Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday July 31st 2012
Day Seventeen at Mountain Creek State High School

I really love hoping on my bike and riding by the beautiful beach and sun rise every morning. It seriously is a great way to start the day. That may be one of the more significant things I will miss once I am back home. I think the atmosphere here plays a large role in people’s happiness. How can you walk outside to a view like that and be unhappy. Once I arrived at school I was able to settle into my desk and get my morning tea. I love coming here to my normal schedule each morning. This is already week 4 and it is crazy how fast it has been going. Session 1 I took over my teachers Sociology class. This theory class is my year 12 students who I see twice later in the week for aerobics. I know all of their names, which feels great. I have never taught sociology, but after planning for the lesson I realized I was able to add in information I never knew would come in handy. I feel comfortable up in front of these students because I see them so often and they know me. I am not scared to tell them to be quiet when I am talking, I do not think they try to be rude, just a habit. Because they see me so often, when I tell them to stop, they do. This is such a nice switch from my year 8 class who I constantly have to remind. It really is the fact of working with children and young adults. They are so different. The assessment for this class is to write a reflective essay discussing their success in their competitive aerobics unit based on gender construction over time. Basically this is going to be an easier task for the gentlemen considering aerobics is constructed in a feminine manor. They will be able to find more information discussing why aerobics is more for females, and then base their efforts in aerobics to these stereotypes. A few of my male students have really ignored all the bias and got into the unit. They look great and are really putting tons of effort into their routines. It is nice to know not all teenagers are concerned about what their friends may say. This is for their grade! It shocks me how embarrassed some of them are. I hope I can help them out in this area, and teach them more than just sociology or aerobics. I want my students to know how little these judgments mean later in life. I want them to see the bigger picture of life, to realize that what you put into school will be worthwhile down the road. Session 2 I did not teach, and the rest of my day was spent planning. Next week I will be getting observed for the second time! I am excited. I feel well prepared and planned. I know what I am doing all the way up to next Friday, now I just have to create the lessons! It is so nice to be organized; I love that quality I built in myself. I am glad to have my teacher guiding me; she is really looking out for my best interest here. She throws me into things I would usually stray from, and I know this is all for my benefit. After lunch today I stayed late at school and met a few students at the dance studio. I helped them with their routines by watching, providing feedback, giving ideas, and playing their music. I loved being available for those seeking extra help. We also had a staff meeting later in the afternoon. These are not the most interesting meetings, but still educational for me to attend. It was a long day and it feels good to relax! 

Monday July 30th 2012
Day Sixteen at Mountain Creek State High School

My teacher was sick today. She texted me early in the morning to inform me which helped me plan on the way to school. I was already planning on teaching 2 lessons today so I was prepared for those 2 sessions. Session 1 and 4 I do not teach, so really I was all set for the day. What I got to experience today rather than other days was the fact of finding my way to each class completely on my own, letting the students into the classroom, being in charge of taking the roll for every class, assigning homework, collecting homework, and everything else in between. I LOVED today. My lessons went great and I had no problems at all. I think because my teacher was absent the students gave me more respect than they usually do with her there. I set the law down hard for them and really made it clear that I was not going to put up with any of their talking or disrespect. My year 8 class was terrible last Monday so I knew I had to be strict today. I wrote class rules on the board for them to copy, and I moved 4 students from their seats during the lesson. If they talked, that was it for me; I called their name and told them to move immediately. It was amazing how they listened when I was firm. Although I was a bit nervous being alone, I really enjoyed the pressure free feeling of teaching. 
Friday July 27th 2012

Day Fifteen at Mountain Creek State High School

Today was a busy day in school!! I taught session 1-3. My mornings run smooth because I have two aerobic classes in a row. These classes are working so hard to impress me and it is really making me feel good. I love seeing them improve and have fun. At the end of each class I have them perform what they have practiced for the others to watch. I think this has been a really good way for them to get the feel of performing in front of others. At least they will be comfortable in front of these classmates when it comes to the assessment. The students are becoming fond of me, and I am really enjoying their company. I never thought I would enjoy high school as much as I am. I think it is because they are old enough to understand the basics of how school goes, but yet at the same time seem young and carefree to have fun during my lessons. During session 3 I had a bit of difficulty teaching. My year 8 class was outside on the oval and we were doing a Touch unit. I was hot in the sun, not used to the overwhelming big oval we were on, and just intimidated all around. I had my whole lesson planned and it just seemed to go in a totally different direction. It was hard to get my drills across without the help of my teacher. This is defiantly because I never played team sports like this. I could invasion what I planned, but putting it into words I really struggled. My teacher does not require me to write out the Cortland PE lesson plan, but after today I realized how much it helps me to prepare. I know I have a lot I can improve on with this class and I am looking forward to seeing myself after another 6 weeks.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday July 26th 2012
Day Fourteenth at Mountain Creek State High School

