Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Part 3 Glee

Chris Colfer performing "I Wanna Hold You...
Chris Colfer performing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       One rising issue in the United States is teen sexuality. As teenage homosexuality gains notice, changes are being made in America with social treatment of gays. Tragedies such as the youth suicides are igniting a social movement. The idea of “gay is okay” is being shown all over the American television system. Americans are being exposed to gay culture and are becoming more accepting of it because of the exposure. One show with a unique set of characteristics is Glee. Glee is a show on a national network with the reputation of being conservative (FOX), which makes it more surprising that the show also holds the record for number of non-heterosexual teenage characters on a prime time show.
            A reoccurring theme for these Glee Club members is the constant threat of a
slushie to the face by the high school’s bullies, who constantly antagonize them, especially out and proud gay character Kurt Hummel. the show successfully transforms the understanding of gay bullying through the character Kurt Hummel who sends a tailored message to these specific groups by serving as an exemplary figure for victims. Glee mirrors real bullying through the interactions between Kurt and football ogre Dave Karofsky, who frequently singles out Kurt with malicious words, aggressive shoves, and angry glares. Kurt serves as a positive influence by celebrating his homosexuality and refusing to abandon his flamboyant behavior, even at the risk of his social standing. After a particularly brutal encounter with bully Dave, Kurt chooses to confront his aggressor with words of his own: “Hit me because it’s not going to change who I am. You can’t punch the gay out of me any more than I can punch the ignoramus out of you!” Kurt takes ownership of his life; he addresses the problem with the principal of the school and makes the decision to transfer to a more advantageous school with a zero tolerance of bullying and a brighter future. The initiative Glee takes in presenting a positive gay character and the immense support from the show is significant in that it encourages teens in similar situations to follow Kurt’s example and better their situation. Character Kurt Hummel successfully embodies and acts out the message “it gets better.” \
            The character Dave, like other bullies in real life, harasses Kurt because he believes that homosexuality somehow makes his victim inferior. In reaching approximately eleven
million viewers an episode, Glee is effective in obtaining a wide coverage to promote its
issues. The specific messages Glee sends are significant in that they seek to inspire change from its viewers. To the victims, Glee sends a message of hope through the uncompromising character of Kurt, who encourages teens to follow his example. The targeted change in this message is to influence the victims to refuse to compromise their identity by taking charge of their lives. Just as Kurt is teased for his sexuality, the
other Glee Club teens are slushied for being different, however when Glee Club starts, this uniqueness is celebrated. Glee makes the statement that the characters are at their
best when they are truly themselves and that they cannot let the other students or the dominant culture alter who they are. In responding to the issue of gay bullying as well as those struggling for other reasons in school, Glee sends a positive message that high school teens desperately need to hear: the most important thing is to be yourself.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Part 3 Race in America

Racial discrimination is a very important concern in the US. For some reason we can't all seem to get along no matter what the color of our skin is. One particular race that is often stereotyped is the Asian-American race.  Several examples of these stereotypes can be seen across all areas of society including business, military, education, and sports.
            There have been incidents at different fast food restaurants, where Asian-Americans are marginalized and discriminated against. One occurrence was at a Papa John’s in New York City, when an employee typed a racial slur on a receipt to a customer. The picture of the receipt, which showed the name “lady chinky eyes,” was tweeted by the customer and went viral, gaining it public notoriety. Papa John’s has apologized publicly both via Twitter and on its Facebook page, and the cashier responsible for the slur, a sixteen year old high school girl, was fired. I don’t believe this individual meant to stereotype or garner any sort of hate behind her actions, but used rather ignorantly ways of describing a customer in a busy fast-food establishment.  She is a product of her educational upbringing and had she been more knowledgeable and sympathetic to current ethnic issues, this incident may not have happened.
            Another incident of this discrimination is the death of 19-year old Private, Danny Chen. Chen was found dead with a gunshot wound below his chin. This gave evidence that the wound was self-inflicted. Upon further investigation, it was found that Chen had been the target of racially motivated taunts and physical attacks at the hands of his superiors and comrades before he died. Five of these soldiers were charged with involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide in Chen's death. As a sibling of soldier, I had the opportunity to witness the Marine Corps boot camp and witnessed the brutality these men take from their superiors. It is comforting knowing that they will be prepared while protecting our country, however a line should be drawn. Danny Chen’s death is devastating not only because his life was taken, but that his life was dedicated to serving his country and yet he was treated in such a heinous way.
            Asian-Americans have also been determined as being the most bullied in US schools.  Data shows that Asian-American teenagers are three times more likely to be bullied on the internet. It was found that 54 percent of Asian American teenagers said they were bullied in the classroom, sharply above the 31.3 percent of whites who reported being picked on. The data comes from a 2009 survey supported by the US Justice Department and Education Department which interviewed some 6,500 students from ages 12 to 18. The Obama administration has made efforts in halting the continued bullying. In March, the president joined Facebook for an online anti-bullying conference, where he warned that social media was making the problem worse for many children.  Obama has also contributed to the It gets Better movement by submitting a video to those who seek hope.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Part 2 Diversity

