Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Positive Interactions!

When it comes to children you will make it much further with them if you have positive interactions then if you were to have negative interactions. Positive practice is something all of us physical education teachers should value highly. I learned some positive practices in my EDU 355 class last week. Here are the two ways to have positive interactions with students that I found to be the most important and worth sharing:
-Always lead with a positive comment when giving feedback, it helps the student feel more comfortable around you and makes them believe that we are not always judging them. This is important because we want students to feel comfortable in class. The more comfortable students feel in a physical education setting, the more they will enjoy the lessons and the more likely they will be to practice and participate in physical activity outside of their physical education class. Also the more comfortable students are in class the more successful they will be!

-Make the good phone call home. Go the extra mile to make a phone call home to a parent of a student who is doing really well in your class. Most of the time when a parent receives a call for a teacher it is usually for a negative reason. It will brighten any parent’s day to know that you are calling to tell them how much of a joy their child is to have in your class, and to hear about how well their child is doing in your class. This will make a big difference, so take the time, and go the extra mile.

Breaking out of Stereotypes

I was looking on the internet the other day and came across this article on female body building. I find this to be a great discussion topic, because so many people have so many different oninions on the sport and the women who participate in it. I could not post the article, so I did a review of the article and here is what I found.

Article: “Big Freaky-Looking Women”: Normalizing Gender Transgression Through Bodybuilding- Shelly A. McGrath & Ruth A. Chananie. Sociology of Sport Journal, 2009, 26, 235-254

“I think femininity exists on a continuum and I think that society can accept women I would say like one or two standard deviations from the normal curve, but those who are the outliers, when you get closer to the plus three and you are kind of skewing stuff—I think that is when it becomes a problem” (Carla 2009 pg.1). This to me is a great quote to introduce the article I chose in female bodybuilding. Female bodybuilding is a difficult thing for many people to understand. No one seems to understand why women want to build their muscles and look like “men.” But little do they know that there are many other reasons why women like to build up their bodies, and this is what the article “Big Freaky-Looking Women” is trying to explain.

“Big Freaky-Looking Women” is an article that conducts a study about how gender violations through rebellion with some gender attributions in female bodybuilding. In other words, the researchers are trying to understand why it is that women want to break out of the gender norms and build up their bodies like men.

The structure of this experiment is using ten participants who are all involved in bodybuilding. Theses ten women are between the ages of 21 and 37. Seven of the women are Caucasian, one woman is African American, one if Ghanaian, and one more is Palestinian. All of these women participate in bodybuilding at the amateur level. These girls have a range of body building experience from a few weeks, up to eight years, and were all competing at the college level when this study was taking place. This article uses semi structured in-dept interviews from all ten of its participants, as well as observation of all the women as well.

Through the rashers interviews, and observation the found that many women participate in body building, because it “experiencing bodybuilding as personally Empowering, difficulties in balancing requirements and expectations of muscularity and femininity both in competition and in everyday life trivialization of the labor involved in female bodybuilding and reinforcement of patriarchal standards of femininity” (Shelly A. McGrath 2009 pg. 8). All in all what theses findings show is that women, of this sample of women, that they “violate” the gender stereotypes because it makes them feel powerful, in control of their minds and their bodies. In addition even though the women had to be considered gender rebels in this article, they still went against the norm to do what they wanted/needed to do to empower themselevs.

I think that this is not the most reliable study. I feel this way because this study only used a very small sample of female bodybuilders. In addition the body builders even though the experience varied slightly, they were all at the same level within the bodybuilding world. Therefore this study is based on a small section of female bodybuilders. What about the women who compete at the highest level? There reasons for participation in this sport could be completely different form these amateur women that this study was conducted around.

On the other hand this study is one of the first of very few studies that looks into what drives women to participate in body building. This experiment is good because it allows us to get into the heads of ten women who do body build, and it helped us to better understand why women participate in this sport.

