Monday, January 30, 2012

Virtus Workshop

For the first two days of class, we took part in a workshop that was all about child sexual abuse. My first response to the movies were that these two men who are now labels as child sex offenders did not even seem the least bit remorseful or sorry for sexually abusing these children. They made it seem as if it was the most normal thing that they could possibly do. This was very surprising to me. They knew exactly what they are doing, and had a process each time. Whether it be to have their children invite friends over and abuse them that way, or any other way it is wrong. The emotion the children had was heartbreaking. The one girl who was abused by her pastor in my mind was the most upsetting story. Her parents made a point to say that after they found out about the pastor abusing their daughter, other people came up to them saying that they had suspected things were going on, but did not say anything until the scandal was out! This story really shows that if you have a suspicion act upon it because you can really save a child from a nightmare. There are many signs that a person could be a potential child sex abuser such as: 1. they like to be with children rather than be with people their age, 2. they are always touching children i.e. tickling, hugging, etc. and 3. They let children get away with things that their parents normally would not. 

There are a lot of myths involved with this topic as well, and I believe that it is extremely important for all people to understand that these are myths, NOT FACTS!
     Myth 1: Most child sex abusers are strangers to their victims.
In reality, most abusers abuse children that they know. It could be someone that their child is friends with, someone the see around a park, or even a religious figure!
     Myth 2: Children usually lie about child sexual abuse.
Most children will never go to these lengths to get an adult in trouble, and if they do they almost always come clean about lying. I believe the video said that 95% of allegations of abuse are later proven true. When a child does tell someone that they are being sexually abused, it must be taken seriously.

Some children will not tell someone right away that they are being sexually abused for a few reasons: 1. They believe they are to blame for being abused and 2. Children believe that other adults will not take them serious, and will just ignore the allegations. Right from the beginning children need to be told and reassured over and over that if they are ever violated by another person that they must go to someone immediately so that it can be stopped, but also be told that they will never be in trouble for telling. Perpetrators will often tell their victims not to tell anyone or they will be in big trouble, and children will often believe this. They are manipulated by the perpetrators, but this can be reversed if they have other adult figures reassuring them that they are not doing anything wrong, and that they are doing the right thing about telling another adult.

In addition, we learned that if we ever suspect that a child is being abused that we should first call the child abuse line for our area and/or call the local police to investigate the situation. 

This workshop really opened up my eyes to the potential danger, and knowing all of this and other information brought up through Virtus, I feel as if I am much more prepared to be working with children, and to help them stay safe if they are ever put in a position of harm.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter Break

Over my winter break I was a volunteer for my old high school's winter track and field team. I assisted my old coaches in teaching high jump, hurdles, and shot put. This is an experience that will help me a lot in the long run. I was intimidated at first, but I found out after just one day that it was something I loved to do. 
One part of this experience really sticks out in my mind. After just one short week with 4 freshman girl high jumpers, I had helped them improve their jumps by at least 4" each. Now this may not seem like a lot, but 4" in one week for any high jumper is awesome! Before I came these girls could not clear opening height (4') at their first few meets, but by the time I was at a meet with them they were clearing multiple heights. I saw their confidence rise, and it really felt great to know that I helped these girls gain more confidence in themselves and their jumping.
I hope to continue having more experiences like this because to me this is what being a physical educator is about: helping students to achieve goals whether they be physical or mental.

Learning Through The Physical!

"Learning through the physical" is a phrase used to describe other aspects of physical education besides just the physical or "psychomotor" aspects within physical education. There are two other aspects to physical education that are just as important as the psychomotor domain is and those are the cognitive domain and affective domain. The cognitive learning is a child's ability to think and develop mentally. Most children are both multi-sensory learners and active learners which makes learning in physical education a great time for children to put their minds to work as well as their physical body! The affective domain of physical education covers a child's ability to interact and socialize with other students. Physical education is the best class to have the atmosphere where students can talk and be loud without being scared that they will get in trouble. It is in fact the only class where students can do this! It is also the only class where socializing in combined with cognitive development, and physical development to make one "super-class" in my mind. "Learning through the physical" makes learning new information fun for them because they can run around and be with their friends without even realizing they are learning new information at the same time. This is concept that has kept physical education alive in schools. It is hard to come up with a counter argument saying that this is wrong. "Learning through the physical" explains the importance of physical education in school, and why what we do as physical educators is important in all aspects of a child life: mentally, physically, and socially. 

Affective Domain Within Physical Activity

Physical education includes education within three domains: the motor domain, the cognitive domain, and the affective domain. The affective domain is the most used domain within physical activity today. This domain increases a child's ability to interact with other children and also interact positively with themselves. It is important for all teachers to emphasize the importance of self-concept to children from a young age because at a young age children think that they are either good or bad; there is no in between in their minds. Promoting that they have a sense of belonging and worthiness is easier to set into their minds if it is put their from the beginning of their education. This comes from positive socialization between groups of children. Within physical education, students work together to achieve a common goal, and together they are working on their self esteem while being positive.  Positive socialization generally emphasizes the role of fair and cooperative play and behavior and sportsmanship between students. Physical education teachers must enforce these main concepts of positive socialization which have a positive outcome on their students in the affective domain. Physical activity plays a major role in the affective domain of learning, and as a physical education teacher candidate, I cannot wait to put these lessons into affect at Saint Mary's School this semester!

Monday, January 23, 2012

And It Begins.

Today was my first teaching lab for PED201 (Motor Development) which took place at Saint Marys  School in Cortland, New York. Before arriving at Saint Marys I was extremely nervous and was not sure what to expect from the children that I will be working with every Monday for the rest of the semester. I did not know what to expect going into the school, but once we got started and played with the students things got much easier, It almost felt like I was back in elementary school playing with my friends (although with much more caution of course!). I had so much fun with the students. I am a little nervous still for the weeks to come because this week was really just getting to know the school, and the rest of the semester will actually be teaching and evaluating. These students will not hold back their feelings towards a game whether they like the game or not! I am confident that I will be able to find games that these students will enjoy, but I still have the thought in the back of my head that one will not! However, I am very excited to hear feedback from the students, teaching assistants, and Dr. Yang. Right now everything is a little overwhelming, but I know it will continue to get easier and more fun as the semester goes on. 

Check out my Lab 1 write-up!