        Diversity is the differences in the characteristics between different groups, while culture refers to shared characteristics of a group of people Given the diversity of schools, students and teachers need to be aware of this and how it will effect education. In an ethnically diverse school, one of the barriers for students is the language barrier. One factor of this is the dominant language spoken at home. This language barrier can have a negative impact on school age children. Children may enter school with little or no knowledge of the English language. This in turn leads to difficulty understanding the teacher and other students and can lead to frustration.  We all have been shaped and molded through our experiences in life giving us a way of viewing the world, which is unique and unlike anyone else's.  In some ways this can hinder us from learning about other cultures and situations we are not used to, causing us to view stereotypical images we have about others. On the other hand, these views are very important to us since they have been molded through the experiences which identify us and make us who we are.
            When incorporating a Multicultural curriculum into the classroom it is important to first make sure that students understand their culture and where they come from. Teachers can apply the "Social Reconstruction" approach into the classroom, which would focus on the community culture and its environment. Students need to become exposed to other ethnic groups and develop a deeper sense of multicultural understanding. This can be accomplished by participating in the local community, either by planned field trips or simply coming together to create a community recycling project.
When dealing with diversity as a teacher not only must you be aware of others’ differences, but also your own and how this impacts your students. Individuals bring their own attitudes, beliefs, experiences, and skills with them. Especially in teaching, a teacher brings their beliefs that may influence their teaching. A teacher may bring perceptions of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds that may be flawed. They may misinterpret and prohibit certain cultural behaviors of a particular group limiting the students learning opportunities simply because the teacher does not understand them. This will limit the teacher’s abilities to effectively teach all students. Teachers can adjust delivery of information and the curriculum to fit the needs of the students in their school. Curriculum should be bias free and content should be reviewed to make sure this is accomplished. Teachers should deliver information in a variety of ways to fit the student’s individual learning styles. The idea of the “tossed salad” is the focus in education. University programs and individuals need to face the challenge in order to fit the needs of a diverse student population.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Part 2 Bullying

            One-third to half of American children report being bullied at least once and 10 percent feel continually targeted. More than 40 percent of students admit to bullying a classmate at least once, while more than half have witnesses bullying and not reported it. Bullying can take the form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or hazing. Recently, cyber-bullying has become another form of victimization. Cyber-bullying can be defined as sending or posting harmful or hurtful messages using the Internet or other digital forms of communication.
            Cyberbullying can cause significant emotional harm. Victims of face-to-face bullying often experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, physiological complaints, problems concentrating, school failure, and school avoidance. Targets of cyberbullying suffer equal if not greater psychological harm because the hurtful information can be transmitted to a larger base and instantaneously and can be difficult to eliminate. Aggressors can remain anonymous and are hard to stop. Not knowing who an aggressor is can cause adolescents to be too cautious in terms of examining their social environment to avoid hurtful encounters. Cyberbullying also may be worse than face-to-face bullying because people feel shielded from the consequences of their actions and often do or say things online that they would not in person. In some cases, cyberbullying can lead to severe dysfunction, externalized violence, and suicide.
            Tulsa Public schools has established an online tool that assesses the occurrence of cyber bullying in its school, in hopes of reducing it in the future. In January 2012 the district launched the Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services or TIPS, which allows for the anonymous reporting of weapons possession, drug/alcohol use, harassment or intimidation, school vandalism, physical assault, threats of violence, suicide risk, abuse or neglect and other incidents. The school has designated teams at each school and the district office to be automatically notified of certain types of reports. The system allows team members to create a record of recommendations and actions taken, keeping track of which members view and add to the record and notifying members of new information. Staff can set automatic reminders that notify them if it's time to check in with a student who has been recently victimized or other items earmarked for follow-up.
            These struggles and insecurities that adolescents face are a direct result of their culture, which shapes their behaviors and perceptions. The adolescent society is the closest thing to a "closed social system where students seek and value peer status as an indicator of their own worth. Peer pressure wields great power in these individual’s lives.  Students are not preoccupied with academics, but rather popularity, athletics, and physical appearance.
            Rener Gracie, 27-year-old son of UFC originator Rorion Gracie and grandson of legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu grandmaster Helio Gracie recognized that the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, created by his family, is ideal for combating bullies. So he and his brother Ryron developed a program specifically for kids who have been the target of bullies. Here students are taught the three T-steps: TALK to the bully and ask him to leave you alone. TELL the teacher and your parent that the bully won't stop even after you've talked to him. TACKLE the bully and use jiu-jitsu to gain control of him without resorting to punches or kicks. This program is very similar to the EKP program, of which I am certified.  This is just one of the many techniques that can be used as tools by those who have reached that block in the road.
            It Gets Better is another one of these tools, it is an internet-based project founded by Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller in 2010 It was a response to the suicides of teenagers who were bullied because they were gay. Its goal is to prevent suicide among LGBT youth by having gay adults convey the message that these teens' lives will improve. The project has grown rapidly: over 800 videos were uploaded in the first two weeks, and the project's YouTube channel reached the 650 video limit in the next week. The project is now organized on its own website, the It Gets Better Project and includes more than 30,000 entries, with more than 40 million views, from people of all sexual orientations including many celebrities.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Portfolio Showcase