Every day gets better for me. The more I am here teaching, the more I actually feel like a teacher. I feel very accepted at school by the staff. I do not feel like a student what so ever. I have been invited to join teachers to do things, and it is amazing how welcoming they all are. I love the fact that I am a grown up in this situation, which I know back home student teaching will be different. Yesterday my host teacher and I stayed after school to pick 19 girls out of the 50 who tried out for interschool basketball team. It is just a year 8 team and most of these girls have never played before. It was a different perspective choosing teams. I felt terrible telling so many no. But when it came down to it, some just really were not fit for the game. Todays lessons went well. Aerobics is becoming repetitive and easy. My host teacher and I talked about giving me more of a challenge which I am happy about. Melissa and I will be switching back classes in 2 weeks. The aerobics class I took of hers she will then have, and my team sports class I will take back. This will give me the chance to teach year 12 in sports. I still have my regular aerobics class, who I am growing very fond of so that is good. But I am excited to challenge my teaching skills, mess up a lot, and learn from the mistakes. It has been a long week, and I really cannot wait to relax! I stayed late at school today and planned lessons up til Tuesday next week. I am very proud of this; now I can be worry free over the weekend! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pictures from school!

Wednesday July 25th 2012
Day Thirteen at Mountain Creek State High School

Being in Australia, I am always noticing differences. It really does not matter where I am, throughout my entire day there are things I have seen or heard that are much different than back home. For instance, on my way to school I am biking along the beach sidewalk and I am constantly struggling to get past people. It is amazing to see so many adults up at 6:30am running, walking, biking, walking their dogs, or just simply out on the sand. It is a great change from back home. I love being on that walkway because it is so beautiful with the ocean to my right and the esplanade to my left. I know if I lived here permanently I would become one of these adults out every morning soaking in this graceful view each day. School was definitely interesting today. Session 1 I joined with Melissa’s class to watch three PE classes combine for their first group dancing. We are going to be team teaching this class starting next week. They are year 10 and seem very slow at the whole dancing process. Some of the students were so mean depending on who their partner was. I was so upset hearing how they treated others in the class. It made me feel very uncomfortable and terrible inside knowing some kids get picked on so much. I decided to jump in with those left partner less in the beginning and danced with them and rotated around after. I think it is good for the students to see the teachers having fun, relaxed, and following the steps. This was helping some of them loosen up and relax. I am so excited to take some of the dances we learned in our class at Cortland for next week! In my session 2 I had one of my aerobics class. This got a little out of hand. One of my students proceeded to take his shorts off down to his knees showing me and the class his underwear. I was furious. At this point in time my host teacher left to get something from the staff house. I know he did this for attention, and I know he would never dare pull this off if my host teacher was there. I looked at him and yelled for him to pull his pants up right now or get out of my classroom. He laughed and the others were laughing and he slowly put them up, smiling, and said that he did not have a belt. I could not believe I had to witness this. I was so upset someone could be so disrespectful. Once I told my host teacher, after class we went back to write up a behavior report. It’s sad to me really, seeing the students care less. Most of the boys in this section do not earn OP (overall placement) which is what will get them into University so they really do not care if they do well in classes or not. It’s frustrating to me because I am trying so hard to have them interested. I give them a lot of my energy, and I learned now to put forth more efforts to those who are working hard. My host teacher basically told me, because they are year 12’s and almost done with school, treat them as if they are in the real world. If they are not willing to work hard, then fine do not let it bother me. I am trying my hardest to continue my high spirits but it is not always easy. I love teaching, but there are defiantly parts that are a struggle. I am happy to be seeing all different sides of the students and it is helping me develop my own types of teaching strategies. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday July 24th 2012
Day Twelve at Mountain Creek State High School

