Monday, September 26, 2011


I posted this link on SUNY Cortland PE Forever on Facebook, but my post was brief and I wanted to address it in a blog post. I found this link on twitter and I thought that it would be something positive to talk about. The link is as follows: I think that this issue is more common now than it ever was. We need to have positive role models standing up to bullying in schools. What's the statistic? 160,000 kids stay home from school a day to avoid bullying. Students should not be staying home from school because they are afraid to go. That is no way to live and that is no way to remember your elementary, middle, or even high school years. The website states that studies show that bullying will stop within 10 seconds over half the time if a bystander gets involved. The number of students that get bullied is pretty scary to think about. Students and teachers need to be more informed about this topic at hand so that they are able to handle it if they are faced with a certain situation. They shouldn't be afraid to stand up to that bully if they see someone else having trouble. I know that there were many bulletin boards up about bullying when I did my 256 observation mostly in the middle school and not in the high school. The problems can arise anywhere at any time and if we know how to handle it many more students would not have to worry about this problem. I know that bullying was never a large issue in my high school when I was there, but it should still be addressed. This website will help raise awareness about this act and help others to stand up against it.

What's Your EQ?

First of all, what does EQ stand for and what does it mean. EQ stands for emotional intelligence quotient. The definition in the book explains that the EQ is "a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one's thinking and actions." On page 41 of the textbook, the survey caught my eye about EQ. I wanted to find out what my emotional intelligence quotient would be. I was rated on knowing emotions, managing emotions, motivating oneself, recognizing emotions in others, and handling relationships. If you score between 18 and 20 points you receive a grade A, 14 to 17 points is a B grade, 10-13 points is a C grade, and 5 to 9 points you would receive a grade of a D. For knowing emotions, I am usually aware of recognizing a feeling as it happens. I usually am aware of when I am angry, jealous, or in love. Next, I rated myself that I am usually able to manage my emotions. I can usually handle bad times as well as the good and bounce back from life's setbacks. On the motivating oneself category, I rated myself always self-motivated/focused. I am able to focus my energy, confidence, and concentration on achieving a goal. In the second to last category, I rated myself as always empathetic and I am able to pick up subtle signs of what others need or want. Finally, in the handling relationships section, I rated myself as rich in friendship and am often asked to lead activities and events. I was honest with the EQ ratings on page 41 and I scored in the A range. I am satisfied with my results and I attribute my high rating to trying to surround myself in a positive environment with people that are not going to bring me down. I work hard to achieve my goals and I am able to keep my friends close by staying loyal to them. I am determined to always finish my work and graduate with a degree that I will use to my advantage. I wonder what everyone else would score if they took this test. This test might be helpful in physical education classes to work on the affective domain and to teach students how to become a good leader, friend, and student.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Myths and Facts of Learning

On page 32 of the textbook, there is a section about the myths and facts about diverse learning. As I was reading these myths and facts there were 3 of them that stuck out to me the most and related most to my learning experiences. The first myth that caught my attention was "students learn best in quiet surroundings." The fact is that most students learn best with music or background noise. I know that as I am writing this blog I have music in the background. Most of the time it keeps me concentrated and on task. I listen to music that is soothing to me such as acoustic songs or I will sometimes listen to techno songs that keep me motivated and keep my fingers moving. Depending on the subject I need complete silence. When I am studying for a subject that I do not understand I need it to be very quiet wherever I am. I retain information better when it is quiet rather than having music in my ear. On the contrary if I am writing an essay or doing a worksheet I can listen to music or have a little bit of background noise. Everyone learns and studies different so this myth would not apply to everyone. The second myth that caught my attention was "difficult subjects are best taught in the morning, when students are most alert." The fact is that it differs for all students when they are alert. Some students are morning people and enjoy having early classes and having the rest of the day to themselves. Many other students are more alert during the afternoon and nighttime hours and would be most alert during this time. I know for myself I am most alert during the afternoon, so if you tried to teach me math at 8am, chances are I will probably not pay full attention and will forget what I learned by the afternoon. I like to do my work later on at night, I find that I am the most motivated when I take this approach. The third and final myth that I wanted to talk about in this blog was "the most appropriate length of time for a class is 45 to 55 minutes." Again, this is different for many students. Some of them believe that this is not enough time, while others have an attention span that lasts about 10 minutes. I know that after a half hour of class I am ready to leave, especially if the teacher does not have anything else to say and is just filling the air with words to keep us there for the 50 minutes that we have. There might not be a happy medium for how long a class should last for, but it is important to remember that all students learn differently. These myths and facts do not relate to all students and the person who knows how they learn best is in fact the student. They must know which is the best way they succeed and how they can approach their schoolwork.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Students with Special Needs