Today was a somewhat stressful day. Not only did I have my exit interview at 10 am this morning, but it was with none other than the physical education chair and former President of NASPE, Dr. Lynn Couturier. I prepared myself for the interview by going over every possible question that could be asked in my head. As it got closer and closer to the interview, I felt as if everything that I has prepared for was going to just draw a blank in my head. However, as I sat down at the table with Dr. Couturier and my peers and was asked my first question, it turned out I was better at this than I thought I was. I was thankful for my professor, Stephen Yang, for informing me about Paul Zientarski and his learning readiness system because that is exactly what I talked about when asked how I would convince Administrators that Physical Education is important in a school's district's curriculum. Dr. Couturier was impressed with my answer and overall my interview in general. At the conclusion of our interview I was even more elated that my online portfolio was nominated for the Portfolio showcase. Here is the link to my online portfolio:

Thursday, April 19, 2012


In a very significant settlement that occurred recently, New York State Union of Teachers and state leaders have agreed to a new statewide teacher evaluation system that limits the weight of students’ standardized test scores. It is designed to help teachers improve and also reinforce collective bargaining to shape evaluations based on local needs. They are hoping that this system acts as a national model.  The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo has called it a “historic agreement.”  60 % of the new evaluation will be based on the teacher’s performance, which is majorly based on classroom observations both announced and unannounced.  Other tools to evaluate could be student portfolios or student and parent feedback surveys.  The remaining 40% is based on student achievement. Only half of that will be based on state tests, while the remaining half will be based on student’s assessments selected from a list five options selected through collective bargaining.  Teachers can either be rated ineffective, developing effective, or highly effective. A teacher who receives ineffective must receive support and training to improve.  More than one ineffective rating can lead to dismissal of that teacher.  The governor has linked the Annual Professional Performance Rating to any increase in school funding for the 2012-2013 school year. For districts to be eligible, they must have an approved APPR by January 17, 2013.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Cover of "Murderball"
Cover of Murderball

Upon seeing the film Murderball in adapted physical education class today, I was enlightened of the everyday lives of paraplegics. The documentary clears up the common misconception that quadriplegics don’t have use of their arms by showing these athletes ramming themselves into one another in pursuit of victory on the court.  This film has changed my attitude toward not only disability in sport, but disability in general. What makes Murderball so effective is that it debunks just about every clichéd stereotype about the handicapped. These are predominantly young men in there 20s and 30s, but other than paralysis they're just like every body else. They are pranksters that laugh and drink at poker night, and jut regular guys, trying to hit on girls at the bar. They can give hope to other disabled people by showing them that there is always something to live for. Murderball is not really a sports film, but rather a film that uses sport as a way to see into the lives of the athletes portrayed in the documentary.  All of the people in Murderball are imperfect, which makes them all the more relatable. They are a bunch of men, with the same flaws that the rest of humanity has to deal with. While rugby is heavily focused on in the film, more importantly it is about people overcoming great odds to embrace life.  This movie has changed the way I look at people in chairs  because it breaks down the misconceptions. The movie shows that quads can be fiercely competitive and completely like everyone else, except for the way they mobilize.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, April 12, 2012

iPad's in Phys. Edu. Class

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

The latest advances in technology are inevitably making their way into schools and gymnasiums across the country. A number of nation and international organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Education and NCATE, have developed standards that promote the use of technology in educational settings to improve student learning and teacher efficiency. One of the latest high profile additions to the technological world is the iPad. The iPad can be used in the physical education setting in a number of ways. An example could be when teaching a sports unit that requires team and duty roles. If you would like to use the iPad in your physical education setting it is important to make sure the school has wi-fi in order to reap all the device. A heavy –duty case would also be a good idea since many students would be handling it. A warm-up leader can use the Youtube app to locate warm-up videos. The coach can assist teammates with skills and tactics by showing videos for techniques and tactics. The student responsible for keeping individual and team records can input and edit data on the iPad and even create simple graphs outlying performance. There is an app available on the iPad called IReferee, which can be used by a team’s manager to leatn the different rules of the games and the officiating hand signals that go with them.  They can then peer-teach their team on these different signals. The use of an iPad should not be the focus point of instruction, but rather to aid in learning. The use of an iPad can increase student’s enjoyment and affective domain, while also creating a sense of professionalism and importance in students.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Education Under Fire

