After completing more hours with the amazing people at Special Olympics Regina my perspective has really changed. I never knew how much I could learn from just talking and making new friends with the great players and organizers. After reading over my first experience some of my initial thoughts on what my role would be with them was wrong. I initially thought I was going to be working with the same team but found out that I will be able to work with new teams every week as well as working with a wider range of skill levels. I’ve learnt new strategies in how to help a group of people where there is a wide range of skills present. I opened myself up to thinking outside the normative way on how skills should be performed to better understand how to help people in the best way for them. How friendly everyone has been to me while I have been there has been a major factor in how I am starting to create stronger and stronger bonds with the bowlers. The last couple times I have been there some of the bowlers come up to me to ask me how I am doing and if I will be working with them for that day. These connections that I have made will and has been the biggest take away from this experience so far as I will always have them to look back. They have changed my outlook on how physical education can be presented in a way that best suits the way for your students.
3 Things I Learned:
- Many like to think that teachers are kinda there own boss which can be true as they have free rom to do what they want with their class to a certain degree. On the other hand though teachers have little to zero say when it comes to what grade they will be teaching or how many students they will have in there class. Teachers are told when there day starts and when there day ends and have pre-set time off from work which is all controlled by their school divisions administrators.
- I have always been interested in how the hiring process worked, I always thought it was the school board who looked over the applications as well as decide who will come in for interviews. It makes sense how the principal picks the candidates for their own school as they know best what their school needs.
- The demand for teachers in urban settings is getting less and less with no sign of that changing anytime soon. With the school divisions having to cut jobs due to funding only makes the search for a job that much more of an impossible task for many young teachers.
2 Connections I Made
- One I connection I made was with young teachers having to move away from home to find a teacher job when fresh out of university. My sister couldn’t find a teaching job near Regina but was able to find a year long mat leave job in the small town of Montmatre where she had to move too. Since then she has been in four other small rural towns teaching as she finds that is where you can always find a job. These towns are always searching for young and excited teachers to come in and be a powerful new role model for the community. My sister is a major factor in my thinking of moving after university to find a job in these small rural towns as I’ve seen how welcoming and rewarding these small towns are to young teachers.
- Another connection I made was with schools hiring the “right” teacher for the job. When I think back to the teachers who made the biggest impact during my high school years weren’t the teachers who knew everything about a certain class topic. They were the teachers who I could go talk to about a question I had weather it was school related or not. They would listen and try to work through the problem with me rather than just giving me the answer. When hiring a teacher to best fit an open position I do not think there’s a right way to go about it as every teacher brings their own set of qualities to the table. Hiring a teacher who knows a topic inside and out but lacks the ability to connect with students with non educational topics are teachers who turn students like myself away from the class. Some students need to be able to make connections with their teachers to better their learning experience.
1 Question I have
A question I still have for myself is how far am I willing to move to find a job?
This week I did my place bonding on my front step of my house which is on a corner of a four way stop sign. During this time I tried to recognize the difference between the time when there was no movement in sight to the time when there were cars passing by. When I first began my place bonding the only sound that was present was the whipping of tree branches swinging back and forth as the wind started to pick up. I then began to notice my breathing and how it seemed to slow down just as the smooth sound of wind swirling around me took over my hearing. The feeling of being apart of the place around me was becoming real when out of no where the squeak of rusted out breaks come to a flying stop in front of my house. As the old bagged out car left, some of it stayed behind as it filled the air with a smell that the wind swirled around for the rest of my sit. I was never able to hear the wind in the same way as before, the car changed the atmosphere from peaceful to frustrating. “…nature was a place to use all the senses…” (Louv 85).
3 Things I Learned:
- The first thing I learned while reading “Understanding Canadian Schools” they talked about how there isn’t a clear knowledge base someone must need to be a teacher. Every teacher will have a different bucket of knowledge compared to another teacher which doesn’t make one more prepared or better then the other. Having teachers with different backgrounds and different specialties could help students reach there highest potential.
- Our students need to feel that us as teacher’s care about the students own learning needs rather than just thinking about them as another student to teach. The more a teacher makes a connection with each of there students the better the learning environment will be making students feel that the teacher cares about there success.
- Lastly I learned how important knowing who is watching you at any certain moment is. If you think about how you learned many of your personal traits it was through watching people you looked up to. Many students look up to their teachers making being aware simply of how your body language is when around your students could change how a student reacts to problems faced there way.
2 Connections I Made:
- The first connection I made was with how a lesson plan you make will never go 100% to what you planned. When trying to plan what you will do with your students you always have to plan for something going wrong. This could mean half of your class is missing or maybe planning an activity that may be over the cognitive ability of your students. I connected with this to the time I was coaching 12/13 year old boys in flag football. I planned to do a drill at practice that my players had troubles wrapping there heads around. This meant I would have to come up with another drill on my feet.