The population of students with special needs is getting predominantly larger as the years go on. This is one of the many reasons why I decided to take up the opportunity that SUNY Cortland offers and get my concentration in Adapted Physical Education (APE). So far I believe that I have learned a lot of information that I can relay to teachers that are in the field right now. Many of us are educated about students with special needs, but there is a vast majority of physical education teachers that do not know much about the subject. Students with special needs are often seen as unique and different especially in the physical education environment. They may not be able to do the same things that students without special needs can, but there are certain easy modifications that can be done that teachers do not realize. These students should not be sitting on the sideline for every activity while they watch their peers participate in the class activities or keeping score while the other students are playing games. Some modifications that you can use for students in the physical education classroom is using a brighter or lighter ball, making the boundaries bigger or smaller, or changing the rules of the game if it may be too hard. I got first hand experience with this last weekend when I went up to Raquette Lake and worked with individuals with disabilities. When working with these individuals, you first look past their disability and focus on what the individual can do and not what they can't do. For example, one of the individuals was in a wheelchair, but the entire weekend we were focusing on what he could do, and how to make certain tasks easier for him to complete while still staying involved. When we went out on a hike during the afternoon, we put him in a wheelchair that was made for rocky and muddy terrain. With someone pushing him, he was able to participate in the hike rather than staying back and waiting for us to return. It was rewarding to see him smiling and interacting with all of us, as we were getting to know him and looking past his ability. Students with special needs are going to get frustrated at times and it is up to us to help them through any difficult times they are having. We can set attainable goals in the beginning of the year that the student can work toward achieving. I felt as though after last weekend I made a difference in numerous individual's lives. It is an experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life and one that I will use in the future when I get a teaching job.

What my profession means to me

Ever since I was young, sports were an important part of my life. Every time I went to my grandmas house with my cousins, we played sports in her backyard to keep us entertained. I have a male cousin my age, and I believe the reason we bonded so much throughout the years was because of sports. My cousin was athletic and he opened my eyes into sports (some sports that I couldn't even play such as football). We made up our own games and I was practicing my sports skills without even realizing it. I loved the sport of football even though I was unable to play it in middle and high school, but when I was with my cousin we bonded over punting the football over a tree branch or just having a simple catch. When the weather got cold and we couldn't play outside for a while, we would sit in my grandmas house and watch endless hours of football and basketball games. Sports have been a part of me my entire life. Each opportunity I got to play a sport I would. Often when my friends would be playing on the playground in elementary school, I found a way to play sports with the other kids in my grade even if I was the only girl out there. It has been my passion and I couldn't see myself doing anything other than working in a field where I would be able to teach other individuals about my knowledge of sports. Day camps have also been a part of my life ever since I was younger, attending a local day camp from kindergarten to 7th grade and then working there when I was older. With this experience, I found myself to become a natural at working with younger students in a day camp environment. I am now a head counselor at this day camp and I work there every summer, and each summer I learn something new about myself. When I tell people I know what I am going to school for, they tell me that they could not see me doing anything else but that. I want to make a difference in my classroom and advance the skills of students in physical education even if they are not the most coordinated or the best athlete in their grade. I want to be able to educate students about staying healthy and how important it is to keep up with an active lifestyle. There are still many changes to be done to numerous physical education programs around the United States and I believe that the future physical educators can be agents of change to bring this program in the right direction.

What Kind of Learner are You?