I recently attended an event on campus called Education Under Fire. It was presented by the Amnesty International Club and showed a viewing of the movie than a discussion with a woman from Iran who actually experienced the devastation going on. The film was about the Baha’I in Iran being denied higher education by the government because of their religion.  They are not allowed to attend universities with other people and these universities strictly prohibit any Baha’I people coming into them.  The Baha’I must declare their religion on the application and once a university sees that a person applying is a Baha’I, they are instantly rejected.  Even with a good GPA, the Baha’I are still denied from these universities.  The Baha’I are often dragged out of classrooms at gun point because they are not allowed to receive the same education as other people in Iran.
            Being denied higher education from universities and the government, the Baha’I established their own higher education institute.  This institute is called the Baha’I Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) and it is for the Baha’I to attend and gain a higher education.  The Iranian government however has tried to demolish and shut down this institute, but the Baha’I however continue to progress the institute and improve its qualities.  Cruel executions happen to the Baha’I because of their religion.  They are denied many basic human rights that everyone should be entitled to.  They are not allowed to drink out of the same water fountains as Muslims at school and if a Muslim tries to drink out of the Baha’I drinking fountain they are yelled at because Muslims and Baha’I aren’t supposed to interact.  At a very young age the Baha’I are discriminated against and treated unfairly.  Many are sent to prison because of their beliefs. The woman who spoke from Iran told a story of how she hadn’t seen her family for sixteen years because of being detained because of their Baha’I religion. She said that they could easily solve their tribulations by simply saying that they were Muslim, but they would never turn their back on their religion and what they believe in. Being denied higher education as well as many other things, the Baha’Is human rights are clearly being violated.  They are deprived of higher education because of their beliefs and this is a shame.  Action needs to be taken on the Baha’is behalf to change this discrimination and cruelty they face every day.  The government needs to stop discriminating against these people and treat them with respect and allow everyone to practice their beliefs freely.  There is hope for these people with the increasing awareness of what is going on in Iran being spread across the world.  With this awareness will come a solution and the Baha’I people will finally be able to practice their beliefs without being denied human rights.  To take action against the education under fire in Iran visit the website
 Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fagbug comes to SUNY Cortland

Today I had the privilege of attending an event on campus called ‘Fagbug.’ My roommates and I saw the car a couple of years ago at the Carousel Mall in Syracuse and had no idea what it was. When I saw the car on campus today, it unfolded a very interesting story about a girl named Erin Davies. Erin Davies drove a VW bug with a rainbow sticker on the back window. One day the Albany, New York student got to her parking space to find she was a victim of a hate crime. Someone had spray painted ‘ur gay’ and ‘fag’ on her car. Instead of removing the graffiti, she decided to keep driving the car to raise awareness. And that she did.

Fagbug is the documentary film Erin made about her cross-country trip driving the car to different communities, creating discussion about hate crimes and homophobia. Erin talked to all kinds of people along the way, encountering people who may be anti-gay, and finding all kinds of people who would like to help her. Eventually, the Volkswagen company sponsored the car, and the graffiti was replaced with a rainbow paint-job that can now be easily distinguishable as the ‘fagbug’. After a year of driving around with barely enough money to make it to the next town down the road, She found out HD Radio was going to pay for the completion of her documentary. HD Radio also helped her send the documentary to film festivals, she said. Her documentary is now available on DVD and shea has continued touring in the Fagbug. She speaks to students and others about her experience in the hopes that she can teach audiences a different way to deal with life’s bullies.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Week in the City

