All I can say is wow. This is my second conference of career and all I can say is it just gets better and better. We arrived Thursday and were non-stop until Saturday morning.
Thursday we ventured into Dr. Walkuski's presentation and were really impressed about what he had to say. He really inspired me to take action on my professional development. He gave us a packet with ways to improve our marketability and networking status. The best part was that he gave us deadlines for each, so now we cannot just push away the paper. We have to reach our goals by our deadlines. What was very interesting was at the end of the session there was an administrator from Lockport who basically verified everything that was said in the presentation. He also talked about how intense the job market is. He said they have hired 4 teachers in 5 years and the last one they hired the school did not even advertise they had an opening and they received 125 applications which they then selected 20 for interviews and called back 6. That was scary to hear. It basically told me my resume has to be filled with such unreal achievements and then if I happen to be called for an interview I have 10 minutes to tell him why I am the best. It really opened my eyes.
Friday morning started with a bang as we went to the keynote speaker which was unreal. He was very personable as he spoke about spirit, mind, body and emotion. I really cannot describe it but I will give some quotes the man gave us. "To know and not to do is not to know", "You can have people healed but not cured, cured but not healed." and my personal favorite was "Humans are like tea bags, you do not know their strength until they are put into hot water." That one really moved me, it made me think about so many people that did so many great things when under pressure. For example, surviving cancer. That is the hottest water you can find and people who survive that have unreal strength. The next presentation did not go as well; Dr. Bailey's presentation was canceled due to illness (good thing shell be teaching me next semester so I wont be missing out to much). We instead went to watch Ryan Ingalls officially become President of the Future Professionals section of AAHPERD. They also had a free lunch which was a pretty good perk as well as a good raffle where I won a whistle. SUNY Cortland won majority of the prizes so we rubbed it in Brockport's face which was funny. We had a war of words all week. After that we went to a presentation by the NYS elementary teacher of the year. She was very good and we got a nice sized packet of awesome games to play which were very educational and had a lot of inter-task variation. She also told us how she incorporates her lesson's with the teacher's to include more educational task. The last presentation I went to was very interesting in terms of liability. A group of teachers from Rochester did a presentation on low budget games. The thing that was interesting about it is about 75% of the games they used involved a pegging or (dodge ball) style. They did stress safety saying you can only throw it underhand and only hit below the knees and if you hit above the knees you were automatically out. I asked one of them after about it and they felt that if they stress the safety they should be alright but I was still iffy about it and would hesitate if my administrators watched my class often. That night we went to the Jay B. Nash dinner and got a real good meal while watching some unbelievable people get teacher of the year awards. It was really cool to see this as this is what we are all striving to be.
Saturday morning I presided for a group from Syracuse who did a presentation call Food, Fun, Fitness. It was very good as they incorporated lifetime fitness and food into their games. Also on a side note they were advised by Dr. Sandy Bargainnier a former professor of our very own Professor Yang. Overall This was a phenomenal experience and I advise every P.E. major take advantage of such a great opportunity when they can.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Yesterday at the Section 3 Cross-Country Champs we were very on edge going into the girls race. We knew that our top girl had a real shot to qualify for the state meet next weekend. She put tucked herself rite behind the leaders from the gun and made it her duty to stay with them. When she passed me at the 2k mark she looked pretty strong holding the last individual qualifying spot. I then sprinted across the field to catch her at the halfway mark of 2500m and gave her a few words of wisdom mainly saying "This is where the heart comes into play." I watched her go to the back loop and into the woods holding position, though it looked like people were closing on her. When she came back out peaking the muddy hill she still had the last spot in her grasp but there was one person closing on her and was within about 10m with about 600 to go. I got as close to her as I could and screamed at her that she has the spot and has to finish it now. She looked rite at me put her head down and went. Waiting for her to come down the final stretch was very nerve racking. Finally she came into the stretch with the same lead and I just got scared because there is nothing worse than getting out-kicked in the final 100m, especially when a spot to the state meet is on line. Finally with about 50m left she kicked it into overdrive and crossed the line for a 6th place finish and 5th after displacement of the team that won. Most importantly a free T-Shirt and a trip to Plattsburgh for the NYSPHSAA Cross-Country Champs. When I first saw her after the race she just said thank you to me and said that if I did not scream with 600 to go she may not have got it. That made me feel great about myself and made me realize that I really did have an effect on this athletes success. It makes me excited about the future and the next 40 years of coaching. I hope that this is the first of many state qualifiers and will hopefully lead to a Team Qualification and maybe even some hardware at the state meet.
