Day 5 was a welcome break from the established routine. We had some micro-teaching groups present their lesson plans, and I was very impressed with their work, especially a lesson on bike safety for middle-school-level students – the presenters did an excellent job of fielding questions and adapting their instruction to the class conditions. I see that as a skill which every teacher needs to cultivate – I’ve unfortunately seen many instances where this was not the case, and it’s just sad.
Then we went to a dance studio on campus and spent a long time playing with hula-hoops and jump-ropes. The chance to experiment with these implements, and work through lessons designed around them, showed me a side of instruction that I don’t often encounter, and gave me some valuable insight about how physical education can serve classroom education and vice-versa. My favorite part was when we had to come up with a jump-rope rhyme themed on a topic pulled from a hat; my group won the competition with a rhyme about a forest ecosystem which I can’t precisely remember. Something about bears and bees and flowers – we scaled it all the way from secondary consumers all the way down to natural resources.
What this did for me was show me in a concrete fashion exactly how health and fitness instruction can relate directly to more academic disciplines. That’s a bad way of characterizing it – more accurately I’d say that these activities helped me demolish the mental wall between “PE” and everything else. I’m looking forward to helping my students do something similar.