Each day I come to school I am more comfortable. Today I managed to get from the resource center back to my classroom, which for me was a big deal. All the buildings look exactly the same so unless you really know the school it is hard to differentiate where things are. I am getting to a point where a lot of my classes have or will be getting their term assessments handed out. Here at my school there is a huge emphasize on holding the students accountable. The assessments are all very hands on and group projects. The only thing that is negative about this way of assessments is that I will be teaching less due to class time being obligated to assessment work time. The more I look back, I am now really happy with myself and the fact that I jumped in quick, I want to get as much experience as possible. My students seem to be more receptive when in practice rather than theory. But it reminds me how important this career path is. If I can get to their minds through movement and teach them things that are worthy in practice, hopefully they will take these lessons with them forever. I will be doing more classroom teaching next week which is intimidating and exciting all in one. I love getting feedback from my teacher. She told me that the main thing I need to work on is controlling the class from the beginning. If I can get them to come in and recognize that I am the boss, that it is my classroom, then they will be more respectful when I need them to listen up. I am defiantly going to try new behavior management skills for next week. My students have been really interested in me, which has helped in the fitting in process. Because they are older, there is that fine line of being too comfortable with each other. I believe I need to remind myself often these are not my friends; they are students who need to respect me. I am still working on that part! 

Monday July 23rd 2012                                        
Day Eleven at Mountain Creek State High School

Today had bits of good and bad in it. Throughout my first two sessions I did not do much. However my year 12 REC students were more engaged in the end activity and we all started to talk with each other. I have some of these same students in my aerobics class, and it is really interesting to see how different they are when in a classroom setting. We had them draw a picture of a body and then write what short and long term effects of binge drinking has on the body and where on the body. This was a fun activity once they got into it. My teacher and I walked around and helped them brainstorm, but once they were started they had great imaginations. I loved the pictures so much I had them write their names on them and I took them home with me!! They were defiantly a bit more open and funny about drinking situations than I thought they would be. I think because drinking is more socially accepted here in Australia, it is known that people have drinks often. This class is mainly here to teach them to be safe. Rather than telling our students not to do this or that, we just teach them safe ways to handle them in case they ever are in those situations. I really enjoy the way my teacher handles the classroom and I am trying to pick up on here management strategies. During my session 3, I taught my first theory lesson up on my own (for the most part). My teacher sat in the back and she gave me the floor. It was a year 8 class and our term subject is ‘team sports and team tactics/skills’. I begin the lesson with a brainstorming activity on the white board. Something very embarrassing happened while I was writing all their ideas up. I spelled maybe 5 words wrong! My teacher was helping me spell them and everyone was giggling including me and my teacher. I am so happy and thankful this was my year 8 class otherwise I may have just died from embarrassment! The hardest thing I dealt with today was getting them quiet and staying quiet. They were so very chatty and I have a very difficult time deciding how to handle this in a classroom. I tried new strategies by calling on the students to get them more involved. But even after telling them to stop talking many times, they kept coming back to chatting. I think by the end they were starting to get the point that I was not going to talk over them because some students would start saying ‘shh’ to get the others to stop talking so I could continue. I hope that I can come off firm enough from the beginning so they know not to walk all over me. It really showed me how important it is to set the tone from the beginning. I hate being strict and I hate yelling at students. This is something I will struggle with for a while. I am eager to learn new ways to deal with these issues. After my great weekend seeing both mine and Melissa’s teachers outside of school, I felt so much more a part of the team when I arrived today. I know I have 7 weeks left, but I am already sad thinking about saying goodbye to these people I have growing so fond of. 

Wednesday July 18th 2012
Day Eight at Mountain Creek State High School

Just noticed day 8 never posted, so here it is!!

