1. Overall, I felt our gym lesson plan went very well. I thought the time was very well-managed and all the games seemed to build on each other and flow nicely. What was most important to me when creating the games was creating as an inclusive environment as possible that didn’t allow for any shaming. I really liked our friendly adaption of musical chairs with the hoola hoops and how our main game allowed students to just focus on their own abilities rather than comparing themselves to anyone else. I contributed to summarizing the readings and coming up with discussion questions, helped decide which games we should choose to play, helped organize our lesson plan and found/created fun stretching exercises for children at the end of the lesson plan. I agree with Sonya, I think that everybody pulled their own weight and we all worked very well as a team.
2. I was quite surprised at the amount of things a good teacher has to consider when organizing a lesson plan. Planning activities ahead of time is a very important task, particularly for new teachers, so they can understand where the lesson is going and what environment is best for students to learn. While I focused a lot on emotional safety, I wasn’t as focused I should be on physical safety for our main game which is a crucial aspect to consider when teaching children.
3. Although our classmates are already pretty friendly to each other, I think our non-competitive games may have helped players relax and develop connections with each other. Everyone seemed to be engaged in meaningful self-reflection and gained good practice of their throwing skills. Yet, I believe these effects would be much stronger in a younger age group. The class seemed very engaged in the activities and I think this helped us be able to move from one activity to another with confidence.
4. If I could do anything differently, I would have paid more attention to the physical safety of the students for the Mat Striking game. Fortunately, I feel our revised version of the game went very well and I would definitely use it again. I also think that if I make mistakes in the future, I’ll try not to be too overwhelmed after hearing constructive criticism and remind myself that every teacher candidate has a lot to learn and we’ll all get better the more we practice.