Tuesday, May 12, 2009

~ Reflection of My Experiences at St. Mary's ~

Based upon my observations and interactions with the St. Mary’s students I have learned many things about young children. It is very difficult to gain and keep their attention for long periods of time, as not every child will enjoy every activity. I noticed that the children would often start to wonder off when they got bored of an activity. Another thing I observed was that if you don’t give the kids specific directions and show them what you want them to do, they will more often than not do the movement or exercise improperly. Sometimes I felt that even after good directions and examples that the kids needed us to lead them through the activities, so they wouldn’t lose track of what they were trying to accomplish. For example, the relay races we did with the basketballs. Instead of trying to use proper form when dribbling many of the children would almost throw the ball and run after it to try and get back quicker. Some examples of activities I thought were appropriate were zany zoo and the action hero obstacle course. I felt zany zoo was appropriate because it kept most of the kids attention throughout the entire game. The game seemed to flow smoothly and most importantly you could tell the kids really enjoyed the activity. They loved pretending to be and watching their friends pretend to be different animals. Some activities that I felt didn’t work was the parachute activity and zig zag soccer. I got the privilege of seeing the parachute game run twice, both times it was chaotic. The kids only wanted to shake the parachute and it seemed impossible to keep the children calm. The parachute to them was a symbol to go crazy. With zig zag soccer there was too many children inactive, the game didn’t flow well, some of the kids didn’t have the skills needed for the game, and it didn’t grasp the children’s attention.

Based on my interaction with St. Mary’s PRE K program I felt that I learned a lot about PRE K children. It was a lot easier to get the PRE K kids to listen and participate in almost every activity. The younger children also demanded more attention and kept their focus on what we were asking better. Overall, working with the PRE K was definitely different than working with the older students. I did enjoy working with the younger aged children because most of the time they did listen better and were more willing to participate, but I don’t feel like working with that age group on an everyday basis is right for me.
During my field experience I observed students performing various motor activities. Some of those activities were playing with various games like “Jenga”, drawing and coloring, playing with Lego’s, playing with fake tools, utensils, and silverware, doing puzzles, tying their shoes, and making crafts like the Easter baskets. I definitely feel that fine motor activities are something that should be worked on in physical education, especially at an early age. A good physical education program should help students develop in many areas.
From my time spent at St. Mary’s school I have learned many things that will help me grow as a future teacher. It was hard for me at first to break out of my shell and realize that I was now the teacher. In certain settings I can be shy and St. Mary’s was one of those settings where I didn’t feel comfortable. As the weeks went by and I got more and more experience working with the children I felt that I started to open up more. I’m not sure if I quite have my own teaching style yet but I feel that I have made huge progress from my first day at the school and now know what I have to do to start being a more successful teacher.

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