Sunday, February 27, 2011

Good Coaching Or Over The Top?

Matt Kravchuk, a sophomore at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, was knocked on the ground and kicked by his coach during a basketball practice. Kravchuk was involved in a rebound drill when his coach confronted him physically. His coach cursed him out and then kicked him out of the practice while Kravchuk was bleeding.

The video can be found by clicking here

Now as a former athlete I'm sure that we have experienced some great coaches and some not so great coaches in our athletic careers. For me it seemed I knew more not so great coaches especially on the Rugby team. One coach in particular that my family and I will never forget. For privacy let's call him "Coach Wittenberg"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Choices: What Kind Are You Making?

                  Did you ever take the time to stop and think about the choices and their impact they've had on your day? Did you wake up early or did you wake up with just enough time to catch the bus? Did you eat breakfast or are you going to wait because you have a test study for instead? All of these little choices may or may not have a dramatic impact on our lives but still play a role in our everyday lives. Now think about big decisions you've made in the past week. Did you start your paper or early or did you spend all night working on it the day before it's due? Did you tell someone something and it's still having an impact four or five days later? Again, the choices we make have crucial impacts on our past, present, and future.
                 As future physical educators we need to be aware of the choices we make but more importantly the outcomes associated with those choices. The choices we will be making will not only affect us but our students. What choices are you making to help yourself become a better physical educator that will ultimately affect your students. I made a choice Spring semester of my sophomore to be try and better myself everyday! Everyday I would pick one thing from the day previous that I could improve on and try to better myself. Then I made the choice to become more involved here at SUNY Cortland with clubs, volunteer work, the program, etc. I understand everyone has their own agenda and everyone has about a million things on their plate but your making the choice not to do these things because of other commitments. Your choices don't have to be to join clubs or do volunteer work but just think about the classroom. In PED 201 or EDU 255 what ways can you make yourself better? For me, I would look at everything I did right and then made a choice everyday to work on something that I found not up to my standards. I made the choice that I would work hard and give 150% effort to becoming the best physical educator that I knew how to be. How many people do you know that once they fail at something they give up? Or they don't even try something new? That's their choice... but how many people try new things and if they fail want to try again to succeed? If your a physical education major you should never say things like "Oh I can't do this!" or "Man, I hate doing that, I'm doing that" I wanted to become a better person, a better learner to ultimately help me be someone that stands out in the phys. ed program. With 800 phys. ed majors alone how are you going to make yourself more marketable and unique? Or are you not going to do anything? The choice is yours...

Someone that I would call a friend and an idol once told me a story and he said "There once was a old wise man that lived at the top of a hill. Everyone that lived in the village always consulted the wise man. Well one day a small boy thought to himself that he was going to trick the wise man to see if he was really as wise as he claimed to be. The boy caught a sparrow in his hands. He would bring this sparrow in his hands to the wise man. He would ask the wise man if the bird were dead or alive. If the wise man said it was alive, the boy would smother it and kill it. If the wise man said it was dead, the boy would open his hands and release the bird. So, the little boy walked up the hill to see the wise man. The wise man was waiting for him. The boy then called out "Hey wise man is this bird dead or alive?" The wise man then said "The bird is in your hands, only you can make that choice" 

So the moral of the story is that we all have a choice. We have a choice to get better, and work harder and do incredible things! But nobody can you do anything. The choice to be proactive and an agent of change starts with you. Choose to inspire greatness with your students, peers, family members, etc. Make the choice to be the very best person you can be everyday! because if you're not doing or being your best, then your wasting your abilities and your time. Everything you do should be with passion and should be done for a purpose. Leave a comment below on things that you did great today! Things you want to improve on! and some choices you'll make to help you become a better person, physical educator, etc. Just remember... if not you, then who?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What is Family and How Does it Affect Us?

