If you're reading this you're probably wondering why I have a picture of batman to the left... In the movie The Dark Knight batman tries to bring order and structure to a city that is just in chaos. That's how my partner and I felt today after teaching our lesson for our EDU 355 observation. I'm writing this as a reflection of my lesson but also as something fellow physical education majors can look to as they progress their way through the program.
Today me and my partner taught a lesson on Hula-Hoops to our first graders. We had various activities ready to go for them but the students were their own worst enemy. Students were pushing and shoving and not following directions. Now perhaps I didn't give clear enough instructions, which is very well possible and always something a teacher should consider. Is it my fault they were misbehaving? Then as a teacher, you must be able to step back and assess the situation. The children were clearly able to identify the rules and safety statement I had administered prior to starting the activity. I feel as though because there is a lack of structure and disciple during the week, that the students just get used to their regular way of doing things. Then when my partner and I show up and try to instill structure to the classroom, the students don't like it and misbehave. So how does one find structure in chaos?
You can tell a student to not push and shove until your blue in the face but there comes a time when as a teacher you need to stop a regroup and get everybody back on the same track. Providing safety statements and checking for understanding are essential when trying to create order in an environment that usually doesn't have quite the same structure when we are not around. Let students know that there is a zero tolerance policy when you're in charge for misbehavior. It's also important to acknowledge good behavior and tell the students what they are doing is acceptable and to do more of that behavior. Also use students as an example for other students to demonstrate good model behavior. During the lesson I had students build their way up from walking in the activity to running during the activity. Students couldn't keep their hands to themselves and were pushing and shoving to get to the Hula-Hoops. So I had the students explain to me the rules again and then had the students try walking again. It was then after they showed me they could walk, skip, gallop that I let them speed walk because they had earned it.
This just reinforces that as teachers we must have a firm but gentle hand and let them know that during the 30, 40, 50 minutes you'll be teaching these are the rules and they have to follow those rules.