Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reflections on what I've learned

This was my first opportunity to work with students in a school setting. I now realize how difficult it is to work with a variety of age levels each week. Our activities needed to be very basic, and instructions concrete, so that we could modify them for various ability levels. I also learned the importance of making instructions clear and concise. If it takes too long to explain the directions, we lose the kid's attention. Props work great when you need a "hook". The kids really responded to our lessons that were creative and different. I think I had an easier time relating to the older students, although the younger kids seemed to gravitate toward me. I think my teaching style is slowly emerging. I work best using the instructor-centered approach where I demonstrate and model what is expected (skills and processes) and then act as a coach or guide to assist the students in applying the knowledge. I this style encourages student participation and allows for various learning styles. Most kids need to see the activity performed rather than just hear the directions. Overall, being at St. Mary's this semester has given me a taste of what teaching will be like. I am anxious to get more experience at various levels. Over Christmas break, I plan to volunteer in our local elementary school with my elementary physical education teacher to learn some more tricks and practice developing my skills in the classroom setting.

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