What is family? Some might say they're parents. If you have a mother, father, brother or sister and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins then most would say you have a family. Things today are nothing like they were back in the 50's or 60's or even the 90's for that matter. The family is no exception. "Leave It To Beaver" was a television show from the 1950s-60s that depicted what a family should look like. They had a dog, a white picket fence and lived in a nice suburban home. The father went to work while the wife stayed home and kids went to school. In the year 2011, the word "family" can be seen as many different things. A person's family can consist of two dads, just one mother or just a sister. The term family can also be used in many other different arenas. 

I remember the days when I used to play high school football and high school track and field. I remember my teammates and how close we were. Many times we referred to ourselves as "family" Now it obvious none of us were related but we shared a camaraderie because we were together almost everyday practicing, playing games, and attending the same school. I was able to e-mail one of my old teammates from my track team and let's call him Mike. I asked Mike what family meant to him and he replied with "family can be your mom and dad, brother and sister but for me a family are people who I can trust and people who I know will get me through tough times. They don't need to be blood related they need to show that they care for you and are willing to give you the shirt off their back for you." 
Many of us probably have played a team sport sometime in our lives and consider those people "brothers" or "sisters". Why? Because they posses traits that we like or practice ourselves. Spend enough time with those people and eventually you consider them part of your family because you see yourselves as one unit, accomplishing goals and looking after one another. I e-mailed another friend of mine from high school and asked her what she believed the word family meant and she replied with "I consider my best friends as part of my family. Yeah sure I have a mom and dad and brother along with extended family, but I feel as though me and friends were separated at birth almost lol You're bonded by beliefs and morals/values and common interests. You don't have to be blood related to be a family. Love is the glue that binds us all together and I love my friends and would do anything for them" 

My Brother and I New Years 2011
People everywhere have different opinions of what a "family" is. But how does family affect us in school? Think about this... can you remember the first day of school? How nervous or excited you were? Who was with you when you got on the bus or walked you into class? Chances are it was someone you consider family. If you had trouble in school with homework or a bully or trouble in a sport who did you talk to? Probably someone you consider family? I believe family is the back bone for students! Why do you think there are parent-teacher conferences? Because family members have a direct role in the attitude students have about school and their values, morals, work ethic, etc. I know my parents are very involved with what I do and are probably reading this right now! (Hi mom and dad) Other students however might not be as lucky to have someone who cares and look for people that care for them. We as educators need to be aware of students that need a role model and be that role model and backbone for them, pushing them and instilling a positive attitude and good values to help over come any problems they may face. Many students may not have a good home life and it affects school work, sleep, and attitude. If nobody steps in by the time they enter middle school or high school they're ready to drop out because nobody cared. I have a best friend in the NAVY and I also contacted him about the importance of his "family" and what role they played in supporting him during tough times. He replied with "My family and friends are like crutches, they're always there for support. I wouldn't consider many people apart of my family but I have my mom, dad, sister and her husband along with my nieces, in addition to six friends I can truly say I'd do anything for and I know they'd do the same in return. I have faced many obstacles while in the NAVY and sometimes it's hard because I miss everyone and I want to just come home, but my family is always there for me pushing me to be the best I can be. I can honestly say I don't know what I'd do without them. The love and support I receive from them in indescribable."  

So after reading this I want you to ask yourself these questions... what does the word family mean to you? and who do you consider family? and where would you be in your life without that "family"as a backbone? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Controversy on the Wrestling Mat

