Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let's Move

Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move" campaign, as most people know, is the First Lady’s attempts of tackling childhood obesity. It is an initiative, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. “Let’s Move” is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. Let’s move does this by giving parents helpful information and creating environments that support healthy choices, providing healthier foods in schools, ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food, and helping kids become more physically active. This is such an important cause because over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled. If we don't solve this problem, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma. 30 percent of US children are now obese and the US leads the developed world in its incidence of overweight children. Michelle Obama is doing a very effective job by teaming up with influential figures such as Disney and even Beyonce. What better way to get children motivated by having such a powerful role model encouraging children to be more active? The video Beyonce created, “Move Your Body,” teaches children various dance moves. As Beyonce states, “What we want to do is make it fun by doing something that we all love to do, and that's dance.” This will hopefully prove effective because I know if Beyonce tells me to dance I will sure as heck dance.
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

My 256 Experience

This past Winter Break I observed in Long Island at South Side middle and high school. For two weeks I had the opportunity to be under the guidance of former Cortland Alum, Meaghan Healey. This unique learning experience really opened my eyes to what my future profession truly entails. I had the opportunity to see first hand what is involved in the daily tasks of a physical education teacher and the environment in which I will be placed. There were many aspects of the current status of physical education that were positive, but also there were some weaknesses. I had the privilege to observe during a very crucial time in the district’s physical education department. They were in the process of receiving a 1.4 million dollar grant from the state, going all to the physical and health departments. This will give them the opportunity to completely re-do their fitness center and big-screen monitors to be installed in the gymnasiums. This will instill motivation and passion in the student’s attitude towards physical education. I got to see all that was required to do in order to receive the grant, including pedometer’s tracking students step count for a week and daily activity surveys. I was shocked how much their administration cared about physical education. I also had the opportunity to work with the school’s adapted physical education program and even lead a couple of warm-ups with them. This experience really got me prepared for 356 and introduced me to working with students with special needs. In this sense, my host teacher was a real role model for me. She amazed me at how well she worked with the adapted students and how much they respected and cared about her. I wish to one day exemplify her enthusiasm and passion.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Obama's state of the union and Education

President Obama touched a great deal on the present state of education in the United States of America. Obama payed tribute to the value of good teachers, saying, "Stop teaching to the test and replace teachers who just aren't helping kids learn." He also called on every state to require students to stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18. To further their education, Obama urged Congress to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling as scheduled in July, extending the tuition tax credit and double the number of work-study jobs in the next five years. Obama alerted colleges and universities who are constantly raising tuition rates, saying that if they can't harness technology and redesign courses to help students finish more quickly, they will face less taxpayer funding.
As a teacher and a current student I don’t think Obama could have said that any better. He obviously sees the importance in education and it’s comforting to me to know that the man in charge of this nation is backing my profession. However, it would have been even better if he touched on the state of today’s children’s lack of physical acivity and the importance of physical education. The president also said that students brought here that aren’t American citizens should not live under the threat of deportation because Congress can't agree on a comprehensive immigration plan. He said "If election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let's at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses and defend this country, Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away."