After a fun, tiresome week in New York City at the National Model United Nations Conference, I am getting back into the swing of things at Cortland. My fellow delegates and I had the pleasure of staying at the Marriot Marquis smack in the middle of Times Square. My room was on the 37th floor and with very little and at times no wi-fi. This definitely hindered my blogger flow, but luckily, in accordance to the club, I had to keep a journal the entire week outlining my days. This experience definitely added to my repertoire of working with and even at times teaching diverse populations.
In a typical Model UN each school represents a different country. This year SUNY Cortland represented Nepal. Schools form all over the world were lucky enough to participate in this event, including school from Germany, Italy, and even Australia.  The groups are broken into different committees, each with separate issues that they must help solve by coming together with all the different delegations. The goal of the convention is, along with the different countries or delegations, create a working paper with resolutions solving the main topic. Normally, there are three topics for each committee, but in four days there is only time to cover just one, which shows how in depth, creative, and organized each paper must be. The last day is devoted to voting on the several papers that have been conjured up throughout the week. My particular committee was the General Assembly first committee and the topic we were focusing on was the Small Arms and Light Weapons Trade in Africa. Prior to the actual convention I had been working all semester researching Nepal’s stance on the situation and coming up with my own position paper. At the actual conference I had the opportunity to find Nepal’s allies and countries that had similar views. During the week, I worked closely with Lichtenstein, who came from the Universiy of Tennessee, and Ireland, who came from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy.  Our working paper focused on creating a system, which would track the weapons and institute a trade system where countries could trade their weapons for necessities, such as food and water. Not only did we create a working paper to be voted on, but I got to know these delegates very well. It was convenient that we all stayed in the same hotel, where we got to engage and hang out outside of committee. One of the girls from Italy, Guilia, was shocked how many days a week the average American goes and drinks. I learned quite a few curse words in Italy and we exchanged our tastes in music. Thanks to facebook, I will be able to keep the relationships that I started and always keep in touch.  Here is the crazy view from our hotel.


The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between
physical fitness and academic achievement.  The physical fitness levels were determined
by using the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Test and academic achievement was
measured by STAR Reading percentile scores and Grade Point Averages (GPA).  This
study was based on the belief that physical fitness levels influence an individual’s cognitive functioning and the ability to achieve academically.  This study is warranted because more research was deemed necessary in order to better understand the relationship between the two variables. There were 90 participants in this study.  These subjects were in grades 4 or 5. 51% of the participants were male, and 49% were female. Results from the study indicated that 4% of the males had an average physical fitness level above the 85th percentile based on all five physical fitness tests.  2% of the females had an average physical fitness level above the 85th percentile based on the five physical fitness tests used in the study. The researcher used multiple regressions to see if a relationship existed between physical fitness and academic achievement. This correlation procedure enables researchers to find the best possible weighting of two or more independent variables to yield a maximum correlation with a single dependent variable. The value of p was calculated to be < 0.0001 (< 0.05), which indicates a significant correlation between physical fitness levels, based on the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Test, and STAR Reading percentile scores and Grade Point Averages.

Exploring Student Perceptions to Explain the Relationship Between Physical Activity and Academic Achievement in Adolescents: A Mixed Methods Study

The purpose of this study was to explain the relationship between physical activity and academic achievement by exploring adolescent’s perceptions on physical activity and academics. This study concerns the relationship between physical activity and academic achievement. The main significance of this study is the connection of students perceptions to the relationship between physical activity and academic achievement in adolescents. It is believed no studies have used student perceptions to explore this relationship before. Understanding students perceptions on the role physical activity has on academic achievement can provide insight into developing programs to increase physical activity among adolescents. The questions raised in the study were broken into qualitative and quantitative questions.   In the first quantitative phase of the study, adolescent’s physical activity levels and GPAs were reported, descriptive statistics were analyzed, and correlations were performed. The first research question was to determine if there was a statistically significant relationship between physical activity and academic achievement. Based on the correlation scatter plot performed in the first question, participants were selected and grouped into four extreme cases. For the second quantitative question experiments were conducted to determine if differences existed between high/low physical activity and high/low academic achievement for each of the Likert scale items on factors that influence physical activity participation, such as enjoyment and motivation. According to the qualitative responses out of the four extreme groups, 56.9 % of participants believe there is a positive relationship, 7.2 % believe it is negative, 24.8 % believe no relationship exists, and 11.2 % are unsure if there is a relationship.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Effects of Physical Education on Academic Achievement in Children

This article is about a study at Michigan State University in order to show the positive relationship between academic achievement and physical activity.  It advocates the necessity of physical education in schools by claiming numerous studies have shown the positive relationship, while little studies have shown the inverse relationship of physical education and academic performance.  The study included 214 sixth-grade students from a single public school in western Michigan. Students were placed into two groups. One group was enrolled in physical education during the first semester and the other group was enrolled in physical education the second semester. All classes met every day of the week for 55min. Once consent forms were obtained, the students were assessed three times throughout the school year, at the beginning, middle, and end. Academic achievement was based on individual grades for each student in the core classes and a standardized test score.
The results showed that no significant differences were found in academic achievement and Terra Nova scores as a function of activity level during either semester. However, students who performed vigorous physical activity at a level that met or exceeded the Healthy People 2010 guidelines achieved higher academics cores compared with the other students in both semesters. Using SOFIT, it was determined that an average of 19 minutes of the55 minute class was spent in moderate to vigorous activity. This low level of activity could not provide sufficient stimulation to influence academic achievement. The study cite a study done in Quebec at Trois Rivers that indicates that students who received an hour of physical education in addition to the standard physical education class showed better academic performance compared with control subjects who only had the standard physical class.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


