Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Not everyone can swim like Michael Phelps

This was my first semester at Cortland. I participated in seven different classes here, and they all were challenging in their own way. However, one of these classes was very challenging to me this semester. I can guess what you're thinking, that's it's Anatomy, or BioMechanics, or a 400 level class. No it wasn't, it was actually a one credit class. It was Aquatics.

Before this semester, I had very little experience that involved swimming. I go to the pool, or beach, or waterparks in the summer, but didn't really swim. Those were more social events, or events that involved my camp. When I got into Aquatics, I learned that this wasn't going to be an easy class. My swimming strokes were awful going in, and they may not still be that good. However, I noticed myself that I improved. It took a lot of practice, but I was able to swim at a proficient level.

One of the requirements is to swim 500 meters. I didn't think at first this would be a problem for me. I am a former cross country runner, and during the hot days of summer I would run 8-10 miles a day, five times a week. I was wrong. I would become tired after the 100 meter mark. While my time may not have been the greatest, I learned workouts in class that I can use. My muscles and body won't like it, but these workouts can help keep me physically fit.

The most challenging part of this course was the diving. I never knew how to dive before this class. I always tried to learn, but could never figure it out. I practiced this a lot for two reasons. The first is because it's an exit competency. It's required. The second being that if I didn't learn and do it now, then what would I do in the future? I told myself I had to learn because if I don't, then when I am a teacher someday, I will be a hypocrite to my students. I was able to perform a dive off the diving board using a three step hurdle approach. I got over the mental fear of a backdive and performed it. After I performed those two, the mental block was gone. I performed a basic dive off the platform, and actually received a high score on it.

Fear is something that all of us have. Whether we choose to admit it or not, it's true. The only way to overcome your fears is to face them. The picture above is of me at the old swimming pool I used to work at when I was in high school. I was trying to perform a front flip, but couldn't do that either. That's the next thing to learn.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

St Mary's SuperHeroes to the Rescue

This week was our final experience at St Mary's. I was glad that for the last week I got to work with the Pre-K students as I had the best experience working with them during the Dinosaur Train lab. I found out when I got there that my lab group, Three's Company, would be split up this week. Dan and Holly stayed inside with one group, as I went outside with the other group. I had a great experience with the students, and I wasn't even leading any activities. The Pre-K students just wanted to run around, and play some of their games. It was a good experience and change because I got to learn even more what the students liked and disliked. I feel that the Superman shirt helped this week, as it hooked the students into participating.

We then went inside. I got the privelage again to read to the students. The book was called "Super Guinea Pig to the Rescue." The students were hooked, as many of them were interested in the story. I knew this especially because students were complaining that they couldn't see the pictures. While it's never good to hear students complaining, it felt good to know that they were interested in what I was reading. It's always nice to read to the students, as it's a change in a different environment. We're usually leading psychomotor activities that require a lot of physical work, but it's also nice to be in a classroom setting reading to students.

After I read to the students, I led the students through an obstacle course. It went alright, as the students were involved in the beginning of the course. A few older students came over as well, but I did two things wrong with this activity. One, it was too long for most of the students. The students were bored with the activity after a while, as I put too many items for the students to put in the hoop. The other thing that I did wrong was the way I presented the directions to the game. I wasn't clear enough, as I wanted the game to start due to time restraints. I should've slowed down with the instructions this week, and shortened the game. I felt the activity was good, but it could've been great.

I am glad that I got to do this experience down at St Mary's. I learned a lot about myself, and I got to gain experience with the students. I have seen myself progress from when I first walked in there, and I learned better ways to teach to children. This is important when I go out there in the future, gaining more experience, as I progress in my classes here. I feel that my job at the summer camp will be a lot better as well this summer, since I've learned better ways to present games to students. All I can do is to keep learning, and that's what I did every time I walked into St Mary's.