I was skimming across the news online today and one article in particular really caught my eye. It appears that an incredible Iowa wrestle, refused to compete against a girl at the state wrestling tournament this past Thursday. Why didn't he wrestle you might ask? The young athlete stated that wrestling a girl would conflict against his religion. This topic has created a lot of buzz in the world of athletics because it raises the grand old question of "should girls be allowed to compete against boys, in a boys sport?" Many people feel the young male athlete was scared to wrestle the girl in fear of losing. Other readers feel the young man did the right thing. He believed in something and didn't go what he went against.
In my personal opinion I feel the athlete did the right thing. My family has always taught me never to lay my hand on a female. When I was younger, I was enrolled in a karate class. In this class was one girl and one day I had to spar against this girl. The instructor told us to fight and I just stood there. I couldn't hit her because it went against everything I had ever learned from my parents and I felt if I hit her that I would be disobeying my parents and my values/morals. This young athlete made a decision based on his values and morals, so how can someone be criticized for what they believe in? How might this relate to physical education?
Like I stated previously, this young man is considered “scared” because he didn’t want a girl to be him at sport where men are dominant. This shows the stereotype that men are supposed to be strong and women are weak. Men can’t lose to girls because it will make them look weak and if a girl beats a boy at a sport she is seen as a tomboy or someone who doesn’t belong with the men. We as physical educators need to stop the reinforcement of these types of stereotypes. We should encourage all students to do their best and do whatever activities bring them happiness. We need to let students know that there is no dominant gender. In a perfect world all these ideas would be accomplished, but I will leave you with this question… What types of things will you teach your students? Will you teach them that everyone is equal? Or will you continue the trend of categorizing boys versus girls and limiting students potential? A wise man once said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” So be an agent of change and find the true potential in yourself and in your students.

Leave a comment below and let me know your stance on the article. Was he right by practicing what he believes in? Or was he just trying to protect himself from humilation? You be the judge!

To view the full article click here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Student Profile: Gerald

      Diversity is something that we all have faced or will face in our life time. If you're a physical education teacher, cultural diversity is something you'll want to bring to the class. Incorporating games and ideas from different backgrounds will help students learn that there are other ways of living and other traditions other than their own. It didn't take my long to encounter my first taste of cultural diversity. It was back in the 7th grade when I met "Gerald".

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! 
Now everyone usually puts the symbol of flowers and chocolate together with Valentine's Day but does anyone actually know how this holiday got started?

Too Cold to Get Out and Exercise? Try Mall Walking!

        Have you ever just gone to the mall just to get a good walk in? Chances are you're saying no to this question but did you know hundreds of people just go to the mall to exercise? Mall walking is a great way to get up, get active and if you want, do a little shopping!
       Walking a lifetime activity that anyone of any age can do! "Mall Walking" is exactly what it sounds like, you walk around the mall! How many times have you gone to one end of the mall, walked to the other end just end back at the same end from where you started? Or how many times do you go to the mall and come home just exhausted? Well that's because walking the mall is a great source of exercise! One perk is people can either join groups or go by themselves and just walk the mall! Another benefit is that it's free! No gym memberships, no 6 month trial, just get up and go! You're protected from the elements and no tough terrain to face. Another big perk of mall walking is getting out and meeting new people! Socializing is great because it allows you to meet new people and everyone loves networking! Another great thing about mall walking is that if a person gets too tired. They can stop, sit down and catch a breather. When you feel rested get back up and start walking!
You might not know it but in fact many people across America are doing this and malls are loving it! Having people in the mall earlier has the potential for more business. Malls usually open their doors bright and early allowing individuals an opportunity to come in and walk the mall without there being a lot of shoppers and distractions. Some stores take advantage of the opportunity and have special deals for the walkers.
       There are many guides that a person can pick up to learn more but one key piece of equipment you'll want is a pedometer. This will come in handy so you can log number of steps taken, number of miles walked and even calories burned!
      So if you're interested if being apart of a club or organizations just search the internet or ask around at the local mall. It seems today we're so busy with things in our lives that working out and our health get pushed to the side! If you're one of these people, then I encourage you to just try something as simple as walking around the mall. You owe it yourself and your health! So get up, get out and get active! Happy Walking!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lancaster Central School District On the Higher Side of Educational Productivity

The Center for American Progress now has an online interactive map on their website that allows users to see just where each school district rates for educational productivity. Why is this important you may ask? Well just how productive was the school you went to? 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Get Active with Video Games!