The implications that can help us from this article are that it shows that women who body build and just like you and I. They do not wish they were men; at least that is what this study shows. I believe that is what most people think who look at female body builders that they only do this because they wish they were men. This is the stereotype we seem to always come across when bodybuilding and women are put together, and I feel that this article does a great job of breaking through the stereotype and showing everyone that women participate in body building for the same reasons that you and I play our chosen sports.

Discipline Defined

Discipline, we all knows what it is but can you define it? The definition of discipline that I follow is, discipline is a process of assisting students to adjust their behavior to their environment and develop acceptable inner controls. Orderly social behavior is an atmosphere that allows meaning fun learning to transpire. This is the main goal of discipline.

There have been studies that show that students are very critical of teachers that cannot maintain control of a class. Students appreciate good discipline. Students need guideline and rules to follow in order to be successful, whether it is in you class in the gym or just in life in general children need discipline to grow, mature and to be successful.

What type of teacher will you be?

Reflective or Invariant?

A reflective teacher is a teacher who achieves success by using a variety of teaching skills, which work well with the environment. Reflective teachers are able to reflect upon a given teaching behavior to meet the needs of their students. They can change their teaching behaviors depending up a many factors, these being different school environments, differences among students, facility conditions, levels of support, type and amount of equipment. Reflective teachers use critical analysis, knowledge, skills, tools and resources to better their teaching. Also a reflective teacher is a teacher who can successfully design and implement an effective educational program by adapting his or her teaching style depending on the school setting. In addition to being able to adapt to meet the needs of students, reflective teachers are creative. They teach a variety of games and activities, in new and exciting ways. They try new things and teach activities that are out of their comfort zone. All in all being a reflective teacher means doing everything in your power to make sure that you are being the best teacher you can be, so that your students can be as successful as possible in physical education.

On the other hand there is another type of teacher that is the exact opposite of the reflective, these are invariant teachers. An invariant teacher is defined as a teacher who uses one approach in all teaching situations regardless of the class of school conditions. An invariant teacher does not adapt their teaching style to meet the needs of their students. They have the same teaching approach no matter what subject area they are teaching, or what type of class they are teaching. An invariant teacher does not teach outside of the main five or six team sports, they stick with the same old sports year after year.

Will you choose to be a reflective teacher or a invariant teacher?

New Era or Old Era?

Old era physical education is the type of physical education that was taught before 1996. Old era physical education was taught before the New York State learning standards were created. Before the New York State standards physical education curriculums were built around team sports. The curriculum was created in a bottom up design. Furthermore, grading was not based on student performance of progress, but based of the idea of “get dressed, participate in class, be good” way of thinking that was very popular before 1996 and the New York State learning standards.

Opposite of old era physical education is new era physical education. When I say opposite I really mean complete opposite. New era physical education started to come into play after 1996 and the New York State learning standards. These standards set the bar high for teachers and have created much success in physical education classed. Also, social needs are meeting in new physical education. For example, obesity, lifetime fitness, and living a physically active and healthy lifestyle are some of the social needs that are being met in classes. Curriculums are now based off of the New York State learning standards, and the curriculum is now designed from the top down. Lessons that are now taught during new physical education are activity based not drill based and they focus on health related fitness components and skill related components of teaching physical education. Lastly grading is now based on learning, and not as much on if the student changes and participates.

What era should your teaching style be a part of?

New PE or Old PE?

The old style of physical education is now seen as an inappropriate practice. Old Physical education consisted of formal exercises, drudgery, and training. All of the lessons were based around skill related fitness with little to no time spent on health related fitness components. Furthermore the old style of physical educations had the mind set “just do, don’t think.” When it came time for students to be fitness tested they were rarely prepared by their old school physical education teacher. In addition the results gathered from these fitness tests were rarely compared to other students results.