With today’s technology bullying has become easier then ever; the children and youth of this generation do not even need to have personal confrontation. Cyber bullying can be defined as any communication posted or sent by a minor online, by instant messenger, e-mail, website, diary site, online profile, interactive game, handheld device, cell phone or other interactive device that is intended to frighten, embarrass, harass or otherwise target another minor. Tulsa Public schools has established an online tool that assesses the occurrence of cyber bullying in its school, in hopes of reducing it in the future. In January 2012 the district launched the Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services or TIPS, which allows for the anonymous reporting of weapons possession, drug/alcohol use, harassment or intimidation, school vandalism, physical assault, threats of violence, suicide risk, abuse or neglect and other incidents. The school has designated teams at each school and the district office to be automatically notified of certain types of reports. The system allows team members to create a record of recommendations and actions taken, keeping track of which members view and add to the record and notifying members of new information. Staff can set automatic reminders that notify them if it's time to check in with a student who has been recently victimized or other items earmarked for follow-up.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, March 30, 2012

Coaching Philosophy

Coaching is a complex and demanding profession that involves far more than just training athletes to compete. It is about mentoring your athletes toward becoming successful athletes and successful human beings. Most of the notable coaches in today’s society are not only focused on their player’s success on the field, but also in the real-world. Coaches have such an impact on the lives of the athletes that they prepare, it is important that they display quality characteristics.  Coaches should go above and beyond and talk to their players one-on-one as much as possible. Finding out the most about them outside the sports will allow you to connect with them and gain their respect.  By showing them that you care about them as a person, and not just a player will lead to less discipline problems. If disciplinary measures must be set forth, it is important to enforce the rules fairly and consistently. I will provide my players with situations where they must make decisions. It is my job to analyze their results and provide feedback and try to assist them in learning from their past experiences so that in the future they might make the best decisions available to them. A successful team is a group of individuals driven by a common goal. In order to be an effective coach you must be true to yourself and your beliefs. Deemphasizing winning and emphasizing the journey will allow for the life lessons athletics can teach and the benefits of being a part of a team.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Not on the Test

I came across a fun video on youtube that shines a light on some of the devastating problems that exist in today’s education. The song highlight’s the fact that schools are so pressured by budget cuts and meeting standards, that they lose focus of what really matters. All that they care about is students’ standardized test scores and how this reflects them and the teachers that are employed. While doing good on standardized tests is not bad, it should not be the only thing that is stressed. This over-emphasis on tests, and only tests, will cause a loss of student creativity and self-expression. Whether this be through music, art, or sports and physical education, it should not make a difference whether the experiences in these classes are not “on the test.” These are the first programs cut when schools are faced with harsh budget cuts. This not only eliminates so many beneficial aspects of education, but also causes teachers to stray from their own beliefs and strategies in order to meet outside demands. This could be very detrimental to the future education of today’s youth. This is why we, as teachers, need to advocate for our programs and garner an audience to make people listen.  A well-rounded educated person can not be made without the use of physical education, music, and the arts.
Visit Tom Chapin's website in order to act now.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hardcore Parkour

Parkour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A very unique method of movement, parkour will be a very new and fun discipline that can be implemented into the physical education program. Parkour is a beneficial activity for kids of all ages and if taught correctly it can safely teach children how to further control their body and it’s movements. Because there is no defined movement, or specific rules or guidelines to traversing obstacles, every obstacle you face is going to be different so you are going to traverse each obstacle differently. You may have to vault, jump, leap, climb, or scale the object, but each time it will be different. So, if this were to be incorporated into a physical education program, it would be harder to assess. It would be similar to a gymnastics unit where students learn to safety roll and do different vaults while emphasizing having more control of their movements in situations that they can’t control. Little kids are always falling and getting hurt and learning how to control their movements can be very beneficial. Parkour requires an individual to develop their own styles using creativity and self expression, which is why it would be beneficial to have students create their own routines that could be assessed using a rubric. It is important to stress to students the difference between parkour and free running, which involves flipping and rotating, where Parkour does not because they are not efficient movements. I hope to see parkour in future physical education programs.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Build Our Kids' Success (BOKS)

