Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weds 27/7

           I had the Year 12 doing Dance Aerobics today. This is an interesting class, like most year 12s there are the students who are still involved with their academics and care about there grades, but then there is a heap of students who don't care how they do as long as they pass, and then there is the few who really could care less about their grades. This is very discouraging as a teacher because how is one supposed to motivate students who don't care about their grade and would rather take their low marks and sit out of class. Some of the students stay engaged throughout the majority of the class and I try to use them as an example to the other students as to what they should be doing. It is also difficult because I remember being in their shoes with a similar case of "senioritis" and the thinking that I was ready to be done with school after I had been accepted into college, but many of the students don't have plans to go to University. Instead I would say the majority of the students I talked with planned on beginning apprenticeships or taking the year off to work or travel. So I will continue to try and motivate the students to work in class, and reward those students who do show commitment building and improving their dance routines.
        After lunch today was sport, where my teacher coaches the Year 9 boys in the Student Center. This was enjoyable for me, to offer my basketball knowledge to the students. I still am discouraged with the facilities here, their gym is a quarter of the size of my high school gym, and with 4 teams in there for an hour its hard to get much accomplished. But, the teachers did a good job managing the students by having strict guidelines for them to follow in an effort to provide each student with the most opportunities to practice their basketball skills.

Tuesday 26/7

       Today was a full day starting with theory in Year 12, then my mixed Rec class with Lacrosse, followed by Year 8's  with theory, and lastly Year 9's with Gridiron.
           In theory with my Year 8's I presented a lesson on different types of games which included, indirect and direct interceptive activities, aesthetic activities, and performance activities. My powerpoint presentation had a wealth of information however I needed to display this information in a more inviting way. My slides were too full of information for the students to take down in their books (notes) and they continually complained at the longevity of the notes. In the future I will have to incorporate more activities for the students to break up the note taking time. It would also be beneficial to break up the information into more slides with more bullet points than the longer paragraphs I used. Looking back on this lesson I think I could have prepared it better to suit the students capabilities, and I will change it for future reference. This was a good learning experience though as I found out how a class can grow restless and become off task when the lesson is dry.
       My last lesson of the day with the Year 9's went well for the most part, but I did have to discipline a couple of students. This was my first time raising my voice at a student in a disciplinary situation, but I knew something had to be said. I saw one of the students wind up and throw a football at a student in the back of a line so I scolded that student and told him he must get out of the current activity and sit out. Later in the lesson during the game, which this students was excited to play before class started, he approached me asking if he could be allowed back into class. I told him he had to sit out a while longer but I ended up letting him play for the last five minutes. After class I approached the student again and asked if he understood why I kicked him out of class and he understood that it was because he was "mucking around" during the activity. I felt good after talking with this student that he knew why he was removed and not allowed to play in the majority of the game, and I believe that this was a good learning experience for myself and him. I also feel now that I have more confidence dealing with disciplinary issues in class, which is something I previously hadn't had to do.

Monday 25/7

       Today we didn't have any classes as it was the Athletics Carnival at the University. This is a track and field day that would be most similar to a Field Days back home. Each sub school competed against each other in  each event and all of the students were required to be there but not all had to compete. There were sign ups for each event during the previous week, and the students were bused over from school. The day was similar to a school day in that the older students events were in the morning and then they left when the younger students arrived later in the early afternoon. I was an extra for the day so I went were I was needed to fill in, so in the morning I filled in on the clocks for the races, and in the afternoon I helped with the shot put and again with the placing in the races before helping clean up. This was an enjoyable day as we were outside all day and it was a welcome break for the students from their typical school day. I gathered from this event that this was the only event that the whole school was involved in, in an athletics way. Whereas back home the majority of the school would come out and support their sports teams, especially on a day like homecoming at a football game. There was a very large display of sub school spirit however, which was nice to see, as I hadn't seen this before from the students, during a typical school day.

Day 4 and 5

Thursday 21/7,

      Today I taught my first lesson of lacrosse which went over very well with the students. This is an interesting class, the majority of the students are international and I was told that they continue to get new students regularly. We worked on the fundamentals after first talking about some of the lacrosse basics; we went through picking up ground balls, passing, and catching. I was impressed at the majority of the class who seemed to pick up these skills quickly. I also enjoyed the fact that the students were interested and engaged throughout the lesson making it tremendously easier to teach.
       This was a class from a different teacher, not my host teacher, and he said he would like for me to take this class regularly from now on, which is something I am more than willing to do. The equipment they have for lacrosse is minimal so I will have to work with what I have to put together engaging lessons for the students. He said they will be ordering lacrosse balls, we used tennis balls, and they don't have goals, so we will have to find something else to use when it comes time to being shooting. The sticks they have are the typical metal shaft with a plastic head. Overall this was a great lesson and I enjoyed teaching it as the students enjoyed themselves as well.
        My next class today was with my Year 8 students and we were supposed to be outside, but out of 26 students only two had remembered to bring their hats, so we went into the classroom instead. This was just the start to a terrible class. My host teacher took control of this lesson, and had the students copy notes from a powerpoint presentation from a different unit but with ideas that relate to personal well being. The students were miserable throughout the lesson, a few students had to be removed from the class and many others were continually obnoxious. I sat in the class observing the students and my teacher, and I felt almost disgusted at how rude and obnoxious these students were acting, they seemed not to care about anything but acting out and getting attention. I am glad that I will not have to teach these students on Monday due to the Athletics Carnival, and I know that I will have to work on a lesson that will keep the students engaged, while keeping the class under control. I plan on being very firm from the beginning next time I teach this class so the students get the idea that this behavior shown today will not be accepted.