On the opposite spectrum is what we now refer to as new physical education. This new style of physical education is seen as an appropriate practice, and consists of activity based lesson, is fun and joyful for its students. Students are taught the concepts of health and skill related fitness. Health related fitness and lifelong physical activity participation are main goals of the new style of physical education. Furthermore when it comes to any type of assessment, students are well prepared ahead of time, and understand why they are being tested, and the results from these tests are compared to other students to see how they match up. Reflective teachers teach the new style of physical education, where as the invariant teachers we spoke about before are stuck teaching the old style of physical education.

Proactive or Reactive?

There are two different ways that a teacher can prepare and react to inappropriate behavior. They can either be a proactive teacher or a reactive teacher when dealing with behavior issues. A proactive teacher is a teacher that sets students up for success. The proactive teacher does everything in their power to prevent inappropriate behavior from occurring. Some ways that a proactive teacher prevents mis behavior is that they post rules in their gym, and go over the rules often to make sure that the students understand what is expected of them in the class. Furthermore the proactive teacher makes the students very aware of what the consequences are if they break any of the rules in his or her class. By doing this the students know what type of behavior is expected of them and they know the consequences if they decide to behave differently then what it expected of them. Not that the proactive teacher will not have to react to students breaking rules in their class, but it should not happen too often considering they prepared their students with clear directions and models of good behaviors.

You choose old style of physical education, or the new style of physical education, which one would you want to be taught if you were a student?

The other type of teacher is a reactive teacher. A teacher that is reactive, does not do everything in their power to prevent bad behaviors, they just deal with it when the behaviors occur. Because the teacher just reacts to the students miss behavior with little to no attempt at stooping the behavior before it starts, they are going to see a lot more behavioral issues then a teacher that is proactive when it come to managing behavior. The students might not always be aware that they are breaking a rule because the rules might not have been made very clear to them, or that some of the rules were forgotten, because the teacher with the reactive behavior strategy failed to remind the students of what is expected of them.

What style will you choose when it comes to behavior management?

PRO timeout or NO Timeout?

I still am undecided about the issue with putting children in timeout. There are two sides to every story and many reasons why and why not we should put children into timeout during our physical education class. Timeout, I see it from two angles, you are either for putting children who misbehave in time out or you are against putting these children in time out. I am on the fence with this issue.

PRO Timeout

Some main points for putting children in timeout; If a student is not following the rules and is a danger to themselves, their classmates, you the teacher, the equipment, or the facility, then yes I can understand making that student sit in time out until you the teacher think is an appropriate amount of time until you believe that they are going to be able to behave in your class. Safety should always be your first priority in a class; therefore if a child is endangering other students, then removing them from the situation is in my opinion, your best option. Remove the child from the activity, because they misbehaved. They did not follow the rules of the class and they are now put in timeout, they have lost their privilege to participate in the game. The game is a privilege, and by removing them from the game you are essentially taking away privileges, makes sense.

NO Timeout

One the other had is it not the main objective of physical education is to have students up, moving around, and participating in as much physical activity as possible, all while learning various concepts in physical education? Then doesn’t placing a student in time out defeat our purpose? Placing a child in time out is making them no longer participate in the activity, thus their learning is being altered because they are not getting as much practice time as the students who are behaving and do not have to sit in time out.

Furthermore, what about the students who do not want to participate in physical activity and misbehave on purpose so that they get to go and sit in timeout. Then the purpose of time out also backfires on us, because they student who does not want to participate in the game or activity is getting exactly what they wanted, to sit out. I have a perfect example of this, one of my housemates is currently student teaching right now and her biggest problem with her sixth grade class is that a lot of her students will misbehave so that she has to put them into timeout. They will break her classroom rules on purpose just so that they are allowed to sit out of the activity, and thus do not have to participate in class.

