My first lesson was in Physical Education. When I was talking with my cooperating teacher about which subjects I could choose from, I had the choice of Health, Phys Ed, and Social Studies. My partner chose social studies, and I chose Phys Ed. I thought it would be a challenge to try to teach a class that took place outside of the classroom.
The day started off well, but the students were riled up because they had yet another indoor recess. That’s when I found out that they played basketball during the indoor recess, because half of my students went missing! Before recess started, I wrote instructions on the board, but most of them didn’t read it and instead went rushing to the gym. As a result, I lost control of the class for a bit. A lot of them decided that because they were already in the gym, they didn’t need to come back to the class, which would have been nice because I had all of their instructions on the board. Instead, I went to the gym, where half the class had followed my directions (yay!) and had finished their warm-up and sat down at the center of the gym. The other half decided they could do whatever they wanted and started to pull out other equipment. I was worried that it was an absolute disaster! I only had half of the class paying attention, so to get everyone else’s attention I told them that, “You have two seconds to put your equipment away and sit in the center of the gym so we can start the game.” I felt like a wizard. In seconds, all of the students put their equipment away and came running back. Not only did they sit where they were asked, but they were attentive, respectable, and quiet.
I explained the game to them, which is called “Pac-Man.” It’s a form of line tag, but two students are it at all times and have a red dodge ball that they have to tag other students with. They cannot throw the ball, nor can they step off of lines in the gym. To change it up, I yelled out different forms of movement (jumping, skipping, running, etc) or different colours of lines that they had to stick to. Thinking back on it, it was hard to yell it out all the time, so on the advice of my cooperating teacher, I’m going to invest in a whistle. That will make things a lot easier for next time.
While the students loved the game for the first fifteen minutes, lots of them got tired and didn’t put their full effort into the game, which was a bit disheartening. Somebody told me (unfortunately can’t remember who) that the hardest part of teaching is filling in the last 40 minutes after you completed a 20 minute lesson. I had the same problem. After the game was essentially over, I didn’t know what to do to get their interest back into the game. I’ll do better next time, though!
All in all, it was a wonderful first lesson and I can’t wait to teach again this week. I get to teach Arts Ed, which is in my field of interest! Yay!