Monday, November 28, 2011

Teaching Philosophies

Philosophy of Education

The purpose of schools is to provide a safe and healthy environment for students of all ages and abilities.  Schools also allow students the opportunity to socially interact with their teachers and peers.  My philosophy of education is that all children are teachable.  It does not matter what their ability level is.  As a teacher, I need to enrich or modify my instruction to suit all children’s needs.  A student’s societal status or background should not influence whether or not they can learn.  It is up to the teacher to give that student confidence in all aspects.
         I also believe that in order to be a successful teacher, you need to be flexible.  You cannot go into your classroom everyday expecting your day to go as planned.  A teacher who always has a back-up plan will be the teacher who feels that their day has been an accomplishment.  A teacher should expect the unexpected and be prepared for it each day.  Being a teacher not only means being professional, but also being ethical.  I plan to provide students with the necessary security and safety.  As a teacher, all of my students will be respected as equals.  I hope to be one of these teachers.
         It is my job to encourage active parental involvement in children’s education.  It is important that parents are informed about what their children are learning and how they are progressing.  There should be more communication among parents, teachers, students and the community. 
         We also need to prepare our students for the future by setting learning goals and standards according to each individual ability and by instilling pride in each child we teach.

Philosophy of Physical Education

         Physical Education is a class in our schools that seems to be losing its reputation.  People are unaware of the opportunity it provides for children today.  Most are still hung up on the old school style of  “Gym class” and do not fully understand its true value.  Physical Education is about challenging students’ mind as well as body.  Physical Education also provides students the opportunity to interact with their peers both socially and physically.  With instilling the Affective Domain, students learn teamwork, communication, discipline and respect for others.  Physical Education is the only class that instills all of these aspects.  The purpose of Physical Education is to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.  As a professional Physical Educator, I will be sure to be a positive influence in student’s life and enhance lifelong skills to them all.  To me, being “physically educated” means learning movements and motor skills and being able to apply those skills and knowledge to lifelong activities. 
I will use both teacher-centered and learner-centered instructional approaches.  Using the teacher-centered approach, I will present information that is to be learned to direct the learning process of students.  As a teacher, I will identify lesson objectives and take the primary responsibility for guiding the instruction by explaining information and modeling.  This will give my students the opportunity for quality practice time of skills.  I will also use a learner-centered approach to allow students to construct their own understandings through guided discovery. 
As a Physical Education teacher, my biggest concern for my students is that they are all participating in my class.  Physical Education seems to be gaining a bad reputation because most people do not take it seriously.  I will do everything I can as a teacher to change that.  I will have my entire class participating daily, and making a name for my program.  I will use latest innovations and technology in my curriculum to get rid of the old style, and come in with the new.  I will prove to teachers, administrators, parents and the rest of the community how important Physical Education is in the their children’s lives.

Philosophy of Coaching

One of the most influential people in a student’s life does not always have to be a parent or a teacher.  Sometimes, that one person that can change someone’s life is a coach.  To be a coach, means more than just guiding a team through practices and games.  Being a coach means to be a role model and a leader. 
The purpose of athletics is to provide students with the opportunity to participate is sports outside of the classroom.  Although sports include competition, a coach’s top priority for his team should not be just winning.  Coaches teach their players lifelong lessons such as respect, leadership and teamwork. 
         Like a teacher, I will provide my players with a safe and healthy playing environment.  Because most coaches are teachers in the school, they should be involved with their schoolwork.  I will make it clear to my players that they are students first, and athletes second. 
         I also believe that it is important for all student-athletes to participate in sport.  As a physical educator, I feel it is important for all student-athletes to have the opportunity to participate in their given sport. 
         A coach prepares their student-athletes for the future by helping them develop character.  I feel that character is developed through cooperation and discipline.  Athletics play a large role in a person’s life, and a coach can have the biggest influence.  To be a good coach, means to be a good teacher, and I will instill the ideal characteristics of both for my students and players.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Make an Appearance This Year

This weekend, Turning Stone Casino and Resort will be hosting the NYSAHPERD Conference.  Although I will not be able to attend this year, I encourage all the Physical Education majors here at SUNY Cortland to attend along with other students and faculty from around the state.  It is a wonderful and rewarding experience to attend. 

It is a great way to fill documents into your portfolio for Professional Development.  When you are out in the real world looking for a teaching job, school administrators are going to be interested in whether or not you have been dedicated to your professional field.  There are amazing workshops to gain information, ideas and resources.  Not to mention, they are a great time.  There are teachers and college students from all over the state presenting warm ups, lesson ideas and great forms of technology use.  Last year, when I attended, I saw a lot of presentations of games and activities that were completely new to me.  It was the first time I had ever seen Omnikin Ball played, and I enjoyed everything about it.  It was a fast-paced game with a lot of strategy.  There was also a Hip Hop Dance presentation that many of us had attended.  Here at SUNY Cortland, we are required to take a Rhythm and Dance class, but we never really learn Hip Hop moves.  So, going from never participating in these activities, I want to use these resources in the classroom when I eventually become a Physical Education teacher.  Physical Education is evolving, and we are getting rid of the “Old School PE” to bring in new ideas.  This is why the NYSAHPERD Conference is an excellent event to attend.  Go out and search for those new ideas.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why Teachers Need Their Unions

Here is an article giving information and examples of why teachers need unions:

Why Teachers Need Their Unions

If ever there was a reason why teachers need their unions it became clear watching CBS Sunday Morning earlier today. A teacher was forced to resign when an anonymous letter was received pointing to the teacher’s Facebook page where she was shown holding a beer and a glass of wine while on a trip to Europe (on her own time and without students). She also had participated in a Facebook game with the word Bitch in it. 
According to the young teacher, she had set her Facebook privacy settings to limit access to her closest friends. She felt she had done what she needed in order to limit access to her page.
The CBS story was actually about privacy. A picture from a private page can be copied by someone with access and posted on a Facebook page that lacks that privacy setting, thus making the picture public.
Back to the story of the young teacher. She was called into the principal’s office, asked whether she had a Facebook page, and when she said that she did, given the choice of resignation or suspension. 
Teachers, this is why we have unions and tenure laws. Notwithstanding the fact that the principal is the type of administrator education does not need, this young teacher should have stopped the proceeding, asked for union representation and a hearing, not resigned, and fought the entire process. If she had tenure, her due process rights would have been guaranteed.
To force the resignation a teacher for a picture of her HOLDING, not even consuming, alcohol and for playing an online game with the word Bitch just drives me crazy. Do people really think they can enforce 19th century rules on teachers in the 21st century? This young teacher now has a lawsuit against the school district, and I for one, hope she wins a bundle.

Which Teacher's Union is Best Fit?

When looking at two large Teacher's Unions in our country, it may be tough to decide which one you as a teacher want to be apart of.  The two major teacher organizations are the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).  "The NEA and the AFT work to improve the salaries and the working conditions of teachers through collective bargaining (that is, all the teachers in a school system bargaining as one group through a chosen representative), organized actions (including strikes), and influencing education policy.

As a new teacher without much knowledge about either of these organizations, both of them seem to have many pros and cons.  It seems as though each are advertising their benefits to teachers all over the country as businesses.  Are these organizations putting money and salaries above the needs of the children's education?  Some may criticize that they do for many reasons.  For example, in a previous post, I had discussed a teacher's strike that had been taking place in Vermont by teachers wanting more money and health benefits because of the time spent in the classroom.  Teachers need unions to protect them from situations that may be out of their control such as liability issues and tenure.  This should be the top priority, not salaries.