All in all I believe that placing students in timeout is going to have to depend on your beliefs, the beliefs and rules of the school district that you are working for, and the behaviors of the students in your class. I guess the question is not whether you sure for or against timeout its whether your students force you to use timeout as a last resort, or if you are enough of a proactive teacher to be able to get your students to behave without having to resort to timeouts. It is all going to fall on to you the teacher to decide whether or not you will use timeout in your class or not. Pro timeout or not timeout? It’s up to you.

Strategies to keep children motivated in Physical Education!

We all lose motivation and one point or another in our lives, so why would this be any different for children? It is not, plain and simple. As teachers not only do we have to teach our students, but a main part of teaching, especially for physical education teachers is keeping our students motivated to learn.

Here are 20 strategies that I found help to keep students motivated in physical education:

1. Use Music and change up the type of music every once in a while.
2. Be creative with games and activities, don’t be afraid to try something new.
3. Bright colors, decorations, equipment, anything that can be bright, make is bright!
4. Use positive interactions whenever possible
5. Good positive constructive feedback to help teach your students, no one ever want to hear the phrase, “you’re doing it wrong.”
6. Keep in mind that people are not for hurting, physical education should be enjoyed.
7. Change, challenge, choice!
8. No sarcasm, children do not understand sarcasm.
9. There are no stupid questions, make sure your students always feel comfortable asking questions in class, if no one asks questions, then there will be a lack of learning.
10. Go outside and play! Changing the environment catches student’s attention.
11. See what the class in interested in, and add that into your lessons
12. Remember that Physical Education IS for EVERYONE!
13. Walk your talk, you want students to behave then you better follow your own rules.
14. No naked gyms, decorate.
15. Use your Resources. Do you have other physical education teacher that you know have great new ideas you could borrow or build off of? Why not use them?
16. Outside opportunities? Incorporate them into your lessons
17. Host a field day or some type of fun event and let the student’s get involved in playing and running the event.
18. The more students are involved in the lesson whether it be setting up equipment, cleaning up, taking attendance, however you can get them involved do it! The more involved your students are the more motivated they are going to be to participate in your class.
19. Let students help create class room rules, and consequences for when rules are not followed
20. Be enthusiastic the more enthusiastic you are the more motivated your students will be.

Define Fitness

This is hands down the best definition of Physical Fitness that I have ever read. I believe that every physical education teacher should have this posted in their gyms, no matter what age they are currently teaching.

Here is the modern definition of physical Fitness:

Physical Fitness is a set of physical attributes that people have of achieve relating to their ability to perform physical activity. These attributes provide the foundation for tasks of daily living, are associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases, and provides a basis for involvement in lifetime physical activity.

This definition was given to me by Dr. Kniffin in my EDU 355 teaching block class.

Set up for Success!

Have you ever thought about how you will establish an environment that will allow your students to learn successfully? If you have not put much thought into it, I have recently and these are the guidelines that I intend to follow.

A learning environment is defined as the condition created in a classroom or gymnasium by the teacher that either supports of hinders learning. What I have come to find is that there are two main components of a learning environment. The first component of the learning environment is managerial. Managerial are the structures the teacher establishes that allows the class to operate effortlessly. We can break down the managerial component into two main parts, rules and routines. Rules are defined as the general expectations for behavior that cover a wide variety of vehaviors. These rules should be posted in the gymnasium and clearly explained to the students, so that your class can operate smoothly. The second part is creating a regular everyday routine for you students to follow. A routine is defined as the procedures for accomplishing specific duties within a class. Like I previously stated, these routines should be the same every day so that your students will know what is expected of them and then you class will be much more successful. Rules and routines are most effective when they reflect a positive environment, while teaching students to be responsible for their own behaviors.

The second component to creating the learning environment is the instructional component. The instructional component is the subject matter that allows the class to learn physical education content. Creating a learning environment is one of the first steps to being a successful physical education teacher.

Is Thanksgiving a Mistake?


