As a physical education major, I have had much experience in the realm of sports and physical fitness throughout my life. This has been the key reason to choosing this major and enjoying it as much as I do. I want to be able to encourage the students to want to participate in physical education on a daily basis; this includes outside of the school setting. I plan to do this by changing the way most physical education programs are run; as in the old throw out the ball and do the same seasonal sports for each unit. I plan to incorporate a lot of lifetime fitness activities and units in to my curriculum because this will allow for students to carry the activities over in to everyday life; it will also be more appropriate for those who are not in to the big sports and being super competitive. I have seen some good ideas on how to incorporate these activities in to a curriculum and plan to take that knowledge to make mine even better. Another big incentive for physical education curriculum is allowing the students to have a say in what activities they participate in because if you ask them what they want to do; they are much more likely to participate and enjoy the unit. These are just some of the ideas I plan to incorporate in to my future in helping students become more physically educated. On top of being a physical educator, I would also like to carry my knowledge of fitness and health from my exercise studies degree over in to the older generations. I plan to do this by becoming a NASM certified personal trainer this coming spring while I am home student teaching. I feel that making an adult see progress in themselves whether it be in toning or becoming healthier is just as rewarding as making children enjoy physical education.
As a current senior here at SUNY Cortland, I am getting very close to finishing my undergraduate degree in Physical Education. Up until this point I have accomplished a lot in the realm of exercise studies and physical education. The first big accomplishment I had was completing my Associates degree in Exercise Studies while being a part of the honor’s program at SUNY Orange. My second big accomplishment, also at SUNY Orange, was completing the entire pre and post test along with the 25 page paper I submitted to the Beacon Conference. My paper titled “Are there physical, psychological, and life behavior changes after an eight week spinning, fitness swimming, and exercise and weight management class” qualified as the top three in the Allied Health field, which qualified me to present at the conference. This was a huge stepping stone for me because I never thought I would be able to complete a paper with the amount of research and data collection that I had to do in order to write this paper.
As a senior at SUNY Cortland I have been able to have numerous experiences that have increased my knowledge as well as desire to teach physical education and be that generation that makes a change in the way physical education is viewed by other educators. My first experience was working with an after school program, CHAMP, in which I dealt with students of all different ages as well as abilities. Some of these students had autism and/or other disabilities which made the experience even better. My second experience was performing 70 combined hours at a middle school and high school. During this time I was able to not only observe, but assist in teaching in several different settings. I was even fortunate enough to work with a class designed for adapted students and in the pool. This was a great experience for me because I truly enjoy working with people in the water and helping them overcome fears of the water. This overall experience opened my eyes to two extremes in the physical education spectrum because at the high school level all of the activities were chosen by the students and they also pertained primarily to lifetime fitness. On the other hand in the middle school the students at the time, other than sixth grade girls, were playing kickball, basketball, and softball. To add to my experience, this semester I will be doing observations at the middle school level as well as working with an adapted group in the pool, an adapted group in the gymnasium, and the Cortland Adapted Swim Team. I am hoping these experiences as well as the others that I have outside of college with allow me to give my students the most out of each and every lesson.
Along with my experiences as a student in college, I have many outside experiences that have contributed to my motivation for change. The biggest is working at a summer camp for approximately seven summers as a counselor. In this time I have worked with all age groups from first grade to eighth grade and have dealt with many different types of campers. I have also seen a growing trend in the amount of obese or overweight campers we see at young ages. This to me is very upsetting and encourages me to go out in the field and make a change not only in the schools, but hopefully reach out to the parents of these students to try and prevent any issues from becoming worse. This program has been around for years, but hasn’t had a physical education major as a counselor any time recently, so this year I was looked to in order to try and implement some change. I plan to have a whole curriculum this coming summer in order to promote healthy lifestyles amongst all age groups.