Andrew DiRienzo (left) and Jake Knier (right) teach us how to "Jerk"
Video games have come a LONG way since the days of Atari. As technology and lifestyles changed, so did our video games! So it should be no surprise to see more and more video games incorporating fitness and movement onto their platforms. More and more people these days want to lose weight and become more active but some may find it tough to fit in a work out with busy schedules. Others may not want to pay an expensive gym membership fee and be surrounded by strangers looking at them while they work up a sweat. All gaming companies have some kind of movement branded to their name. Who ever says video games are a bad thing for children... well they're just looking at the wrong types of games!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

WRUP - What Are You Playing?

So it's the weekend! Classes are over, time to just sit down and relax right? Well not necessarily... This past weekend I went up to summer home in Jamestown, NY and although we were cooped up inside we got pretty active. My girlfriend Amanda showed this game to me a few weeks called Catch Phrase. It's a handheld game you pass around in a circle and you have say clues to teammates without giving away or saying the word on the screen. If you can't explain what the word is before the time is up you lose a point. First team to 7 wins! So change things up and make it more difficult we decided you had to act out the word on the screen. We choose sports but we didn't know there were so many thing associated with sports. Some of us had to act out push ups and lay ups while others had to act out dribbling and touchdowns. There's tons of categories to choose from but having each other act out the words really got the blood flowing because you want to do it as fast as possible so you can hand the game off to the opponent in hopes they'll hold onto it when the buzzer goes off. Catch Phrase is a game for the whole family and a great way to get active while being indoors! 

EDU 470 Reflection 2.04.2011

It happens everyday without us even thinking about it. When you look at someone or meet someone you already have an idea of how you will categorize them in your life. It isn't until you get to know someone and develop some type of relationship with a particular individual that you then change your perspective on how you see that person. Stereotypes are absolute beliefs that all members of a group have a fixed set of characteristics. Think of some stereotypes that people usually make about others such as all asians like math and all mexicans like taco bell or all african americans are good at basketball. These are all common stereotypes but stereotypes not only hurt people but they block learning. Stereotypic thinking obstructs a search for new information. The willingness to engage in complex thinking is what students need. It's important for us as educators to put an end to these stereotypes because stereotypes can lead to stereotype threats and bullying. If students think that one race or group is naturally good at something or naturally smart at something it lowers the students self-esteem. Teaching isn't just about subject matter but about teaching good ethics, values and character to the students so that they can be a more well rounded and well educated person, open the new things and new ideas. One thing we as educators can educators to help diminish stereotypes is build a curriculum that incorporates different ideas from different races,cultures, religions, and socioeconomic class. Also address the topic directly and explain stereotypes in the class and explore ways on how to stop it with students.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

PED 356 Breakdancing with "Lazylegz"

Luca Patuelli a.k.a. "Lazylegz" is a Canadian b-boy. He was born with Arthrogryposis, a muscle disorder that affects his legs. If you truly want to see something amazing then watch this video of him performing on So You Think You Can Dance: Canada. This guy will truly blow your mind! He shows everyone that no matter who you are, what condition you have or how tough your situation may be, everything is possible if you have the right mind set! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

EDU 470 Reflection 1.31.2011

Everybody is unique and different! What appeals to one person might not appeal to another. These ideas are true in almost every aspect of our lives. Think about a roommate you may have had at one point in your life. Did your roommate like to study with music playing in the background while you liked to study in silence? Were you better in subjects like art and music while he or she may have been better at math and social studies? If you answered yes to any of the following questions it's because we as students and future physical educators must know that students have preferred learning styles and that teaching to these styles will increase our educational success! There are three styles of learners that students commonly fit into and they are Visual Learners, Kinesthetic Learners and Auditory Learners. It's imperative that we as future educators understand that not all of our students will be the same and need to build our curriculum for students of all learning styles. Now you may be asking yourself how can we as physical educators encompass things in our lessons to meet the needs of all these different types of learners? Let's start with visual learners!