Thursday, December 4, 2008

Staying Engaged in PE

While working at St. Mary’s with the after school program, I have realized a lot about physical education that I had not realized prior to this experience. The biggest challenged that I have faced is keeping the children’s attention and have then understand what you are trying to get them to do. Most of the children we work with have been pre-k to third graders and most of them just want to play and run around since they’ve been in the classroom all day. I’ve learned that the best way to keep them interested and wanting to play with us is to keep the games unique and interesting. They have to appeal to the kids in order for them to even listen to what you have to say. Another challenge is to keeping the games and concepts very simplistic and easy to follow. If the instructions and concepts to the game you are presenting causes the kids to go into a stare or daze, then you should realize that it is too complicated for them to follow. Basically, the instructions should take maximum 5 minutes to describe. This way it is simple and the kids can start playing. Sometimes, the children really do not want to listen as well, and this can be challenging when you are trying to get a game going. The environment is not too bad at St. Mary’s in terms of available resources for games but there is no variation for the kids. This is a problem that really cannot be resolved in terms of structure of the establishment but can be changed in terms of creativity with activities for the kids to do. All of these issues have been eye openers as to hard it can be, relating to the kids, and getting their attention. Yet, when all of this goes better than planned, it just shows how rewarding it can be to be a physical educator.

In order to resolve the issues stated above, it is important to know what the kid’s interests are. That way you can make their interests the themes of your games or activities. It is important to understand each individual’s ability to know how challenging to make the game. Understanding that they had a long day of school, it is important to keep all activities simple in concept and interesting enough to keep their attention. Try to do something different with the kids every time that the lab sessions occur. That way the kids look forward to whatever game you have for them the next week. Basically, in order to be a successful physical educator, it is important to know your students, their likes and dislikes and be able to relate that into what you are teaching. If you can keep the students attentiveness and intrigued, and they complete the tasks that you had instructed them to do while having fun doing the game or activity, then it was a successful day.

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