Thursday, December 4, 2008

Reflection of St Mary's PE Field Experience

During our lab sessions, I’ve learned a lot about young children in all aspects including personality, motor skills, mental capabilities and interests. It was difficult at first to go back to that level and relate to the kids on their level. It is hard to realize that they are just learning how to correctly function and understand their own movements. You always have to keep reminding yourself of their ages and reflecting back to when I was that young and remember what types of things I did. Tag games were the most successful all around. Also, if there were any props involved, they typically would become intrigued and want to play, regardless of what they had to do. Complicated games that took longer than 5 minutes to explain and had more than 2 concepts to them were generally too difficult for the children to follow and correctly perform the tasks. Once the kids lost interest it was pointless to even try the game; it was best to resort to a tag game at that point.

While working with the pre-k children, it was completely different than the older kids in that the level they were at was completely primary. Everything we did with them was kept to the simplest form so that we could relate to them and gain their interest. While playing outside with them, most of them wanted to play tag or hide-n-seek or just walk around. They liked chasing us and wanted us to chase them. One of the days, I was able to get a group of kids over by a pile of leaves and we got to make a large pile to where the kids were able to jump in. They were all excited and everyone helped to put the leaves into the pile. While indoors, we colored and read stories to the kids after they had their snack time. We generally just talked to them about their day or what they were doing. Sometimes I played number games with my hands to get the kids to intellectually involved. It was interesting how they still are getting used to how to use their hands and how to count on them. I personally enjoyed working with the younger kids because they love just having you interact with them and they are so eager to learn and do what you are doing that it is fun to work with them. The older kids tend to have more attitudes and want to do what they want and tend not to listen to instructions. It gets more frustrating to work with the older kids.

During the cafeteria time with the kids, the fine motor skills that were observed consisted of picking up their snack with their fingers, drinking their milk, looking around and chewing their food. I find that little motor movements such as these help to build the gross movements. Fine motor skills require more coordination and technique where gross motor skills are large movements that finesse is only needed for in a few activities. I do find that fine motor skills are needed in physical education because regardless of the size of the movement, it still requires movement. These are the basics for gross motor skills so to establish that foundation of the coordination of the fingers and hands will allow for better results when teaching larger movements.

Based on my reflection of my St. Mary’s experience, I find that my teaching style is being directly involved with each individual student as much as possible. I find that by showing interest in each child individually rather than a whole makes them want to interact with your games and ideas that much more. In terms of relaying information, I found that it is very important to listen to the kids likes and dislikes to be able to create a positive environment where the kids will feel directly involved. Also, I found it is very important to come in to the setting with a game plan of different options so that if one idea doesn’t work, there is always a back-up plan. I see that sometimes, when adults get too friendly with the kids and go down to their level too much, the kids do not respect them as superiors as much and tend not to follow directions. So I feel that it is important to develop a relationship with the kids to an extent, but always make sure that they remember you are their superior and teacher and that they must follow your instructions and rules to keep a calm and collected setting for everyone. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at St. Mary’s and it really gave me an eye-opener to the profession of education and I feel as though, with a little more experience and educational opportunities, I will become a very positive physical educator and make a difference in the profession.

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