Friday, April 20, 2012

Unknown territory

I have mentioned via Twitter and on a couple blogs that I have ventured into unknown territory this quarter.  It involves a new wardrobe, sore muscles, and generally wondering about success of this venture.  What is this new and unknown territory you ask?

Roll On  Photo Credit: West Point Public Affairs

Spanish PE

Has anyone in the world ever heard of that?  I'm guessing no.  I wasn't too fond of PE when I was in school.  In fact, I took a Healthy Living class in college for PE credit because it didn't involve actual doing of PE stuff.  I don't mind exercise.  I mind exercising in front of people.  The fact that my head is a volleyball magnet didn't help either.  So how did I end up here?

Scheduling conflicts and a desire to help people.  One of our PE teachers was going to end with over 45 kids in two classes.  That isn't acceptable, so we moved some around.  My classes were smaller, so I got several.  However, of those many now didn't have a PE due to Band, ESL, and Chorus.  Those are classes you don't move kids out of because they would be really behind otherwise.  So due to a yearly state audit, we only had two options: 1. Over 45 kids in a class or 2. Be out of compliance and risk state sanctions.  So I came up with a compromise.  Spanish PE.  What does that look like?  It is about 30 minutes of Spanish teaching and then 15 minutes of activity that involves speaking Spanish or learning Hispanic culture.  This week specifically it has been Spanish verbs and calisthenics, soccer, the merengue, team building ball toss game with Spanish verbs.

I don't know that I would say this is a success.  Most days, I feel like I barely have control of the class and some students are doing next to nothing and I don't know what to do about it.  I was ÜBERnervous about wearing work out clothes in front of middle school kids and doing jumping jacks in front of them.  Mostly I was nervous about looking like a fool, just like when I was a middle schooler in PE.  I am nervous about kids getting hurt when I don't know what I am doing.  I am nervous about them not learning any Spanish because I don't know what I'm doing.  I am nervous about basically everything I am doing.  However, I am getting more exercise and it is forcing me to be creative with my classes.  I am hoping that in the end I will find a few activities that help them learn Spanish a little better and remember it more.

Do you have any ideas for my Spanish PE?

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