What is it we are really thankful for? I can take a good guess and say that most people are thankful for their good health and the good health of their friends and family. If this is the case, which I believe it is then why do we celebrate by gorging ourselves? Why is it that in the United States that the best way we show what were thankful for is to go and eat a huge meal with our family? How is this seen as an acceptable way to celebrate everything that we are thankful for? Think about it…..

Thanksgiving is a non religious holiday that is celebrated across the United States. We get together with friends and family, all the people we love and sit down and eat everything we want from turkey to dessert, and then sit around and watch football. Is this really what thanksgiving has come too? Why are we not so thankful for our good health that we go out and go for a run with our loved ones instead of piling the food into our bodies? Isn’t this a little crazy if we are being honest? I know that I personally had to go for a nice long run before I went to my aunt’s house for thanksgiving dinner, not because I had the intentions of eating until I could not move, but because I knew that the temptation would be there and that I should better prepare myself. I am a consistent runner and when I am home I always run about the same loop and always see other people out walking, running or biking in my neighborhood. I can sadly say that when I went for my run thanksgiving morning that I only saw one other person out their working on their health like I was. This made me sick.

What also made me very upset was watching my family what everything that was offered to them without hesitation. Pie, cookies, mountains of mashed potatoes etc… This makes me so upset, because it makes me feel that us physical education teachers are failing. I watched my younger elementary aged cousins go up for seconds and thirds on dessert. This is terrible and it breaks my heart to see children be unhealthy like this and not even knowing what they are doing to themselves. This is also motivation for me to go out there and do the best job that I can to help and make sure that my students are much more physically educated then the people I saw this past weekend.

There is a difference.

Many people who are not physical educated try to use the phrases physical activity and physical education interchangeable. This is incorrect, because they are not the same, they mean different things. To clear this up, physical activity is a behavior. For example walking, running, swimming, biking, playing a sport. These are all forms of physical activity. On the other hand physical education is the school program that is designed to lead children to a life time of physical activity. Where I believe the confusion come into play with these two phrases is the fact that physical education uses and embraces physical activity.

Why Children need Physical Education

There are many reasons why children need physical education. One of the main reasons that children need daily physical education is to help the children become physically active for a lifetime. This is important because people who participate in lifelong physical fitness live an overall better life. Physical activity prevents obesity, which is becoming a bigger and bigger issue among children these days. If children are physically educated, by participating in regular physical activity then they are more likely to live a healthier lifestyle which in itself will help to prevent the obesity epidemic.

Another reason that physical education is a must is that it helps promote motor skill development in children and people of all ages who participate in physical education. On top of helping with motor skill development it helps maintain physical fitness, allows students to make new friends, set goals, reduces stress levels and has tons of health benefits!

To go into more detail, here is a list of all the reasons why children need Physical Education:

-Regular, healthful physical activity
-Skill development
-Improved physical fitness-
-Reinforcement of other subjects
-Creates self-discipline
-Goal Setting
-Leadership and cooperation
-Enhances self-efficacy
-Stress reduction
-Strengthen peer relationships


Here is a new fun and exciting way to teach volleying!

Over Head Dribbling

Equipment: volleyball, beach ball, balloons, playground ball, Ominkin ball

1. After teaching a lesson on basketball you can transfer what the students have learned about basketball dribbling into volleying in volleyball.
2. Volleying in volleyball is simply an upside down dribble, over your head.


Don’t Break the Window

1. Cues: eye on the ball, hands up, make a window, look out the window and find the ball, and push it away from your window.


1. Size of the ball being used for volleying. Beach ball, balloon, Ominkin ball,
2. Rules for volleyball, more hits on each side, you can use a ball that bounces and play one bounce between hits.
3. Size of the court
4. Height of the net
5. Sit volleyball


Here is a fun modified way to teach balancing to younger children:

Balancing Act

Equipment: bean bags, tennis racket, tennis ball, Frisbee

1. Have the students balance bean bags on their bodies and see what they can do with their bodies without dropping the bean bag. For example have the students try to sit down, stand up, walk around, spin in a circle, hop on one foot, switch feet and jump.