            Last night I attended a staff meeting. It is a Professional Development presentation that the teachers are required to attend regularly to ensure that they know the most up to date teaching strategies. I felt quite impressed with my previous knowledge on the topics being discussed. Almost the entire time was spent with the Principal being the teacher and us teachers being the students. She wanted us to see different effective teaching ways to engage the students. I learned some new strategies, but mainly I was reminded of my own learning from Cortland. It truly amazes me how these strategies are trying to be enforced here as well, because it really shows the common care for student learning. I even felt comfortable enough to explain a way to test affective domain at the end of a written exam. It made me feel really great inside knowing I understood what was going on during the meeting. Today in school I had a great day. In session 1 my year 11 health students were working on their laptops with a worksheet assignment my teacher and I planned. It was not until later in the session that FINALLY the students started to ask me questions. Every class I ask if anyone has any questions and I try really hard to have them engage with me in a more personal way, but they have been shy thus far. We got to talking about all the differences from my high school with theirs and once they started they had question after question. My teacher actually enjoyed this as well and she allowed us to talk for the remaining of class. I am now feeling better because this is a class I will begin teaching tomorrow. Session 2 today was one of my aerobics classes. I taught lesson 2, which I have already taught to my other class last Friday so I had a good base of how the class might run. This class is larger than my other aerobics class so it is more difficult to manage. I am learning a lot about working with older students and how they are less scared of me. I am trying very hard to come off tough so they know not to mess around. But even with my teacher, they still misbehave. For Friday I decided to come up with a behavior plan that will help me in deciding what to do when these typical boys misbehave. I think other than the occasional mishap; personally I think I did a well job in giving the information. I am really enjoying teaching this to the students and I am so eager to see improvements as the weeks go on. After my planning session, I had my very first year 9 Sex Ed. Class. Oh man is this going to be interesting for the term. We started with an introduction by putting the word sexuality on the board. We had all the students call out any word they can think of that relates to our word. We gave no help and at first they were shy, but once they started, it started to flow. Of course there are lots of giggles and talking on the side during this first day because it is all very personal. However, my teacher did a great job out lining the rules and expectations regarding this topic. I am a bit nervous to take this class on, but I am able to wait until the kids are more comfortable with the subject, therefore I believe I will be as well. It has been so great to work out in the gym here, I love it! Today after school I went to have my usual workout and then biked home. School is fun, but I can tell how tired I am each night. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Friday July 20th 2012
Day Ten at Mountain Creek State High School

Today went by extremely fast. I taught aerobics lesson 1 and 2 which both ran smooth. My teacher Kim told me at the end that she has been so impressed with how well I am managing the class. We have a basic routine now and the students are getting along with it quickly. After we warm up and stretch, I always feel it's a good idea to bring them in and discuss the expectations for the rest of class time. I notice that with my aerobics class I see three times a week, I have gotten very comfortable with. I know everyone's name in this class and man that feels great! These students are also more comfortable with me. Today they were joking around, laughing, and enjoying themselves, all while getting work done. I have been so happy with what I am seeing. I also went outside today with my year 8 class in session 3. We played a version of kick ball called continuous kick ball. It actually was really interesting, something new I learned. The students had a great time, and sun was shining. I got to see hands on how my teaching in theory will help these students improve. Our class is called team sports (for prac) and team tactics/skills (for theory). I can not wait to plan my lesson for Monday going over what I saw today while they were playing. I am loving every minute of teaching. Now it's Friday and I get to enjoy myself and relax!!

Thursday July 19th 2012
Day Nine at Mountain Creek State High School

            I was so nervous this morning on my bike ride to school. I knew that session 1 I was to be observed by my principal. I got here early and went over my lesson plan in my head. I tried to relax and drink my coffee, but really I felt very prepared. I taught my lesson, and even incorporated new things off the top of my head throughout! I felt like it went really good considering I have only been teaching for a week now. I know I forget a few things, and I obviously will always have things to work on, but to say the least I am very proud with myself and how well my students were. Session 2 I also took over by instructing the students on what the activity was to be completed. I really enjoy being up in front of a classroom which I never really experienced before. I feel very in control and also older. I believe I am getting the hang of this and I really love the fact that I jumped right in. I compare myself to the other students from New York and I noticed I am teaching a lot, and I am thankful for this. It is a bit much at the moment only because of organization and routine. But once I get into a pattern I know I am going to enjoy this. I got my staff ID card today; I feel more like a teacher every time I come! My teacher and I are going to get our hair done together on Saturday morning, and it feels so nice to be treated as not only an equal, but like a colleague. I think it is so neat I can actually socialize with everyone outside of school knowing that this probably will not happen in the US. I have also been invited to attend Church Sunday morning with Melissa’s teacher, his wife, and 2 boys. I cannot even describe how excited I am for this. Being able to fit in with the staff is something I was worried about, and slowly I am feeling more comfortable with my sub house. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday July 17th 2012
Day Seven at Mountain Creek State High School

