On December 2, 2009 Xavier Waddles took us back out on the ice to welcome the glorious winters we endure at SUNY Cortland! Little did we know we were not only skating for the chance at the Olympics, but a shot at obtaining an unlimited life time pass to the one and only Neubig Hall! We started out our lesson with the amazing Mike Koral who began our training for Vancouver! Mike taught us the tricky cookie cutter along with the push and glide! After that, Mike turned the lesson over to ice skating extraordinaire, Franklin Padolecchia! With all the challenges and obstables that lay ahead Frank gave us a strong lesson on the proper way to fall and get up, turn correctly on the ice and stop!
Now that we knew how to skate forward, stop, turn and fall it was time to take it to the next step: Backward Swizzles! This was where I stepped in and although it wasn't specifically my area of expertise I was ready for the challenge! We started off the lesson with pushing off the wall to get a feeling of going backwards, it was a direction we had yet to work on! After everyone became comfortable with that we progressed to skating across the rink backwards. Quite a few people struggled at first while others excelled quickly so we had to switch it up a bit! The students who excelled worked on pushing and gliding backwards while the students who did not did more of a walking backwards on the ice. The next step was a challenge by choice, cones were scattered throughout the ice and if up to the challenge, students were encouraged to skate around them.
By this time everyone seemed itching to start working on their new moves so we had an activity where the students were able to skate on their own. When a number was called out they had specific movements to abide to. In this activity we were really working on controlling our movements and sticking to the cues: Head Up, Knees Over Toes and Speed. This allowed students to explore the ice, work on their movements and get comfortable on the ice. In just the short amount of time we were on the ice the students really showed a tremendous improvement. It was easy to tell students were skating faster with more confidence and were excited to be out there!
This lesson was my last one of the semester and although I ended it slightly disappointed, I am happy I stepped outside of my comfort zone on the ice and gave it my best shot! I was happy with the overall enthusiasm of the class and with the atmosphere on the ice. I think my hook was a great start and extremely effective in creating this atmosphere! Frank also did some DJing for me which always adds some character to the lesson! I struggled a little with my intratask variation and although I had my activity progressions, I did not use them effectively. Some students even became so overwhelmed they sat out. My time coding form also showed that I did not maximize my lessons time management and only scored two out of five points. I spent too much time talking and not enough time engaging the students in activity which with practice can easily be fixed! The students were of all different skills and I felt slightly overwhelmed giving feedback to everyone. I was very focused on the struggling students and gave little feedback to the students who excelled. Although, my feedback analysis form has improved and my feedback has been much more congruent which is always nice to see!
Overall, I am pleased with what I got out of Lab D as a physical educator. Like I said, I was slightly dissapointed in my performance, but it is a learning process and a good lesson. The feedback I received from the TA's and Professor Yang were the most useful and helpful I have received all semester. I learned how to approach a student who is sitting out, how to lead a class with such skill differences and I learned how to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. It is important to do a run through of your lesson on the ice and I did not spend enough time doing this and I think it showed in my lesson. During Lab A I didn't think I would be able to teach a 20 minute lesson at the end and I now feel the most comfortable I have felt teaching in from of a class at SUNY Cortland!