2. Start with their head, and then try their shoulders, and then their arms, all while trying to do the various moves without dropping the bean bag.


1. Can add more bean bags if this is too easy for your students.

2. Can switch up what equipment you are using with your students. For example try using a tennis racket and have the students try to balance a ball on the rackets and go through the various moves you did with the bean bag

3. Also have the students balance a Frisbee on their hands while going through various balancing movements.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Questions & Answers

What are the steps and procedures that you use to create, design, implement and assess a unit of work for your class.

The first step that I would take for creating a unit to teach in Physical Education would be to find out the information for the class that I will be teaching this lesson to. The information that I would need for my unit to be the most successful would be, find the expectations that the school has for the physical education program, grade level, class size, class interests, what outside resources are available to the students, what facilities and equipment available to teach in. After I acquire this information I base my lesson(s) off of the information that was give to me.

The second step that I would take would be to start to create a unit based off of the information that I had learned about the class that I am teaching. I would write daily lesson plans that were fun, appropriate for the age and skill level, and provided lots of opportunity for the students to practice, success and to be healthy and active.

The next step that I would take would be to create regular rules and routines that the students will follow every time they enter my class, in light of being proactive and keeping peace regulation and normalcy in my class. This will help my lessons be more successful because they will flow more smoothly because the students will know what is expected of them at all times, and what the consequences are if they do not follow expectations.

How have you established a safe and supported environment in your class? Please include the behavior management strategies that you have used.

Creating a safe and supportive learning environment consists of two major components the first component is managerial and the second is instructional. Both need to be established and successful for the learning environment to be both safe successful. First is managerial, which is simply your class management. This is where you set up structure in the class that will allow it to flow effortlessly. Structure includes setting up regular rules, routines, expectations and consequences that are the same for every class every day. This lets the students know what is expected of them, the rules that they should follow, how they should enter and leave the gymnasium, and what happens when these rules, routines and expectations are not followed correctly. Also because these all stay the same from class to class it gets the students into a habit of behaving and allows for your class to flow very smoothly. Furthermore since the students are aware of the behaviors that are expected of them and the ones that are not expected of them then is allows for a safer learning environments because the students know what it is that they should be doing and what will happen if they do not follow these rules. Rules and routines are most effective when they reflect a positive environment while teaching children to be responsible for their own behavior.

Next is setting up the instructional portion of your safe and supportive learning environment. This is having thro, well throughout, and well prepared lessons for all of your classes every day.

In addition to how I set up a safe and supportive learning environment here are some of the strategies that I like to use within my physical education class, always try to use positive interactions, have rules clearly posted for students to see, never use sarcasm, no stupid questions, get off to a good start on the first day of classes. Furthermore, I try to always maintain consistency in my class, and I always walk my talk. If I want the students to behave appropriately then I must follow all the rules and behave in the correct manor myself.

Please explain how you will ensure that all students learn.

I believe that I am very competent in my ability to implement an effective and inclusive learning and teaching process. I know that though my courses here at SUNY Cortland and the close to eighty hours that I have put in at schools observing successful physical education teachers, and teaching in place of those teachers; that I am prepared to begin my student teaching. I have had much practice with different teaching styles, and have had the chance to put them into action and see the results though my classes. I also have the adapted concentration so I have spent a lot of time focusing on inclusive teaching and different strategies to make inclusive teaching a success. Furthermore, I have observed and assisted with classes at McGraw elementary school this past semester that has a student with a visual impairment, and see in action different ways to help this student be successful in a regular class.

Furthermore, to insure that my students are learning I will always complete regular assessments of my students. This will show whether or not my students are learning, and it will also show if my teaching style and delivery of my lessons and information is successful. The best teachers out there are reflective in their teaching. By reflective I mean, always being on top of their game. They reflect upon their teaching to find more effective ways to teach their students, they asses their own teaching, the use the resources that are available to them to be the best teacher that they can be. I am going to be a reflective teacher, so that I can have the opportunity to teach my students to the best of abilities.