            Today was my first day riding my bike to school. What a difference it made! I got to leave 15 minutes later and it only took about 25 minutes to get there rather than 40 minutes. I really enjoyed the ride as well; it was breezy and hilly making it a fun little workout. When I got to school one of the teachers I have been chatty with had my tea all prepared for me! It was so nice to walk in and see that someone here is making me feel at home. I am starting to get the hang of being a part of the staff. This is not an easy transition for me, student to teacher, but I am really enjoying each part. I am still trying to get used to being called Miss! I have to say, I like it. I feel older for some reason. Today is my slower day; I have session 1 and 2 then plan for the afternoon. During session 1 I am getting much more comfortable with this group of students. I see them on Tuesdays for theory and then Thursdays and Fridays for aerobics. I have a good feeling they are getting used to me being around much more as well. I have not yet taught in a class room yet, but as I listen to lecture and class discussion I am eagerly engaging more and more each time. Today we discussed society norms and stereotyping. I really love seeing how these students think, and how it’s similar and different from my own thoughts. I am already ready for my principal to come observe! She will be coming on Friday to see me teach aerobics. I am nervous but anxious!! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday July 16th 2012
Day Six at Mountain Creek State High School

            School was stress free today. Melissa and I found out this morning that we have two bikes now to transport to and from school! It was the greatest news. This means we can sleep in an extra 20 minutes each morning, and get a nice bike ride rather than a long walk. During session 1 the year 10 students began their first day weight training in the gym. The gym owner is who runs the program. So meanwhile, mine and Melissa’s teacher along with ourselves walk around and assist those who need help. I was surprised to see how terrible these students were at the basic knowledge of fitness. Rather than sport, training is my area of expertise so I had no problem going to the students and correcting their form. I wanted them to really understand the point of the movement. I can remember back to my high school weight unit and I just went through the motions and wasted time. It is clear to me a lot of students react that way in these types of situations. Because I am aware of this, I believe I am more capable in responding different to ensure they are getting better understanding. There was a Health Hero’s seminar at a different high school today. We took about 20 students with us and were gone from session 2 until the beginning of session 4. There was a nice introduction of the seminar, and then the students and teachers were free to roam around and talk to the many health care providers to get information about their work. They all had different stations set up with pamphlets and information regarding their career. It was nice to walk around and stop at various places that relate to what I will be teaching in theory. I grabbed some sheets that I thought may be helpful down my teaching road. I really enjoyed seeing the students mingle and talk to the adults, getting information, and seemingly enjoying themselves. Once we left the seminar I had session 4 to plan for the week. I will be teaching 5 classes for this week and I am pumped! I am a bit nervous because of how much I will need to plan. But I know I can do it, and I am ready to take this full on!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday July 13th 2012
Day five at Mountain Creek State High School

I taught two lessons today!! I went to the dance studio for session 1 with a class of about 25 students. It was a bit intimidating considering my class yesterday was only 12 students. It was so great. When the music starts they all start to laugh and it takes a minute for them to actually take it seriously. But once we got moving, everyone hearts were pumping strong and I felt great energy from them. This is not my original class, Melissa and I switched because her teacher wanted me to take over the aerobics. I feel so prepared inside knowing they trust in me to do all these classes already. For the term, the students must create their own routine including specific criteria, and then they perform it in front of the teachers and the other classes of aerobics. It is a pretty big assessment so I am trying my best to prepare them well. I thought I would have trouble getting the students to respect me, because of our closeness in age. But really, I think the opposite now. Because they are so close in my age, I have no problem telling them to be quiet and listen up. I am not nervous to be firm, and I like the fact that they see that in me. My second class went great as well. We were in the larger gym, and this is the smaller class. It was our second aerobics lesson together and today we did some strength training. In their routines they must have crunches and push ups, so we worked on those. It was really funny to me how much they were complaining. Here I was thinking I went easy on them, and they were all sweating and moaning throughout the exercise. It was awesome to see them work so hard and push themselves. I have been very surprised to see the effort the boys have been giving. My teachers are equally as shocked. Overall, I am starting to get the hang of this. I even found my way around a bit better today. The school is massive, hopefully by week 9 I will know where I am!! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thursday July 12th 2012
Day Four at Mountain Creek State High School
            I am glowing with excitement right now! My very first lesson taught is done, and it was done well. I was filled with nerves this morning in the staff house going over and over the steps to my warm up routine. Once my teacher and I arrived in the gym, I felt better. The students seemed to be excited as well which calmed my nerves. I felt in control of the class and it gave me confidence. Once the music started, all my planned steps kind of mushed into one long song. I managed to keep moving and recalling steps as I went along. But I defiantly did not go in the order planned!! As a teacher I know this will happen so I am really thankful I didn’t freeze and could still move forward. To the kids, it probably did not even seem like I had gone off pattern. They were all trying and I was very impressed with their enthusiasm. I was hot by the end of the 4 minutes and the kids were all sweaty as well. I felt like it was a job well done. We took a water break and then repeated the warm up now that they had a feel of what was expected. The girls in the class were having fun and laughing, and the boys were laughing as well. My teacher and I were enjoying our-selves as well and it was a fun lesson to teach. I now have a much better idea of what the class is capable of for the upcoming lessons. I am so happy I jumped in and in front of students so early on. I know this is what will help my confidence! All the activity classes I took and Cortland are really helping me while being up in the front of class moving around. I am happy to say I feel comfortable. There is still a lot to learn and I am eager for that process to continue. A really awesome thing that happened was my teacher talking to the other teachers about how well the aerobics went. I felt so proud! It feels good to impress someone first time around, I only hope I keep doing it. Tomorrow I will be teaching two more aerobics classes. Planning will begin now! 