Three of the most well known learning styles that are mentioned in Chapter 2 are visual,kinesthetic, and auditory learners. The individuals that are visual learners learn the best by seeing the information such as using textbooks, charts, and graphs to help relay the information to them. To help a visual learner, they should write down information or highlight key points. To avoid distractions, they can sit in front of the classroom away from the windows and doors. A kinesthetic learner is "hands on" and learn best by doing the activity. I know that I am a kinesthetic learner and I do better when I am able to do the activity at hand. In physical education I understand best when something is shown to me. You can explain it with words all you want, but I will understand it the most when it is actually shown to me. In the classroom, it helps to take breaks when learning. When I am studying, I find that pacing around my room and reciting my notes helps me best to memorize the material. A challenge with this is to have your kinesthetic learners not distract anyone in the process of learning. The third learner is self-explanitory and that is the auditory learner. This student learns the best by hearing the information; this style is less frequent than the other two mentioned. What may help these individuals to learn could be studying with a partner, audiotapes, and reading out loud. I asked one of my roommates what category she fell into and without hesitation she told me that she is a visual learner. She told me she learns the best when she reads the textbook slowly, writing notes down on the side and highlighting whenever she can. She told me that whenever there is a chart or illustration present, she is able to pick up the information quickly. What I would do for a student in my physical education class that is a visual learner is have illustrations up in my classroom that focuses on what we will be doing that day. I would make sure to repeat directions if needed and offer time for questions from these students. Cues would be written up in the gym and I would give students enough time to copy down these cues on paper for them to remember the cues better. The kinesthetic learner would have an easier time in physical education because most of the learning is hands on in the classroom. They will be watching demonstrations and then they would be able to participate by following the demonstration themselves. An auditory learner could come into class with a tape recorder when the teacher is reciting cues or important points that they would need to remember. Additionally, the teacher could record on a tape provided by the student what they need to remember so that they can go home and study it, and they will be prepared for the next class. If you had to choose, what kind of learner do you think you would be?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What is YOUR Reason for Teaching?

One of the graphs that caught my attention in Chapter 1 was Figure 1.1 on page 4. For some reason I thought that the highest reason for teaching would be the salary for teaching or the long summer vacation. Those are probably misconceptions that I thought about being around teachers for such a long time. I thought what motivated them most was their time off for holidays and that they would be getting paid more teaching than they would at any other job. After looking at this graph it makes the most sense now that 70% of teachers have a desire to work with young people and that is why they enjoy their profession so much. It is satisfying for a teacher to teach young people a subject that they do not know much about, or a subject that they enjoy. I know that I remember a few of my teachers from high school because they made such a big impact on my life. That is the kind of teacher I want to be for my students, and my driving force for becoming a teacher is to create bonds with my students that will last forever. I want them to walk out of my classroom learning at least one thing during the year. If they remember one thing from that year then I will feel accomplished that I did my job. I feel as though some teachers are in certain professions for the wrong reasons. Many individuals that I talk to think that physical education is an easy major because we play games all day. Some teachers may be in the physical education field because they may not do much in their schools. It is more than just rolling the ball out to the students and having them play games on their own. I believe that it is about making an impact on your students and incorporating all 3 domains into learning. One of my reasons for teaching is also because I am extremely interested in physical education because it has been a huge impact in my life. I have always participated in sports for as long as I can remember and always looked forward to physical education class no matter what grade I was in. Most of my middle and high school memories were made in physical education, and this was where I enjoyed myself the most and where I was able to succeed. I wanted to major in something that I had an interest in, not something that I was doing just because I had to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This is something that I know I'll be excited to go into work every day and learn new things from my students and create life-long bonds with them.

Urban Legends About Teaching

There are 2 urban legends that are written about in Chapter 1 that can be analyzed. The first being Teachers are born, not made and All you really need to know is the subject you are teaching. During the past 3 years at college I have learned all about the teaching profession and I have been able to observe my fellow classmates as they teach. I do believe that there are certain students where teaching comes naturally to them. They need a little bit of corrective feedback while teaching lessons to make them become better than they are at that point in time. There are students in my classes who need a little more work than others. But I do believe that many of them can transform themselves into better teachers with practice and the right suggestions. If they listen to these suggestions then they have potential to be just as good as their other classmates. I don't think that it is correct to say that only teachers are born and it is impossible to become a teacher if you are not born with certain skills. Everyone can work at it to become better because practice does make perfect. With a lot of practice, these individuals that are not "born" teachers can very well become just as good as someone else who has been teaching for numerous years. To go along with this is the second urban legend about all you really need to know is the subject you are teaching is that sometimes teachers that know too much about what they are teaching are not able to relay the information back to their students. They sometimes have trouble teaching their students because they know the information, but it is hard to explain it to others. I have encountered a few teachers in college that are very smart about their subject matter, but have a difficult time teaching the class because they are masters at what they are teaching. Sometimes it is easier to teach a subject that you don't know much about to your students. I believe you need to know just enough to be able to teach and also you must be skilled in the art and science of teaching also known as pedagogy.  To be a successful teacher you must know about your subject and be able to teach your students about it. My main goal as a teacher will be to make sure that my students are successful at the subject no matter how much extra time I must put in to help them achieve their goals.