Monday, April 20, 2009

Last Week Working at St Mary's

So our last week came and went at St. Mary's. Overall I think it was a good experience for me and definately helped me develop into my role as a teacher. Coming into this I had some experience working with kids, but at a summer camp and as a coach, but this was different. Here we were put into more of a teacher role by leading activities and the evaluating what level students are at with different motor skills.

This week was nice because we didn't have to worry about observing certain motor skills so we were able to focus more on bringing in props and working on our activities to do with the kids. This was important because this was our Easter Themed lab.

My group was picked to work in the cafeteria with the kids. We started with the older group of kids and I got to sit and talk with them for a little as I had never gotten the chance to do that before. I played a game similar to UNO with a few of the kids and another college student which was fun. I also walked around and talked to the kids playing with Legos and a few different board games. In terms of fine motorskills there was no doubt that these kids were more developed than the younger kids, but that is expected.

After a while they switched with the younger kids and we stayed down there. We brought in eggs with a different movement skill in them (Jump as High as You Can, Slide, Skip, etc.). Each student had to jump out to the basket in the center to get an egg and open it. They then had to do the action inside the egg back to their line. It was a competition to see who could get the most eggs in their basket between the two teams. We also had easter themed music and all of the college students were wearing bunny ears. Another member of my group went to the store and got some easter coloring books which the kids enjoyed too when they weren't participating in our activity.

We then followed the group we were with upstairs to have open gym where the kids could do whatever they wanted. I ended up in a game of tag with a few of the little kids which seemed to last forever. I was exhausted afterwards but I'm sure they got a workout too.

While I'm happy the semester is coming to an end, I still had a lot of fun working with the kid's at St. Mary's. I'm hoping to help out next year as a lab assistant for this class because I enjoyed it. It showed me that you can still have fun while assessing motor skills in children, it doesnt always have to be boring for them and you.

I also learned a lot on how to interact with students and how to be a better teacher. Patients is key. So is selling the activity you are doing and making it seem fun. You really do have to put on a different persona when you teach. This class has taught me that when it's time for me to teach or lead an activity I need to be enthusiastic and clear, and I will have success.

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