- Another thing I made a connection with when Yerks talked about recognizing and controlling your anxiety while being a teacher. This spring was my first experience being a head coach of a team and I quickly recognized how things can pile up on you while working with kids. On top of that you add in different factors of your life which can start to make you feel some anxiety throughout your day. I found spreading out my workload with my assistant coach helped make my anxiety be less prevalent in my life.
1 Question I Have
- When do we change our thinking from being a student to being a teacher?
This week in class my group and I did our Outdoor Learning Experience Facilitation presentation on how to use a compass while learning about treaty education. This experience was very interesting as it was completely different to all my other presentations that I have done in the outdoor’s up to this point. I really enjoyed how this assignment was so open ended in how you could go about picking your topic. This helped me rethink my philosophies towards outdoor education and how I can incorporate it the future to better my students learning opportunities. On Tuesday we had many presentations that all had different important aspects to it that other presentations didn’t have. Parker and Keegan showed how you can use the outdoor’s as a physical education area while learning about different cultures in a welcoming environment. Looking at Karrissa, Emily and Cassidy’s presentation they expressed how you can work as a team to overcome a problem and work together to find a solution. All of these show how an outdoor classroom can be used and how it can benefit your students in opening there minds to new learning experiences.
3 Things I learned:
- First thing I learned was how formal education is introduced to us at a very young age and how quickly it can influence how you in start to think about your future. When you think about how you came to picking what you want to do for the rest of your life, formal education had a major impact on helping you decide.
- Another thing I learned was about the different types of ‘isms’ as I didn’t know there was so many. Perennialism, essentialism, progressivism and reconstructionism stood out for me as they are the four primary philosophies of education.
- Lastly I learned about was how children need different environments to help them explore there curiosity. As future teachers we need to know how students may need new environments to help better there education.
2 Connections I Made:
- One connection I made was with residential schools as I remember going over this topic in high school as well as hearing stories from elders who experienced this first hand.
- Social reconstructionism is another thing I made an connection with as it is when the teacher becomes a facilitator rather then being an ‘expert’. For as long as I can remember having teachers like that, who facilitated my learning is what made the difference in my learning experience. This type of teaching is what has driven me into this profession. When I was a student the teachers who were facilitators made me far more interested in the lesson. They also made me excited to come to class and learn as they were willing to be wrong and help me in whatever way works for me.
1 Question I have:
- How can we make sure our students stay on task when trying to implement new strategies such as inquiry-based learning?
During class this week we spent a lot of time learning knots and trying to build a wind barrier for the class. This brought back memories to my time in the out door school program at Greenall as we got stuck in a wind storm one evening. One of the things I remember from the last couple class is the blanket exercise we did as it made understanding what the First Nations people were forced to do. I found being involved in the exercise brought new information in that I didn’t know before. As well as being able to see how the Europeans came in and changed the whole landscape that the First nations had in place. During the exercise we were told to fold up our blankets into smaller pieces yet there was still the same amount of people but half our land was taken away. This helped me notice the feeling of being uncomfortable and the lose of trust the First Nations people must of felt. The visual aspect was the biggest part for my better understanding in how the First Nations must of felt when there land and children were being taken away. This experience made me feel ashamed in how we treated the people who were here before we came in and changed there whole way of life.
I have been lucky enough to be placed to help out with the Special Olympics of Regina. I have been asked to help be an assistant coach with there bowling program that runs every Saturday throughout the afternoon. Once I got to the bowling alley I quickly learned my role and my team I was going to be working with. My role as an assistant coach is to keep track of the order of bowlers making sure someone doesn’t miss there turn as well as keeping track of points. Another thing I learned was the wide range of skill levels that I have an opportunity to work with. Where some need more of a physical help while others need more verbal feedback instead. Talking to a couple of the players there I learned that two of them are on the team Canada floor hockey team and went to Austria where they made there country very proud. Within the first ten minutes of being there I made some strong connections with some of the bowlers as they saw my football hoodie I was wearing and started introducing themselves while telling me they were the biggest fans of the rams. This really helped me feel comfortable and welcomed into a new environment as they were just as excited to see me as I was to see them. Another connection I made was with watching some of the bowlers and seeing how they all have there own form that works for them. I made this connection because whenever you watch sports on television or someone doing there everyday things, everyone has there own way of using there body in the best way for them. We all adopt to have our bodies and how they work best for us. The question I have is how does Special Olympics help individuals who have disabilities develop socially and cognitively? Do the ranges of activities increase their mental capacity.