Monday, November 2, 2009
In Lab C, I feel we were really put in a more difficult situation being in the squash courts. I was really nervous going in that Professor Yang was going to throw us a few curve balls because we were not able to watch all 6 courts at the same time. Thankfully nothing went wrong and I was able to notice things before they got out of hand. As you can see in my Feedback Analysis Form, there were some things that I had to attend to. Mainly it was just people forgetting to wear their goggles which could have been a big problem if someone had gotten hit in the face without them on. One issue I had to attend to was on the last court where the students were horsing around on the court and not following the appropriate cues of the serve. I contained the situation and asked them kindly to follow the schedule sheet.
On to the rest my performance. I feel it was my best one yet and the numbers do not lie. As seen on my time coding sheet. My numbers were the best they have ever been. I improved drastically on my instruction time which was usually in the 40% range was 28% today. I feel like a spoke faster than normal but was still fluent and also I feel that the practice I did a few days before helped me weed out the unnecessary facts and sayings to bring down my instruction time. Also Another style that I used was that I explained everything first then sent everyone off to play. This allowed me not to worry about people having to go back and forth from courts and wasting time. All I had to do was blow my whistle and tell them to perform the next task on the schedule. That is one reason why although my task were different and progressively got more difficult, I tried to keep them similar so it would not take as much time to explain. The only flaw that I encountered was my management time which was 22%. I did expect this though due to the student having to walk out from court 1 to the court they were participating on and then walk back at the end.
Although I was skeptical about being on the observation deck but one positive thing that really benefitted me was my ability to give feedback. It was a lot easier being able to walk down the line and watch each person for a few moments then give them quick feedback. This allowed me to give feedback to every student in the class except one, which I was really happy about.
Overall I feel the strongest part of the lesson was 2 separate areas. One being my checking for safety. As I walked to each court I made sure everyone had their goggles on and the students that were not serving had their faces covered with their rackets. The second thing that I think went really well was the theme that me and Frank used. We used our cooking theme and made it last through the whole lesson. The best part was eating the squash after, I have to say I did a pretty good job cooking it.
The weakness of the lesson did not take place that day. Our Lesson Plan was not the strongest one made. I have to say, one positive of the lesson plan process was that I now have a much better understanding of the whole process thanks to our lab assistants. I really struggled due to it being the first one I have ever done but I intend on progressing to new heights in the future.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Sorry Professor, but this day belongs to the USA. Today I watched an American man win a race that has been dominated by the continent of Africa for the past 27 years. 27 years ago on the first Sunday in November Alberto Salazar won the NYC marathon and since that great day America has not broken the tape. It all changed today when Mebrahtom Keflezighi, otherwise known as "MEB", outdid the highest class field the New York Road Runners have ever assembled. Going into the race I did not even think Meb could be the top American finisher but the man just persevered today, he did not worry about the pack of 10 Africans that surrounded him at all, he just followed his rhythm and realized that they were not running out his league. Yes the guys next to him have Personal Best up to 5 minutes faster than Meb but in the rolling hills on Central park South its about who has the most guts and can still grind out those 4:55's 22 miles into the race. I never thought that I would see this day as it nearly brought a tear to my eye and forced me to go out and celebrate with a nice 50 minute run with some buddies. American distance running has slowly been rising up to the levels of the Africans with help from guys like "Ritz" and "Teg" but never has anyone done something like this and it is making a statement saying that we are not going be intimidated by these men who have dominated the sport for the past few decades. We are going to run shoulder to shoulder and if they do not want to make the move then we are going to and make them suffer. I hope that this leads to more great things to come and more publicity for the great sport of Distance Running.