It is no secret that many who view physical education from an outsider’s perspective view it as a joke. As a future physical educator it is my responsibility and duty to prove these people wrong and advocate for my future profession. I am pleased to have been introduced to the idea of Paul Zientarski’s ‘learning readiness’ as a solid foundation to support the importance of physical education. After researching on the computer, I found an interesting example of programs that are pushing this idea and who firmly believe in learning through the physical. One mother from Natick, Massachusetts, inspired by Dr. John Ratey’s book SPARK, established a before-school exercise program for students at a local elementary school. The program, called Build Our Kids’ Success (BOKS), has since expanded to 25 schools in the Boston area. Dr. Ratey laid out a compelling argument for the positive correlation between exercise, academic performance, and behavior issues. This particular mom garnered support from superintendents, physical education teachers, and fellow parents to create a non-profit corporation, which would later be sponsored by Reebok. Their goals are to promote the profound impact of physical activity on a child's mind, body and community. The premise of the program is Active Kids = Active Minds and therefore, it is important to have the kids moving in the morning before school starts or during the first few periods of the day because the effects of the physical activity are most impactful during this time. The curriculum can certainly be used in part during as a fun change to a PE curriculum or after the school day.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Nutritional Myths

Skipping meals can help lose weight
Many people think that by skipping a meal, they eat less food and therefore it's effective in helping them lose weight. However they fail to recognize that our bodies do not operate this way. If we skip a meal, our body will think that we are in starvation mode and therefore slow down the metabolism to compensate. We then tend to overeat at the next meal. Often times, skipping a meal results in an increase in total caloric intake than if we just ate more frequently throughout the day. A better approach is to eat smaller frequent healthy meals to keep our blood sugar balanced.
 Avoiding carbohydrate to lose weight
Many low-carb diets actually do not provide sufficient carbohydrates to your body for daily maintenance. Therefore your body will begin to burn stored carbohydrates (glycogen) for energy. When your body starts burning glycogen, water is released. Therefore the drastic initial drop of weight at the beginning is mostly the water that you lose as a result of burning glycogen.  It doesn't matter if you eat a high or low carb diet, you will lose weight if you decrease your caloric intake to less than that is needed to maintain your weight.
Avoiding seafood to lower blood cholesterol
Cholesterol found in seafood and other meats has little effect on blood cholesterol in most people. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are the most important factors that raise blood cholesterol, not dietary cholesterol! Saturated fats are found in some pre-packaged and processed foods containing shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fatty acids, on the other hand, are also found in packaged snack foods, deep-fried foods or firm margarine containing hydrogenated oil.
 Sugar Causes Diabetes
If you do not have diabetes, sugar intake will not cause diabetes. So far, a diet high in calories, being overweight, and an inactive lifestyle are the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
 All Fats are bad
The fact is we all need fats. Fats help nutrient absorption, nerve transmission and maintain cell membrane integrity just to name a few functions. The key is to replace bad fats (saturated fats and trans fats) with good fats (monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats) in our diet.
 Brown Sugar is better than White Sugar
The brown sugar sold at the stores is actually white granulated sugar with added molasses. Yes, brown sugar contains small amounts of minerals. But unless you eat a gigantic portion of brown sugar everyday, the mineral content difference between
brown sugar and white sugar is absolutely insignificant.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Peak into Student Teaching

Interview with Timothy Crockett, currently student teaching this Spring semester.
Q- Where were your two placements for student teaching and what was their socioeconomic status?
A- My first placement was Beverely J Martin Elementary School in Ithaca, New York. Here the school was an inner-city school with very diverse racial background and a high-needs school. My second placement where I currently am now is Marathon High School. Here it is predominantly Caucasian, but also a high-needs school.
Q- How did the different grade levels of your student teaching placements affect the way you instructed class?
A-The elementary students needed a lot more instruction with the skills involved in the various activities. In the high school it was a lot more game play and less instruction. It involved more feedback and managing the class. More time was spent on explaining the tasks with the elementary students.
Q- How useful is your Cortland Education in student teaching?
A-I feel that SUNY Cortland over prepares their students for the real world, which is not a bad thing because I will always be ready for any obstacle thrown at me. For example, one day I was restricted to utilizing half of the gymnasium and was to implement a lesson including all the students in half of the space. I was planning on teaching a lesson on volleyball, but instead improvised and created a lesson using my background knowledge from my activity courses at Cortland.
Q- How does your attitude now different from your attitude during first days of student teaching?
A-  At first I was very nervous, as most people are before student teaching, I did not feel I had the confidence to instruct 30 students at once. Now I am extremely confident in myself and teaching the students almost comes naturally. I find myself even enjoying my time spent at the schools.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Confidence is Key

