I learned a lot about shaming in games today. It is amazing how things are changing to improve the holistic view of students in P.E.. Even though this is a physical education class, it made me reflect on my opinion and teaching. When I heard dodge ball was a type of shaming game, I was baffled. How could such a fun game be a negative? It definitely can be. I now can see how we are singling out individuals and using their body as targets. Our first group did a great job in alternating dodge ball into a safe and yet, a competitive game!
Also, after we played dodge ball, I realized how this game can also be negative towards the thrower. When I got hit on the head, I laughed it off and thought it was funny as I know it is not intentional. However, I didn’t realize how it can negatively impact on the person who threw it at me. The moment he/she came over to apologize, I knew he/she felt guilty for hitting me. (Please do not feel bad!) This is when I truly understood the different kind of shame we can apply when we play targeting games on each other. There are certain aspects that might seem harmless but we really have to ask ourselves whether or not it is beneficial for the students in a holistic view.
What an experience today, I cannot wait for next week!
Growing up I never really enjoyed PE, I had more negative experiences then I did positive. The only positive part of my experiences from PE was when it was time to leave. I wasn’t a very athletic child, this made it very difficult for me to be a valuable part of the class. Many of my PE teachers would make captains, and since I wasn’t very good at any sport, I was usually picked near the end. This brought my self-esteem down and those experiences still affect me to this day. Instead of having fun while i play sports, I am more self-conscious, I still have a fear that if I don’t play my hardest I will be last pick again.
I think that the most important thing we need to teach in PE is to stay active. Regardless of the child’s skill level we have a responsibility teach that individual to take care of their body. My concern is that I might be too soft on them and let them do whatever they please. I don’t want to force a child to do something and if they fail I don’t want them to feel like they are not good enough.
Sharing stories, and reflecting on our own experiences is valuable because it will help us develop a personal identity. This identity is important if we want to become an effective teacher. They can also aid us when we are trying to relate to our students. For example, because I know the feeling of being picked last, I will never allow my students to pick their own teams. This way I can focus on always uplifting my students. Finally, I am very excited to be in this class, and I hope that I receive plenty of constructive feedback so that I can be a great PE teacher.
On a side note, this was my first course in my post secondary career where I was expected to be active. It was quite a shock for me to experience that. It made me think that courses similar to these should be offered more and required for college student to take every year. According to “HealthLine.com,” 44 percent of college students in the United States suffer with depression, and 19 percent of young people either contemplate or commit suicide. Fortunately, researchers have proved that exercising and being active can decrease depression. One reason for why this happen is because, when an individual is regularly active, their brain releases neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids. These are called the “feel-good” chemicals. One of their less scientific purposes is to make the person happy. In conclusion, I believe that requiring students to enroll in courses similar to this will help reduce the percentage of depression in universities all across the world significantly.
This week I became overwhelmed with the idea of creating my own lesson plan (something I have never done before). But after watching today’s groups execute their lessons so flawlessly, they helped me realize sometimes the best form of learning is to “do”. Like our peers today, I can be creative and unafraid to try new things in front of our classmates and instructors. Our time at UBC is really a chance to hone our own styles or ways of teaching (without judgment) and realizing this has helped me settle my own anxieties about our future assignments.
Regarding our own PE experiences, growing up I actually had only positive experiences. I always loved the physical, teamwork and competitive aspect of physical education. However, today’s class did put things into perspective; I realized that some of the things I might have enjoyed in my PE experience may have negatively affected or excluded my classmates in the past. The fact that Steve recommended setting benchmark goals to improve students’ individual results shed light that there has been a clear shift in teaching physical education. Teachers today want to create positive experiences and attitudes towards physical activity within their students by considering inclusivity and personal growth. These are important values that I want to instill into my own teaching.
I found today’s first group teach and instant activity/summary to really sooth any sort of anxiety I had about the class. This is due in a big way to the fact that both groups did such an extraordinary job, but I think I was also reminded that being physically active is something I love to do, and always have.
PE today seems to have come a long way since I was in elementary school, and many of the things I didn’t like about it back then are all things we’re trying to change or improve (hall of shame games, exclusion, favouritism etc.) on now, which makes me feel excited about moving forward teaching PE. I really appreciate that these sorts of considerations are valued now by PE teachers when creating the conditions and environment of their PE classes.
As I mentioned in my reply to Kate’s reflection, I also think it’s really kind of a blessing that it seems so many of us didn’t have the best experience in PE – many of us can empathize with students and make sure to avoid a lot of the issues that led to us having negative memories.
In reflecting on today’s class what really stood out to me was the list of Hall of Shame activities. At first I was shocked to learn that activities such as Tug of War, Capture the Flag and even Duck Duck Goose made the list. I have fond memories of playing those games with friends and classmates and found it difficult to believe that these simple childish games could in any way be damaging to the children who played them. It was sure an eye opener!
However, as we talked more about the feelings of exclusion, inactivity and, in some cases, fear that children may experience while playing these games I had to take a moment and rethink what these games really prioritized. It became clear to me after our discussion that these games, as harmless as they may initially seem, can be socially and emotionally damaging. In fact, I learned that many of us, myself included, have memories of experiencing all of these emotions at some point in our P.E. history.
I left today thinking not only about the games that made the Hall of Shame list but all sports and how they might affect the children who play them. As soon-to-be teachers I feel it is our responsibility to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment of learning for our students. This philosophy certainly lends itself to P.E., a subject that many students dread to participate in and many teachers dread to teach. So, the challenge becomes making P.E. a fun, fulfilling and enjoyable class for students of all ages and abilities.
Moving forward I will certainly look at each activity and its outcomes before I suggest it for any class with the benefits and potential drawbacks in mind. In this course, I look forward to learning how to better equip myself with the knowledge and tools to better serve my future students.
What were your own positive and negative experiences in Physical Education?
As I reflect back to my experiences in Physical Education my positive and negative experiences were heavily dependent on the teacher’s enthusiasm, the creativity in the curriculum and the motivation he or she could instil in their students. Moreover, when the teacher could create an environment that encouraged inclusiveness and one free of judgement. When these conditions were satisfied, it was very likely that I would have a positive Physical Education experience.
A negative Physical Education experience I had in the past was when it was time for student evaluations. For example, throughout high school, the ‘six lap run’ was one way in which teachers would evaluate our running ability each term. This assessment would in turn make up the majority of our grade for the term. Before every ‘six lap run’, I would have an immense amount of anxiety about whether I would be able to complete the run at a reasonable time. As I reflect back to this memory, I realize that this anxiety was unnecessary because I knew I was capable of running and performing at a successful pace. However, I always found this experience to be daunting because it was clearly visible who were the ‘stronger runners’ and who were the ‘weaker runners’ in the class. In comparison, when one receives their mark back for a Math test their grade is not publicly announced and shared with their classmates. This privacy in turn allows one to feel less ashamed or embarrassed about their grade and instead encourages room for improvement. I believe that if the teachers had provided more reassurance to their students, this run would not be something all students would dread throughout the year. As a prospective teacher, I hope to show encouragement, enthusiasm in all activities and to help all my students reach their individual goals. It will be my goal to ensure that each one of my students will have a positive Physical Education experience.