Sunday, August 21, 2011
Today's most interesting lesson was with the year 8s who had attempted to teach the rest of class their games. It was enjoyable to watch the students teach their peers, because they were unaware of everything that goes into first planning and then implementing a lesson. Both groups quickly became aware of this and I could tell that they now have more respect for what it takes to get up in front of a class and lead a lesson that flows effortlessly from activity to activity, and also of the importance of giving clear, concise instructions. I look forward to seeing the changes these two groups make for next week when they attempt teaching the class again.
These two days I had off from regular school days. On Tuesday teachers met with students and their parents in ECP meetings throughout the day/evening discussing their recent progress in school and their plans for the following year regarding picking out electives and which classes best suit their interests. Wednesday was a school holiday for both teachers and students so I didn't have to go into school.
This morning my year 9 health class worked on a reading and handout with fill in the blanks, but the class was cut short by a school assembly relating to their ECP interviews. For the year 8s later in the day they continued to work on their group assignment, creating/teaching a game. The class worked well on average, with some of the groups finishing their game, but the problem with this was then those students became bored and began to be disruptive. This was frustrating because these were the groups who worked hard and got their work done and now they were becoming distractions for those students who were working more slowly and less on task as a whole throughout the lesson. So now I was disciplining the "good students" who did as they were told. I felt as those I should have planned to have more prepared for the students who did finish early as this would have kept them busy. The majority of the students worked much slower and I had to continuously stop side conversations and get students to fill in their assignments by literally taking out their worksheets for them and putting their pen in their hands. This was discouraging for me, as I would have thought year 8 students would have been able to have more discipline.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Today my host teacher was away on a Japanese Excursion so I was with a supply teacher for my morning lesson with the year 8s. I played multiple game with them as we discussed the necessities involved in teaching a physical education class. One of those guidlines was having the students sitting down quietly with their backs to the sun before beginning instruction. One of the games we played was Chuck the Chicken which the students thoroughly enjoyed and had them running all over the oval energetically participating in the game. I also had them try Toe Jousting and a game called British Dodge ball which they played for the remainder of the class as they also enjoyed this game and desired to play it through the end of class. I was very pleased with this class and only had one minor behavior problem from a student to deal with. The class was well mannered and showed great participation in the activities I had planned for them.
This mornings lacrosse lesson with the year 11s was more enjoyable than usual as I had a few added students along with their prac teacher in class helping out for the second half of the lesson. My students warmed up with a few passing drills, then got into a small game like activity, and lastly played in a game with the students from the other class, myself, and the other prac teacher. As I've noticed in the past when the other prac teacher and myself participated with the students, the overall energy increased throughout the lesson and game. I enjoyed playing, officiating, and managing the class in this way and look forward using this method again because not only are the student usually more apt to participate harder and longer when I join them in the game, but I also enjoy it as well, and from speaking with the normal teacher of this class, he was very pleased with the participation of the students. The following lesson with the year 12's was a considerable drop off in energy and participation from the students, which is discouraging. During these lessons I try to focus on those students who are being active in the lesson and help them modify their dance routines so they are best prepared for their final performance. I do give the other students attention who continually sit on the sidelines doing nothing, but taking the advice from my host teacher, I have told them that their grade is dropping as they continually refuse to participate, and spend more time with those students who do care about their grades.
The year 12's today were slightly more active, but the lesson was cut short by a school practice lock down followed by fire drill, in which we had to move the class to the oval and take roll. Compared to similar procedures back home that I remember in high school, I would say the students here were more unruly and were joking around more than what would be allowed from my high school. Which coincides with the overall disciplinary issues that I have noticed since beginning here now 5 weeks ago. I still find this interesting in that students have the rigidity of wearing a school uniform to school each day and get monitored daily to make sure they are wearing the correct clothing, but when it comes to students acting out and being a disturbance, I have found that more is tolerated here than what I believe would be so back home. After lunch was sport with the year 9's in the student center playing basketball. This was again an enjoyable experience for me working with students on developing their basketball skills, although I still find the lack of gym space annoying as its difficult to run a practice session while sharing half a gym with the year 8 team as well.
Today's lessons went well, especially considering my host teacher was away sick. I was most impressed with my year 8's who worked well in groups creating games that we will eventually have to teach to the class in a 20min lesson. I gave out the information in a handout form and the students worked diligently for the majority of the lesson with only a few students causing any problems. They worked up until the periods end completing all of the work that was planned for them. The lesson after with the year 9's didn't go as well as the year 8's. There was a large group of students whom didn't come prepared for class both bringing a hat and a proper change of clothes. However, for the students who did come prepared I had them try a few passing drills for Gridiron, and then get into a game of Ultimate Football, which they worked very well in played up until the end of the lesson only stopping once or twice for a water break. During class I was approached by a soccer coach who needed a referee for his game after school, I was a little hesitant at first because of my lack of familiarity with the rules of soccer, mostly with offsides calls, but he assured me it would be easy enough and I agreed. Mountain Creek ended up getting flogged (crushed) 10 - 0 by their opponent, so there was definitely no question of bias in the officiating, and as an official I thought it went pretty well, except for the exceptional difference in skill in both of the teams. Both sides were helpful and good sports which made this experience much easier as well.