Please explain how you have worked as a part of the team in a school environment.

I have worked as a part of a team in a school environment right here at SUNY Cortland. I have been a teacher’s assistant for 4 different classes. Motor behavior, Adapted P.E., Racket Activities and Skill Acquisition. Each class besides skill acquisition I have been a teacher’s assistant for at least one semester. I have been a teacher’s assistant for skill acquisition for three semesters now. In all of these classes I have had to work very closely with my professor. As a teacher’s assistant I have many different jobs that were expected out of me. I had to show up to classes early to help my peers with certain sports related skills. I have had to set up tournaments and make the brackets for these tournaments. I have held study sessions before tests. All of these jobs were expected out of me by my professor, not only were they expected to be completed by me, but had they not been completed then the educational objectives for that class on those days would not have been met.

Self-Manage, Punctual, and Professional

“If you’re on time your late, if you’re early you are on time.”
I have had this drilled into my head since I was real little, and I now live by this quote.

I do believe that I defiantly have the ability to self-manage, keep commitments and be punctual. I have held the same job since I was sixteen years old. I work as a children’s fitness trainer at my local YMCA, and they have told me that I have done such a good job that they allow me to come back and work over every break and vacation we have from college. I also have played club volleyball all of my four years here at SUNY Cortland. We practice three times a week for close to three hours each practice and I did not miss one practice last year when I was president and I have yet to miss a practice this year as the Vice President.

One thing most people that know me could tell you about me is, I despise being unprepared and late. There is no worse feeling in the world then either being unprepared for something or being late to something when you are expected to be there at a certain time. I believe it is extremely unprofessional to show up to anything late, whether it is work related school related of anything. Furthermore I believe that is it extremely unprofessional to be unprepared for things. If you are expected to be somewhere and to have something completed, then there is no excuse to not be there with the task completed. This is what I believe and this is what I strive for everyday. I strive for this in my teaching, by having my lesson plans filled out completely, having my equipment ready, and being prepared with modifications for every activity.

I am very proud of the way that I have learned to present myself. I am very professional when it comes to my studies, interacting with my professors and my peers both on and off the campus of SUNY Cortland. With the teaching opportunities that have fallen upon me and the people that I have had to chance to meet and interact with I have learned the correct way to carry myself and the professional way to act.

I have mentioned club volleyball over and over again but it is a huge part of my life here at Cortland. Being in charge of club volleyball also played a large role in teaching me to be a professional. I had to set up tournaments and meet with the directors of the recreational sports department here at Cortland quite frequently, therefore I learned how to be professional when in meetings, setting up meetings and planning events.

College Forces You to Grow Up


Before I entered college if you asked me if I thought I was mature I would have given you the same answer that I am about to give you, but boy was I wrong. College forced me to grow up and to grow up fast. Having lived at home with a really close knit family, I can say that I was spoiled a little bit. That changed a whole lot when I went away to college. Moving from Albany to Cortland is like moving from one planet to another, but that’s a whole other story in itself.

College forced me to grow up plain and simple. My freshman year of college I learned to do more things on my own, and then I think I had ever learned when I was living at home. Not only did college force me to grow up but playing volleyball also played a big role in my maturing. I previously mentioned that I was president of club volleyball for a year, and I am currently holding the Vice President position as of right now. I have played on this team for four years now and having the responsibility of keeping with my classes and making it to volleyball three times a week for about 3 hours each taught me how to manage my time in the most efficient way possible.

