be denied free, appropriate education. The nondiscriminatory education principle states that all children with disabilities be fairly assessed so they are protected from inappropriate classifications. To me, this is important because a correct assessment of the student will determine what the next step will be do helping them. If students were assessed wrong and were told to do certain things they cannot, it's not giving them a fair chance to succeed, and will most likely end up in failure. The appropriate education principle goes along with the first two previously stated. It assures that the student's education will be based on his individual needs. Least-restrictive environment states that children with disabilities are no segregated from the rest of there peers. The ideal situation would be for students with disabilities to work with students who are no disabled. This is where inclusion comes into play because if possible, you want all your students to be together, all doing the same activities. Lastly, the procedural due process principle which entails that family to be notified of any decisions that are going to be made about that child. These 5 principles were passed in 1975 and were recently expanded in 1991 by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IDEA provided a more in depth description for these principles and expanded to cover all disabilities.
Another positive that came along with the expansion of the IDEA is the law that states each student must have an Individual Education plan (IEP) written for them. This is awesome because the parents can make sure the teacher is doing the right thing, and the parent can see the long term goals for there student. In a situation like this, both the parents and the teacher can work towards these goals which will give the child a better chance at succeeding. In today's society, one in every eight students has special needs, which has grown 30% since 1990. If the number keeps rising, more and more will need to be done to accommodate, but for now things are going good in this field, and the progress made throughout the years is amazing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mandatory Physical Education

While sitting in my classes the other day we began to talk about how physical education is only required statewide in one state. Pretty pathetic, huh? After a quick discussion of why this may be, we watched a movie called super size me, where a man eats McDonald's for a month straight and travels across the country doing different things like visiting high school cafeterias. Throughout his visits he comes across some astonishing things that are being put out in the 'lunch rooms' for kids to choose to eat. Being a 10-15 year old, are you going to grab the veggies and healthy meal, or the french fries and chicken fingers? Having the choice to choose what you want to eat can be costly to your health, especially if you are not working out regularly.
Schools are beginning to cut out physical education programs because they feel it is not as important as other core subjects. What they need to realize is that obesity is an on growing problem for young kids growing up, because they are not getting the necessary physical activity daily. Another reason obesity is a growing problem is because kids are not being educated enough on the right way to treat your body. Parents need to be involved in this as well, making sure your kids are eating correctly even when they are not around.
Going back to the movie, he did come across some schools that had good lunch programs, and that had healthy food choices. When interviewing the principal they said they could tell a difference in attitudes and performance just from the simple switch to health foods, and I believe one professor at the school called it, "A blessing in disguise." At these schools they found meals being prepared fresh daily, choices of different fresh fruits and vegetables, and a big cut on junk foods. With proper physical activity, these students will be a minority to the rest of the country simply because they are eating properly and exercising regularly, something most kids in the country don't do today.
Illinois is the only state to mandate Physical Education in the United States. Other states have physical education programs, it just may not be mandatory for the students to take the class. With the obesity rate up so high for kids, I cannot understand how these schools do not have these students exercising at least 3 days a week if not daily. If something isn't done soon, physical education may be on its way out of schools, and obesity will be making its way in.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Is the teaching profession right for you?

While thinking about being a teacher you need to consider the positive's that come out of it, but even more important are the negative aspects that come with it. Choosing the right profession is the most important thing in your life because it's what you will be doing for the rest of your life. I believe that weighing the pro's and con's of what you will be doing for the next 20-40 years of your life if very important. Chapter 1 in 'Teachers, Schools, and Society' by David Sadker, discusses the teaching profession as a whole, and things we should know before commiting ourselves into anything we may not want to do.
One article that I found interesting called "You be the judge" discusses the good vs. bad news of being a teacher. On one hand teaching is great because you are not working alone. Students that you teach and other colleagues can be an intrinsic motivator for some teachers. On the other hand, being surrounded by anywhere from 15-30 young adults for 6 hours a day can get very frustrating. Being able to handle your students throughout your whole day can be a tough task, but this job may not be for everyone. One thing future teachers must know is that this job requires a lot, but may not pay a lot. Being able to accept a smaller pay check than you had hoped for is probably what most future teachers will have to do. However, i believe that most teachers are willing to sacrifice because teaching is such a rewarding job and they love doing it.
While on the topic of pay for teachers, another interesting part of this chapter was the discussion of merit pay and tenure; both which are very important to know about going into a new job. Merit pay is a pay system that allows teachers to add to their salary by performing well. Basically, the better you teach, the more you get paid. It may sound like a good idea, but would you really want that over tenure? Personally, I would like tenure because it assures the teacher's job and salary. One negative that tenure has on all schools across the country is that it keeps ALL teachers in the system. Not every teacher enjoys teaching, or coming to work everyday, but they do it because they are getting paid. Teaching should be about wanting to come to work everyday and influencing your students mind in a positive way that will help them then, and for the future. Pay is a hot topic right now for teachers because many feel that they are under paid and over worked, which could be true. With all these different aspects, some being the obvious positives, and some being the terrible negatives; is teaching the right profession for you?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I hope, I will, I believe

Im Back! After a long time away from my blog, I'm happy to be back. A few things that I want to talk about are what i hope for, what i believe in, and what I will be doing in the near future. I HOPE that in the near future, physical education is more widely/ nationally recognized. Hopefully schools begin to pay more attention to lifetime physical fitness, rather than the easy six sports that are often taught in general physical education class. I BELIEVE that I can make a difference in peoples lives once I am hired, wherever and whenever that may be. Being able to have a positive effect on someones life is one of the greatest rewards a teacher can have, which is why i believe I am in this major. Lastly, I WILL do everything in my power to educate my students so they have enough information to keep them staying healthy throughout there lifetime.