Friday 22/7,

Today I taught Gridiron (American Football). I taught this lesson to my other Year 8 class, not the disruptive one from the day before. I was pleased with house this lesson went, we started by talking about the correct way to throw and catch a football, then I had the students in groups of three practice just that. I walked around through the students giving feedback to each one on ways to improve their fundamentals. After providing feedback I noticed that the majority of the students improved greatly, which I was pleased to see. I then picked three of the better throwers to be Quarterbacks for my next activity. I had three different lines and introduced two routes, the button hook and post. The students spent a lot of time in this activity and I had to stop a few times to correct students routes as a whole, but for the most part students were on task which was good. While this activity was going I handed out jerseys to half of the students and then brought the class in to talk about our next activity, Ultimate Football. Most of the students had played Ultimate Frisbee previously so they had some understanding of the rules which helped. So after explaining all of the rules for the game I had the students begin playing, and they really enjoyed this game and didn't want to stop when we were out of time. This was a great lesson and I felt good about how the students continually improved and how they stayed engaged for the most part throughout the lesson.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 3

Today I only had one class to teach and my teacher and I split the teaching duties. The class was a year 12 Dance Aerobics class and today's focus for the students was to find a partner(s), pick out their music, and to being piecing together their routine. Most of the students sat listening to their ipods for the entire period not engaging in the activities that were presented. A group of students did complete the chart that was given to them at the beginning of class, but once that was done didn't do anything else. However, there was one group who did follow instructions completely, they worked together to pick out a song, then they began practicing different movements to see which skills could accomplish and what they needed to work on. It was good to see that some of the students were interested in the activity and this made me happy, but I was dissapointed with the majority of the group who didnt participate effectively and would make lame excuses why they couldnt. I am taking this class tomorrow and will continue to work on their dance routines, but I will definitely need to make some changes to keep more of the students on task and working on their routines. We also had sport today for a block in which the students who made the team from last week tryouts were meant to be in the Student Center (Gym) to begin practicing, but they were busy placing all of the other students who didnt make a team in Enrichment classes in the Student Center, so instead we all watched film of previous school team who did well in years past. I was surprised to learn how well my school stands compared to other schools as teams have went far into playoffs even reaching the final national game before losing and recieving 2nd in all of Australia.

Monday, July 18, 2011

First/second day teaching - 17/07 and 18/07

Day 1

My first class I taught was year 8 Tactics and Strategies. Tactics and Strategies is nothing new for me, but teaching in a classroom was. I had to pull my information gained from Cortland and use my presentation skills to put a lesson together. I went into the lesson feeling excited and a little nervous as to if I was prepared enough, as I never have had to prepare a 70 minute lesson to be taught in a classroom. The lesson went well I suppose for being my first and I have since made a few changes in the powerpoint presentation and my style of delivery. (The next class went much better.) I was also a little shaky in my classroom management skills, as the style of discipline differs from what I have been accustomed to in the States. Most of the students kept on task or only needed to be reminded once or twice to get back to work, but there were multiple students who simply would not do their work even if I was standing over them, I would literally have to open their books for them, put their pens in their hands, and babysit them in order for them to get anything done, which was something i wasn't ready for. I then took them outside for the last 20 minutes to play a blindfold tag game which incorporated Communication which was a focus in the Team Skills aspect of the lesson. I thought this game would run smoothly, but it actually took much more work than I thought would be needed to try and get all of the students on the same page. So overall this class was challenging for me but I did learn a lot about myself as a teacher and things that I need to work on to improve in the classroom for myself and for my students.

Day 2

Today went much smoother than yesterday. I was teaching the same lesson, but revised, to a much more mature year 8 class. There were definitely still problems that arose like student getting off task and being distractions during the lesson, but I used tools that I learned talking with my host teacher after yesterday's lesson and they definitely helped. Some of these tools were, precisely laying out what the students needed to do at each and every moment during the class, so they had less down time to be off task. Another tool was simply remaining silent until I had all students attention or using students names when asking a question rather than simply asking the entire class. I still had some trouble with the blindfold tag game, as the students had a hard time controlling themselves when they were blindfolded and began to act goofy and not follow directions which was annoying, but I will try to change this game and how I run it in the future.

I also taught "Gridirion" or football as we would call it for the first time to year 9s. We went over throwing, catching, route running, and ended with a game of Ultimate Football. All of the students were very involved for the majority of class, the only time I noticed multiple students getting of task was when I was setting up cones and jerseys for the game at the end. The students were captivated by the sport though which I thought was great and made teaching it immensely easier. I felt much more "at home" outside on the Oval teaching than inside in the classroom. However, I believe this is something I just need to develop, and I see the Theory aspect of Physical Education here to be great, and something that we could implement back in the States to legitimize PE to many nonbelievers. Overall today has been better than yesterday and I hope to continue to say that as I progress through this teaching experience which seems to be flying by.