This past week I started teaching for the entire class period in my EDU 355 class. I teach the sixth graders at Dryden Middle School. My first couple of weeks I was nervous as to what to expect and stressing over “winning” my host teacher over. What if she doesn’t like me, What if the students don’t take me seriously? were the thoughts that were running through my head. It is amazing to see how different my attitude is now than it was those first couple of weeks. I find myself actually excited when Tuesday and Thursday come around because I feel I have got such a better swing of things now that I have so much more confidence. My host teacher, Mrs. Bennett, is an excellent role model for my partner and me. She is an alumni of SUNY Cortland and is even in the hall of fame. She makes what I try really hard at doing seem so easy, which she tells me will come over time. This week my partner and me started teaching the very first day of badminton with a pre-assessment, as part of our curriculum project. There was virtually no teaching involved, just a collection of data on the different skills levels of the students’ various badminton hits. It was the very first time for most of the students to ever even pick up a badminton racket, so they were in the very early stages of developing the necessary skills. What my partner and I observed in our pre-assessment was the basis of our first lesson that was taught the following day. We taught the overhand and underhand clear using various hula-hoops and creative lesson activities that kept the students engaged. I was surprised to see so many of them enjoying it and how many questions they asked us about the sport. I really enjoyed this experience and will use the confidence that was gained in my future endeavors.


Inclusion in the classroom has been an ongoing issue in history. There is a big historical background of inclusion dating back to the Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education, which made it apparent intellectually disabled students were discriminated against. John F. Kennedy made the issue of “mental retardation” known to the public during his presidency. Laws were soon passed to make inclusion in the classroom a fair thing to the intellectually disabled. These laws included the IDEA. Some important terms that are useful to know with the issue of inclusion are mainstreaming, IEP’s, and inclusion itself. There was a time when students with disabilities were not allowed in regular schools. There was no law in America saying that a student with intellectually disabilities had to be taught. In time, students with disabilities were only confined to a special classroom. People had thought that even just the presence of a child with a disability was a threat to a “normal child.” They would be confined to a special education classroom since others had thought they would be a detriment in general classrooms. Inclusion is viewed as a good thing to some since it allows the students to learn and be a part of their peers. A big argument in this is that separate is not equal. It allows the students with disabilities to gain communication skills with their fellow peers. It provides a sense of belonging and an appropriate modeling of social, behavioral, and academic skills. Some individuals do argue that inclusion is not a good thing. One thing people argue is that the students with the disabilities aren’t getting the right care they need inside a general classroom. I believe the need of the student should first be analyzed and considered before any decisions must be made.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Stressed Out

A lot of people are always trying to get in shape and lose a few pounds, which they should, but why not add stress reduction to the list? Chronic stress not only causes mental strain, but also higher concentrations of stress hormones such as cortisol that are associated with increases in visceral fat. Part of that reason, unfortunately, may be because eating sweet and fatty foods is one of the preferred choices of Americans for managing chronic stress. Both visceral fat and stress are also linked to raising the risk of chronic disease. If you know how to properly deal with stress, you will be able to calm yourself down when you start to feel yourself getting upset. Deep breathing is an exercise that you can do behind closed doors or even open ones if you have no choice. No one has to know you're doing it and it will help you to calm down almost instantly. You take one deep breath in and hold it for four to five seconds. Then, let your breath out and hold it for another four or five seconds. You may want to take up yoga as another stress reduction method you can practice on a weekly basis. The practice of yoga involves stretching the body and forming different poses, while keeping breathing slow and controlled. The body becomes relaxed and energized at the same time. These stress reduction exercises will not only allow you to deal with the built-up stress that has already taken up residence in your mind and body, but they can also help prevent it from happening again. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, March 19, 2012


When I was home for spring break I discovered my brothers obsessed with these new protein bars from isagenix called Islean Bars. I did some research and some interesting information on protein bars in general. Meal-replacement bars have gained popularity as a convenient way to assist in weight management. The health-food bar market reached $5 billion in 2010 and retail sales are predicted to increase 10 percent per year over the next five years. IsaLean Bars represent a convenient, high-protein meal replacement designed to meet weight management and nutrition goals.  Looking at the isagenix website, their Chief Science Officer states that, “the bars are high in whey protein, offer a balanced amount of fats and carbohydrates, and provide daily requirements of vitamins and minerals. The combination of carbohydrates doesn’t lead to elevated blood glucose levels.” The high-protein bars also provide multiple benefits because of their impact on satiety as well as muscle protein synthesis, which aid weight management and help to maintain or increase muscle mass with age. Unlike other bars in the marketplace, they contain a blend of açai fruit extract and wolfberry extract, which help consumers adapt to stresses of everyday life. They are also all-natural, containing no artificial flavors or colors. The products of Isagenix are marketed today in Asia, Australsia and North America. There are many health products available, but the two that are the most popular are the 9 Day Cleansing Program and the 30 Day Cleansing Program. The cleansing programs do not focus on weight loss, but rather on the detoxification of the body. The weight loss that occurs is simply a bonus side-effect. There are a variety of products in cleansing, rejuvity, nutrition, skin care, recipes for health, personal coaching programs and business starter packs.

Enhanced by Zemanta