Wednesday July 11th 2012
Day Three at Mountain Creek State High School

            Today was athletics day at school. All classes are canceled, and instead the students are bused to the University to participate and compete in different sports. Seniors go first and then juniors come later in the afternoon. My teacher, Melissa and I worked a double shift. So we got picked up from our apartments around 7:15am which was a nice change from walking 40 minutes to school. Once we arrived at the university, we started to bring the tents over to the stadium and oval to set up. Ironically there were kangaroos on the oval! I thought that was cool. We set everything up and the students started to arrive. They sat in their sub division school and the competitions began. Unfortunately it started to rain. The day just went downhill from there. While it was fun at first watching the students compete, the rain just gave them less motivation. It started to become unsafe for them to participate. The head of the athletics day started to worry! We had to make a decision of whether to continue or not. We ended up bussing the seniors back right around the time the juniors were arriving. We thought we could have the juniors compete the running, but in the end we decided to bring them back as well. We were all bummed about this and it now means a lot more of work for us to get the students to compete at school in P.E. classes. The best part of this day was the fact that I met a lot of teachers. I talked to two older teachers who have been working here for 12-15 years. It was nice to get to know more people I will be working with. In the end, Melissa and I got to get home a bit early and that was a nice surprise. I had more time to plan and prepare for my aerobics class tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday July 10th 2012
Day Two at Mountain Creek State High School

Today was a great day! I only had sessions 1 and 2 today so during 3 and 4 my teacher and I planned for the week. In session 1 I met a new class of year 12 students. These students I will see three times a week so I was very eager to meet them. When they walked in, the first thing a young girl said to me was ‘wow you’re beautiful’. This made me feel a bit shy inside and almost uncomfortable, but to be honest a little good as well. It was nice to feel accepted in that type of way. The students came in and this was a bigger class than I had yesterday. I took attendance roll to try and learn some names and it helped quite a bit. This theory class is based on physical education sociology. We reviewed from last term and it was a nice class discussion. When I told the students I would be the one teaching them aerobics Thursday and Friday they all had a bunch of questions for me. They were interested once they found out I was a cheerleader and that I can do gymnastic skills. The way it works is I have these students on Tuesdays session 1 for our theory lesson in the classroom. Then I also see them on Thursday’s and Friday’s for aerobics! We watched some competitive aerobic videos to give them a good understanding of what we will be diving into this week. Their reactions were so funny. They were shocked and jokingly talking about being scared. The moves were intense in the video and it was defiantly at a higher level than will be expected. But I had fun with them joking around saying I was going to get them into such good shape they will be just like those performing on the videos. Their assessment for this practicum is to get into small groups and cerograph their own routine. By the end of term it will then be performed in front of all the other year 12 aerobic classes and assessed by the teachers. There are criteria that must be met for the assessment and it needs to be a routine for 2 minutes. This is going to be so much fun. I have already begun my warm up routine for Thursday and Friday classes! I hope I can get them really into this, because it could be very beneficial if they end up enjoying it. My session 2 class was a year 11 health class. This has been the largest class yet. So many teenagers staring at me! It was a little intimidating, however I feel as if I can get used to it. We went over binge drinking today and also addressed their assessment. These students will work in groups and pick a topic that deals with binge drinking. They are to create a survey to present to the year 12’s to get an understanding on how knowledgeable they are on this subject. They are then to create a presentation to give to the year 12 students to inform them of information in hopes to prevent dangers of binge drinking, specifically their topic included. It is a huge project and we have already started creating groups today. I am very anxious to get into these health classes and teach student things that truly matter. I had 2 sessions to plan and follow up on work. Now it’s time to go exercise in the gym!! I am so happy I can finally get back into a routine. Living here has been absolutely amazing. I just cannot believe it’s already been a month. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday July 9th 2012
Day One at Mountain Creek State High School

