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?