Through my field experiences I have learned a lot. I was able to experience all different types of schools. I have had some experiences that were beneficial in finding my own style of teaching and other experiences that have showed me that there are some schools a lot different than what I am used to. All of my experiences have helped me learn and taught me things to do or not to do in the classroom.
My first observation was at Beachwood Middle School. The teachers at Beachwood were very helpful and made a good place to start my observations. They gave me great advice on possibly getting my health certificate on top of my physical education major. I have looked into this and found out that it would only take a few more classes at John Carroll and then a semester at another college that John Carroll has a partnership with. I am hoping to be able to do this. It will be much easier to get a teaching job as a physical education teacher with the health certification while working on getting my masters to become a guidance counselor. The two physical education teachers at Beachwood were very involved with their students and what was going on in class that day. This is the way I feel physical education teachers should be. After being at Beachwood I started to really think of what age group I would be interested in teaching. I sort of knew that I didn’t want to teach in a high school. Most students in high school don’t like participating in physical education and I wouldn’t want to face that struggle every day. I could see myself teaching middle school students though but most likely in an elementary school.
After being at Beachwood I then went to observe at Cleveland Heights High School. This was an eye opener for me. Going into Cleveland Heights I had high expectations because of the way their principal explained their early college program to us and the types of students they had at the school. What I didn’t realize was this was only for the students enrolled in this program. To start my observation I was first lead on a ten minute walk to the far back of the school where the gym was. The building was huge and did not have the small community feel like I was used to. I then stood in the gym for ten minutes with all the students until the teacher got there. The student were running around and jumping off walls. When the teacher finally came in she had a hard time getting the students to settle down and this continued most of the class as the students had no respect for her at all. It was much different being in this school compared to the school I had grown up in. My experience at Cleveland Heights made me realize that there are many different types of schools out there and I could possibly end up teaching in a more difficult school than I am used to. Teaching has it is ups in downs and there are extremes on both ends.
My third field visit was to Agnon Elementary School. I ended up observing a 7th grade gym class with only six students in. This gave me a chance to talk with the teacher a lot more than in my previous observations. Because of the small class size the activates that day had to be altered for the day and the class didn’t go as a traditional class would have with the regular number of students. I really enjoyed my experience here. It was the first time I was able to see what a physical education lesson plan may look like. The teacher, Seth, gave me a lesson plan to look at on what he would do with a typical class. Seth also gave me some insight on what the negatives and positives are between teaching in a public school and private school. Many of the things such as whether you receive paid benefits or not are not things I have thought of before. Obviously when it comes time I will be happy with any job I can get but it is good to know the differences to look out for. I still am unsure whether I would want to be in a public or private schools. I think there are advantages to both and I am always up for a new experience so I don’t think I would really have a preference.
After the three experiences as a class I went home on Thanksgiving and did my observation hours with my high school assistant volleyball and basketball coach, Mr. Gainey, who teaches elementary physical education. During my observations with Mr. Gainey I was able to ask many questions and Mr. Gainey along with his co-teacher Mr. Shelley would give me the best answers they could from their experiences. This was my first experience in an elementary school. It reconfirmed my feelings that I would want to teach elementary students the most. This experience was also very good because many of the kids in the classes were kids who attended the Boys and Girls Club that I worked at during the summer. I got to see that with the right discipline these kids could be much different then what they were during the summer. Mr. Gainey and I talked about this and he gave me some pointers on how I can get the kids to behave during the summer the way they do during physical education in school. This was a great experience for me. I was debating on whether to go back to my high school to do some of my observations but I am glad I decided not to because being with Mr. Gainey for all ten hours gave me a chance to see different age groups. It also allowed me to pick up on things that I hadn’t noticed at first but by the end of my hours I was picking up on them. I really enjoyed being in a elementary school and could see myself teaching in one down the road.
I have never wanted to be a physical education teacher but for me it is the best path to becoming a guidance counselor. Now that I have been on a few observations I could see myself doing being a physical education teacher for few years while getting my masters in counseling. Many people say that being a physical education teacher doesn’t really take a lot and until recently I would have agreed with them. Through my observations I have seen good physical education teachers and bad physical education teachers. To be a good physical education it takes hard work. A good teacher will come up with lessons that keep the students interested. They will also involve their students other subjects. This is easier to do with the younger students because they have easier concepts to work with. I wanted to be able to do these things in my classroom while teaching physical education. I am glad that we did these observations hours because it showed me what was out there. I also realized that there is more to being a physical education teacher than I thought. I am excited to do more observation and teaching hours during my time at John Carroll.