On top of holding high positions in volleyball for two years, I have also had the opportunity to be a teacher assistant for my skill acquisition class for four semesters, lab assistant for my adapted class, teacher assist in a racket activities class, and a lab assistant for my motor development class. All of these opportunities that I have experienced all gave me a lot of responsibility. I had to show up to classes early, and stay late, hold study sessions, and practice sessions, grade and give feedback on lesson plans, practice speaking in front of large groups of people, and most importantly they gave me the opportunity to teach, which I something that I really value. All in all I think that my college experience as a whole has aided in my growing up and carrying myself as a mature adult.

Open-mindedness toward others

Last year I was chosen to be the president of SUNY Cortland’s Women’s Club Volleyball team. This was an honor and a learning experience at the same time. Without having a mentor or a coach, I was the one person in charge of nineteen other college aged girls. I had to run tryouts, make cuts, set up tournaments, distribute playing time, and much more. All of these tasks fell onto my shoulders. I had to make sure that in every decision that I made and every conflict I had to resolve to keep as much of an open mind as possible. I had to take myself out of the situation and put myself in others shoes and find the best way to resolve issues. I can honestly say that spending an entire year (two semesters) running a team that if I was not an open minded person before that I defiantly am today.

Many of the conflicts that were brought to my attention I could easily relate to teaching, and conflicts that I will face when I do become a teacher. Being president of club volleyball has, I believe, prepared me and given me practice on how to resolve issues within a physical education class or coaching setting. There is no room in teaching or coaching to play favorites ever. I knew this before my experience last year but being the sole leader of club volleyball really reinforced this point to me loud and clear.

All in all I believe that now having been in a leadership role, and having to put others before myself, and to see things from other peoples point of view that I now look at every situation that I am in with a new open minded outlook, and use that to the best of my abilities when it comes to decision making.

We learn through reflections!

I believe that reflecting upon my professional practice is much like my previous answer for my ability to take advice. The ability to reflect and improve is a quality that I think is found in only the best teachers. If a teacher sees that something is not working and they are able to reflect upon what they could have done differently and then make the changes, then they are creating a formula for success. I strive to be a successful and hopefully great teacher. I always take the time to reflect upon each lesson that I am given the opportunity to teach, and write down specifics on my lesson plans about how I could have done things differently so that my lesson will be more successful the next time I teach it. I can honestly say that every one of my lesson plans has comments written all over it with my suggestions to myself on how to improve my teaching. If not to improve, then maybe an alternative action or plans on how to better deliver the lesson so that my students can learn to the best of their abilities.

As an athlete I think that we have a natural ability to reflect upon our performances and find ways to improve for the next time. I know that I have spent my fair share of watching game film of my performances on the volleyball court. If I missed a serve on tape, then I would watch the tape over and over again until I found what step in my basic mechanics was off and make sure to focus on that at the next practice to make sure that I would not make the same mistake again. This can be related to teaching because as a physical education teacher we are watching our students perform various sports related skills and we need to be able to reflect upon what it is our students are doing wrong or what it is that they do not understand so that we can find a better way to deliver feedback so that our students will be successful.

The ability to receive suggestions for improvement and consideration, do you have it?

The ability to receive suggestions for improvement and consideration, do you have it?

We all learn from our mistakes. If we do not make mistakes then we are not going through the learning process in the most efficient way. I am a college student; therefore learning is my main priority. I truly appreciate when a professor takes the time to give me feedback on how I can improve on what I am doing. It shows that they care about my performance, and see that I have the potential to improve. I believe that I have a strong passion for learning and the ability to improve when I am given suggestions from anyone. I think that advice from a professor should never be taken lightly. They are professors for a reason, they have far greater experience in my field of study then I personally do, so when I am told different way to improve, I do my best to make those changes.

Furthermore I have been told by every coach that I have played, for in many different sports that I am one of the most coachable athletes that they have ever had the pleasure of coaching. This is a great example of how I am able to take advice and suggestions on my skills and make improvements to the best of my abilities. I try my best at everything that I do so when I am told a way to improve on what it is that I am doing, even if I might not agree with what is being suggested to me I always give the suggestion a try.