Monday, April 30, 2012

What To Expect Now?

As April 23rd was my last PED 201 lab at Saint Marys, I had a lot of fun, and learned more than I ever thought I would about the students. This semester has made me grow a lot as a teacher candidate! I cannot wait to continue on in my journey next semester with EDU 255 and doing middle and high school observations over the winter for EDU 256! I would like to thank all of my peers, Professor Yang, our lab assistents, and everyone at Saint Mary's for making this semester such a success for me! Below are few of the most important things that I have learned throughout this semester. I enjoyed each and every lab, but some moments for course stood out more than others. 

Young children are extremely interesting in so many ways. They are the most creative at everything they do. They can make walking across the gym into a wild adventure through a rainforest where you are being chased by lions! I love being around younger children because it lets me be creative as well. Elementary students love when you make scenarios for them to act out. Middle school and high school students are not as fun to do things like this with! They do not get into it. Games that are appropriate are games that allow students to be creative. For example, today in lab we were doing parachute games and Steve had the students tell him what they wanted to add to our soup (being balls thrown into the parachute). One of the little boys next to me tugged on my shirt and I leaned down to hear that he wanted to add Macaroni and Cheese to our soup! Who else would think of macaroni and cheese in soup besides a elementary aged student! Games that are not appropriate are the ones that again they will not understand. Any game that will take more than two minutes to explain is probably a game that they will not understand. Games with little rules are perfect. The more rules the less understanding. 

All of the students favorite games are with the parachute. Bringing the parachute to the last lab was the best idea I think from the entire semester. The participation we had was incredible. We could play simple games with them, but they would have so much fun with them. Games were as simple as saying if you were holding blue run under the parachute and grab a new color on the outside! The students had a blast with the giant parachute. They could have stayed there for hours just lifting it up and down making waves.

I love the Pre K program at Saint Mary’s. It is perfect for the age group. They have time where they can run around and get their energy out, but at the same time have time to relax, and settle down. For the most part they were the most well behaved students. They listened to every word you were saying and always tried to follow the rules. When they were not following the rules it was because they did not understand them. When older children do not follow the rules it is normally because they are bored and are going to cause trouble. I did enjoy working with this age group on the day I was assigned to them however I do not know if I could do it all of the time because sometimes I do not have the patience to explain myself a hundred times, and you do that every day with the Pre K room.

I am eager to move on to observe older students, and actually get into a teaching environment rather than a after school program. I again have enjoyed this semester more than any other and I know this is just the beginning of a great journey to becoming a physical educator! I am not sure what to expect from the middle and high school students because my experiences with children of these ages are at a sleep away camp.  A school and camp setting are two very different things for children. I do not want to go into these observations with the expectations that I do with my campers because naturally when children are at camp they act much different than they would in school. 

Again I want to thank all of my peers, Professor Yang, our lab assistants and the staff and students of Saint Mary's Elementary School. 

This is a highlight reel from my experiences throughout the past semester in PED 201! Hope you enjoy!

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