Today was absolutely incredible. If I was excited before, I am ten times more excited now. My teacher and I got along great as we went from session 1 to session 4. The school day begins at 7:30am so Melissa and I arrived at 7am. We chose to walk from our apartments so we leave just after the sun rises around 6:20am. Yes it is a long walk; however it’s much better than paying for a bus fare. Once we got to the school we signed in with the office and they helped direct us to our sub-school staff house ‘Bribie’. The school is divided into 4 sub schools each holding their own staff house. In this large office there are about 25 desks and Melissa and I even got our own desks for the next 9 weeks. It’s basically a building filled with teachers and their belongings. It has a huge table in the middle people eat and work at. There is also a small kitchen and a hallway with toilets and showers. I feel I can become very much at home here. I want to bring pictures and some of my own personal things to my desk to make me feel a bit more comfortable. The day is broken up into 4 sessions. Seniors (year 10, 11, and 12) attend school from 7:30am-12:55pm while juniors (year 8 and 9) attend school from 10:30am-4:05pm. Each class lasts 70 minutes and it sure does go by fast. For each session I got a small feel of the students I would soon be teaching. My host teacher guided me through each class and the expectations for it. I feel very comfortable and so eager to learn more. Session 1 is a year 10 class held in the fitness room. Basically the students learn and practice correct techniques in weight training. This is the one class Melissa’s teacher and my teacher work together which is a plus. Session 2 is a year 12 theory class. The topic for the term is ‘binge drinking’. At first I thought this was just considered a unit. However this is the topic for the entire 11 weeks of the term. I was so shocked to find out that what I begin to teach in each class is what I will still be teaching by the end of my 9 weeks. So many differences already and I have only just begun. This year 12 class seemed to be less interested and interactive. I hope I can come up with some neat ideas to get them interacting with me as I teach. I look forward to trying new ideas especially in a classroom setting. After session 2 we had morning tea which is a nice break. We basically just had a small snake and got back to work! Session 3 was a year 8 class however we had a assembly. It was a bit chaotic at first and I felt overwhelmed with students just walking everywhere. I can’t wait until I feel more in control. At this assembly the students were checked for attendance and also had their uniform and appearance checked. It seemed pretty intense because I have never been in a school with uniforms. I think it is smart they are strict in a sense it keeps everyone unified. After that, the students separated into their sub houses. Bribie students and teachers went outside to discuss athletics day which is to be held on Wednesday. This was a year 8 and 9 assembly so they are fairly new to athletics day. My teacher and other physical education teachers had recorded some of the students’ scores throughout other terms to determine which sport a student would be best at. They called out the students name and the list of which the student will compete in. Not all students were chosen and some students had many things on their list. It was a bit uneven, but I think the competitiveness controls these choices. Basically from my understanding, on Wednesday the students will all be bused to the University to compete in areas of racing, throwing, and jumping. All students attend and the 4 sub divided houses compete against each other. Bribie is the color red and Melissa and I get to work the events representing our team! Session 4 came along and we will usually have a year 12 psychology class, however today they were at a seminar. The day flew by and here I am at my desk by 1:45pm. My teacher and I organized the rest of the week and decided on where I will jump in. I will be teaching aerobics for the next 9 weeks and am starting with warm ups for 2 classes on Friday. I am more than pumped for this to begin. I am also going to start in a theory class as soon as possible. This seems to be very well organized and I know I will be enjoying each moment. When I can I will take pictures so I can post what parts of my school I am in! I feel so lucky to be in a school with such ease and organization, all my fears are fading.