Week 7 Post

In today’s P.E. class, we discussed about safety and risk management in teaching. This got me thinking about how I conducted safety measures and solved for risky situation while I was working at daycamps. I will admit that I am probably one of the more explorative type of leader who allow students more options for activities. I think I was able to do this because I made my boundaries and expectations clear to the campers. Another huge reason that allowed me to take bigger risk was the trust that reciprocated between the campers and me. Like we have been discussing all along in our P.E. class, keep assessing your students to know where they are. The interesting thing I discovered was that as time went by, I began performing assessments without even thinking about how I was going to do them. They became second nature to me. However, we must always reflect on our assessments to prevent bias and the possibility of labeling students. On a side note, gym class was an absolute blast. I think the most important lesson we learned today is that no one is too old for Disney music.

5 thoughts on “Week 7 Post”

  1. Great post Eric, and I semi agree with the Disney music you will understand if you ever have a kid or many many many nieces and nephews who seemingly watch titles such as “frozen” on a continuous rotation all day, everyday. I also agree with making expectations and boundaries very clear, also ensuring the level of trust was adequate between the leaders decision making and the campers decisions to safely take care of themselves. You are absolutely correct when you state that as educators we must always reflect on our assessments to prevent bias or or labeling because far too often there has been that one child who was labeled or teased because they were constantly assessed less than adequate for performance, all the while negating any possibility of them showcasing their real skill set. Thus they can be found hiding away at the back of class afraid of not only teasing and trying to perform well but also of your (the educators, or teachers) constant assessment. So that in a sense might be a safety issue as well. Great post Eric!!

  2. What an eye opener for risks and safety that you Eric touched on the fact of creating that boundaries, clearing stating boundaries and having the safety talk with your day campers in your experience. I also agree that it needs to be safe to prevent any risks, but not taking some risks may make one feel afraid to try new things too. “A leader who allows more options for activities” while instructions for safety was clearly stated made it a safe environment and taught the kids that it is ok to take risks in a safe manner and safe environment. For example, in my observation, some students didn’t want to try the tumble and roll including when the mattress was put out on to the floor. I gave it a try, it was freeing and fun. However I was scared to hurt my sore shoulder, yet I did it. I agree with both you Eric and Kenthen we are never too young to play and pump up the volume to Disney music as I heard everyone singing it in the gymnastics class. It was music to my ears. As long as boundaries are set and safety is assessed by us as educators it will most likely be a fun, engaging learning place for all students.

  3. I, for one, am kind of iffy on the Disney music debate (so many traumatic flashbacks), but I digress!
    I kind of differ from you in that I was the type of leader who liked to err on the side of caution at the camps I worked with. In light of what we’ve been talking about, I can’t help but wonder if I was being too firm in my guidelines or if I was making the appropriate call in the name of safety. Personally, I find that there can be a fine line between the two; I don’t want to restrict a student’s freedom and opportunity to explore, but I want to ensure that they don’t engage in anything too risky either. Laying out your ground rules and expectations along with building up trust are definitely the essential first steps though.
    I really love, and agree, what Angie said up there too! In addition to the aforementioned steps, it’s also so, so important to create a safe zone where students who want to take a risk are free to do so if they choose to.

  4. I really enjoyed your post this week Eric! Having this weeks focus on safety and risk management also got me reflecting on my own practice throughout the practicum. Having never been a camp counsellor or a properly trained instructor, I find myself at a disadvantage to know how to initially react to these types of crisis risk situations. It gives me great ease to hear your thoughts about how over time it does it fact get easier and I will eventually be at a point that it becomes second nature to my practice. I also think that the most important factor is developing a strong trust ing relationship with the group of students. Trust that they will listen to instructions, trust that they will take the safety protocols seriously and that they will respect your boundaries or rules. This trust goes both ways and as educators we must prove to our students that they can trust us that we have their individual capabilities in mind with each lesson. I love learning each week about “challenge by choice” because this is the most effective way to get all of the students engaged, excited about physical education and eliminating the unnecessary stress of performance. I will definitely be working hard at exercising active assessment and incorporating the challenge by choice philosophy whenever possible.

  5. Eric, I often ask myself the same question. Am I too lax, too lenient with children in terms of safety?

    I worked as a nanny and outdoor daycare educator in the past, and it can be very challenging to make safety calls that suit the child and meet their guardian’s expectations of care for the child. Educators finds themselves needing to protect against lawsuits for all sorts of things, and the unfortunate consequence is that we are increasingly less likely to do anything risky with children. As Steve pointed out in our earliest classes, the safest activities aren’t necessarily going to teach children the best lessons. Where will they learn to assess risk and self-responsibility if teachers cannot? There is time outside of classrooms, but there is no guarantee that the students’ guardians have the time, resources or desire to engage children in risky activities.

    I agree with Eric that the extent to which risk can be used in the PHE classroom is hugely dependent on the trusting relationship between teacher and students. I believe it also has to do with the teacher’s confidence that the risks they are assuming are purposeful, in that they are accounted for, thought through, and have a pedagogical purpose. I think of the outdoor education class we taught last week when I explained the difference between acceptable and unacceptable hazards in the outdoor environment. Similarly, there are acceptable and unacceptable risks that PHE teachers must assess in their lesson planning.

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