Thursday, 23 March 2017
Learning in Different Environments
Today I assisted with the Senior Girls at the Eastern Tag Tournament, which was so much fun. One of my goals this year is to increase my engagement with extracurricular activities, namely sports, and this was my first day involved helping out.
As discussed here in more depth, I want to get to know the students outside of the classroom a little more, rather than always in a teacher role. By being a coach, manager, driver, supporter or first aider, I get to know the kids in a different light. Today really demonstrated this to me.
Many of the girls I had not met before, as I haven't taught them, so I was really stepping out of my comfort zone. I was nervous as to how they would respond to my instructions when they don't know me, and I don't know the sport very well. I did, though, make this very clear from the beginning - I was there as support to manage the day and the students.
Even just asking the students to put their seat belts on in the van I was unsure how the students would respond. As expected, some groaned about it, but I was pleasantly surprised they followed my request. This respect continued throughout the day, so behaviour management was minimal. Today really demonstrated to me how stepping away from the subject learning environments changes students, many positively as they are there because they want to be. I really hope I am creating a culture in my classrooms where students are beginning to feel like they want to come to my lessons, like the students wanted to be playing tag today.
I love how sport offers another learning environment for the students. Today the girls learnt so much about determination, perseverance, encouragement, listening and self control, all soft skills incredibly important in learners. Fortunately, in PE especially we are able to provide students with ample opportunities to develop these soft skills, but I am unsure how often they can develop the soft skills in other subjects. Therefore, today was another wonderful avenue for the kids.
Although I am super nervous and lack knowledge of coaching basketball, I think this will be a positive learning experience for me in the coming months, and hopefully the boys too. I feel more confident after today about the positive impact interacting with students outside of the 'classroom' can have!