Well I have been reminded. Recently I attended a Rock and Water course and have felt compelled ever since to put this knowledge into action. What did I learn? Well I didn’t learn too much that I didn’t already know, what I did learn was how to put all that at I have learnt over the years as a self defense student, a boxing student, a Krav Maga student, Monkeybar Australia gym member and HPE teacher. Finding your core both mentally and physically is the key and teaching kids how and why they need to do this is also important. Behaviour is a choice and this is a fantastic thing to teach kids.
So when practicing a few moves and showing my 10 year old daughter some of the games, I was shocked at how well she maintained her core and managed to flow with the moves I was making to try and get her off balance. Then I remembered her 6 months of Karate and asked her about it. Well she said, “I liked the punching and kicking and we learnt about balance but it was just so boring, always the same and Mum, it was just not fun and sport is supposed to be fun”. This is the same child that finds enjoyment in a 10km run and I felt sad that karate had lost a child that could have been awesome.
It made me wonder how many sports had lost kids because it wasn’t fun! Because it was always the same and boring. Come on people! Here we are competing nowadays with computer games for time, so if we are lucky enough to have kids want to engage in sport we have to make it just as engaging, interactive, provide opportunities to problem solve, give kids reason to want to practice a skill and opportunities to then use the skill in a game , give them opportunities to feel real success and above all to have fun.
The 8 learning management questions are questions that we as teachers ask ourselves all the time they are certainly not something new. How we think about our answers to the questions in relation to our 21st century learners is what has changed.
It all comes back to evaluation, planning, teaching, assessment and reporting and making sure that we know where we are at with each of these aspects of our practice is what is vitally important.Teaching is and always has been an evolutionary process, where we reflect on what has gone well and what was a huge flop and learn from these mistakes.
The best advice I give to any new teacher is to embrace change, have your teaching toolbox full of ideas/methods and never fear to ask for help because inevitably someone else has had the same issue/problem at sometime and there are plenty of solutions out there.
I love that I am not expected to be the broker of all information and see myself as the artist who encourages students to connect and make real their experiences so that information becomes knowledge that is valuable to them. Students provide the best honest feedback and I value their opinion of my teaching. Simple questions such as; What did you learn? What did you enjoy the most and why? What didn’t you enjoy and why? How could the unit be improved?
I have used these evaluations with classes from Year 7 to Year 10 and we had to have initial conversations about the purpose of the evaluations but when students realized that this information would shape their further studies, they were very open and honest with their feedback which didn’t just include their dislike of assignments or group work!
Watch Will Smith’s video on the Keys to Life which he says are running and reading. Why running? Well Will puts it quite simply by getting you to think about a time when you were running and the voice in your head that tells you to quit, that your lungs are burning, your legs are aching. He says that if you learn to master that voice in your head, to conquer it, to continue when the run gets hard. That you can learn to transfer that to life and learn how to NOT quit when things in your life get hard.
How many children get to have that experience of running until it hurts? Of feeling every muscle in their body and thinking that they can not possibly continue, only to push themselves that little bit further and find out that they can do it, they can go further. What an amazing feeling, and it saddens me that children nowadays are missing out on this essential component in life.
This feeling can not be matched in a video game or a game of chess. This feeling of mind over body is empowering. My children have been running from a very young age with their parents in fun runs as babies in prams and then wanting to run themselves with my daughter finishing her first 10km run at 5 years of age. My son, like myself is a terrible runner but continues to pump out 5km runs, always attempting to improve on his 1km time and 5km overall. Every time he starts running he is a winner because he began and when he completes his run he is a winner also. What fantastic skills in perseverance is he learning? Of finishing what he started, of continuing even though his mind wants him to stop. Are these not great life skills for a young person to have?
I know when I run that there are only a few brief moments when my mind is not asking my body to stop. No matter how loud the music is or how loud I am singing along with it, my mind is hell bent on talking me into stopping. It is me who is the victor when I complete my run and return home, because ultimately I won, I did it and I conquered my own mind. How empowering. How much stronger am I now to take on the other challenges that I face in life.
Check out the video and make sure that you are giving your kids and those that you teach the best start in life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-08M7JpLpl4
Wow! How naive am I? I always thought that the comments to blogs were live and unvetted and I have had my first reply to a blog and I get to approve or trash it. I can understand that it is needed if you have someone who is a serial pain and writing rubbish on your page but then again I feel a little betrayed, like when I found out that Wikipedia was not secure research based information.
I always thought that in a blog I would see real debate on topics and opinions but this is only if the blogger allows that type of interaction on their site. Ah my bubble has been burst and I need to make sure that I now take blogs on face value based on my own research.
Twitter is a great tool that can be used in the classroom. Make sure that you set up a handle for your class and then #tags so that you can organize your topics.
Ideas for using Twitter
- Post class announcements
- Post a question each day that students can respond to
- Encourage students to post questions and discussion points from the lesson
- Put links to readings/videos to watch before next lesson
- Reward students with praise and acknowledgement when they interact online
- Great opportunity to explore policy and understanding on using ICT responsibly
- Link Moodle course to Twitter
Check out 100 ways to use Twitter in Education http://edudemic.com/2012/04/100-ways-to-use-twitter-in-education-by-degree-of-difficulty/
Flipping the classroom is in essence about classroom time being the quality time for exploration of ideas and concepts through discussion/debate/practice rather than time spent accessing information through reading/research/watching videos etc.
The idea in essence is fantastic and as a teacher I love the idea of classroom time being utilized for the exchange of ideas/thoughts/skills and putting knowledge into practice. Unfortunately this concept relies on students taking responsibility for their learning and doing their research/reading/viewing in their own time either in their lunch hour or homework time when they have access to computers and Internet.
There is a great blog called The Flipped Coach which Is a site dedicated to flipping the classroom in coaching and physical education and is well worth exploring visit
What is Flipped Coaching? « The Flipped Coach