A blog of my journey teaching Aussie students Physical Education for the next 9 weeks.
Monday, July 18, 2011
First/second day teaching - 17/07 and 18/07
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.
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.
I am currently a Pre - Service Teacher in Australia. I have spent the previous four years studying Physical Education at SUNY Cortland and now it seems I'm almost there, almost a real teacher. The school I'm working in is great and I couldn't be happier, sharing the field during class with Kangaroos is something i could definitely get used to.