Well, here’s a recap of the first week! It absolutely flew by, and I love being in the classroom all day every day. The students are accustomed to seeing me every day now, and I’ve become a part of the classroom.
In regards to Phys Ed, this was a busy week! The students only have 30 minutes of gym time every week, so my coop did not really want to take this time away from them, but my faculty advisor was coming to watch me teach during that time, so I took on Phys Ed instead of my unit that day. I had never seen Phys Ed taught, or tried teaching it myself, and had never taught for my faculty advisor either! It didn’t go exceptionally well..!! The game that I tried with the students was too difficult for them. They had not played it before, and even some of their nonlocomotor skills were not developed enough to play it successfully. This caused arguments, frustration, and a slow pace of play. However, I closed the lesson with a short discussion about what we could have done differently (receiving the responses of: listened more carefully to the rules, worked as a team, and made some of the “parts” of the game easier). I couldn’t have agreed with the students more. Next time, I would take at least the week to break down the movements in the game and work on the skills in simpler games or practices, and then add them up into the game at the end. However, my faculty advisor said I had great classroom management, a good voice, and broke the teams up in an awesome way (a random numbering method that broke up cliques). So, overall, lesson learned on my behalf!
My unit, on the other hand, is going great. It’s an inquiry unit on playground safety and the students had two days of “inspector training” where they learned what risks are and how to reduce them. Then, they designed their own inspection (each table group chose a piece of playground equipment to study) and are ready to go outside to do the inspection. Unfortunately, I planned three days outside and our weather has decided it’s going to be JANUARY again!!! I’ve had to learn the quick “teacher lesson” of being adaptable and changing plans on the fly! J
And finally, a cute story to share: The students were informed that there would be a “special guest from the university” coming to watch me teach, so they were to be on their best behaviour and welcome the guest. A couple of hours later I was walking by a student’s desk and she piped up, “Miss Van Kannel, are you nervous?” I had no idea what she was talking about and asked, “About what?” She replied, “About having someone come watch you teach?” A smile started to spread on my face and I said, “Well, yes, I suppose I am a little bit.” She tried to comfort me by saying, “Ya, I get nervous around new people, too.” I assured her I knew my faculty advisor a little bit already and that she was very nice. She said, “You’ll do great anyway! You don’t need to be nervous, Miss Van Kannel.” I warmly thanked her and was so touched by this surprisingly deep consideration coming from a seven year old.
I hope, to those of you in Section 20 reading this, you are also learning lots and loving teaching, or maybe, for those of you still in your first or second year reading this through the URG, you are getting excited to have this experience, too! Have a great week everyone!