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Collin Grogan Educ. 111 Intro to Teaching Observation Reflection The students and teachers that I have observed in this field experience were from Shawnee Middle School. The name of the teacher that I was assigned to was Ms. Dawn Potter, a physical education teacher for girls at Shawnee. I also observed her coworker Mr. Steve Zent, as he was the physical education teacher for the boys in the student body. This experience was cut short by bad weather but that is to be expected as a teacher and as a student. Ms. Potter, my cooperating teacher, seemed to really enjoy her job. It did not seem like an actual job to her from what I had observed. When you think of a job you think of someone saying “oh no, I don’t want to go back to work today”. She really seemed to enjoy being with the students and participating in making sure they were participating in all of the activities. Ms. Potter had been in the middle of a unit in which she was teaching the girls in the class to dance. Some of the dances that she was attempting to teach the kids were the Macarena, “jerk”, and she also had the students come up with and learn how to do a “stomp” dance. A stomp dance is a dance in which a group of people make up a dance and incorporate a series of rhythmic sounds made by stomping, clapping, and smacking different parts on the body. Watching the joy in the kids’ faces when she was dancing with them and at the same time teaching them was very apparent. Many of the students seemed to enjoy the activity except for the few students that wanted nothing to do with gym class, which is something that I would like to try to improve when I become a gym teacher. The students seemed to interact with Ms. Potter very well and aside from being a teacher she seemed to be somewhat of a buddy to some of the students. Maybe attention like that is what some of those students need. The students did not really seem to act out in class. I think that with Ms. Potter Collin Grogan Educ. 111 Intro to Teaching Observation Reflection acting not only as a teacher/authority figure, but as someone they can talk to really seemed to help her connect with the students and they respected her for that. The other physical education teacher, Mr. Zent, was in charge of the boys P.E. class. Although he was not my assigned cooperating teacher, I still made my way over to his side of the class from time to time. While I spent time with Mr. Zent’s sections of the class, I helped with supervising the students, passing out locks, and watched how he had to be very specific with the boys compared to the girls on Ms. Potter’s side of the class. I think that he had to give very detailed rules and instructions because the kids would struggle with comprehending simple rules and concepts of gym class. An example of one rule that the students broke on a regular basis was not being allowed to have gum in the gymnasium. One of the general concepts some of the students had trouble grasping, the sixth graders in particular, was having a personal locker specifically for gym class. They just did not listen to instructions when Mr. Zent was explaining why it was important to remember the locker combination and the purpose for the gym lockers. The eighth graders really seemed to show a difference in this area considering they had gone through this routine for the past two school years at Shawnee. Overall, I thought that seeing the kids separated into girls and boys segments of the gym was very different from what I had experienced in middle school. I do understand the reason why they separate the class, but at the same time I do not think that it is entirely necessary for every school. After being at Shawnee for these few days I have realized that becoming a physical educator is what I want to be. Ms. Potter and Mr. Zent had showed me what an average day in the life of a gym teacher looks like and I am looking forward to becoming one myself.
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