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APA Reflective Journal

By K8eD Nov 20, 2013 772 Words
Journal Week 1
"It's not the disability that defines you; it's how you deal with the challenges the disability presents you with. We have an obligation to the abilities we DO have, not the disability"(Jim Abbott, nd). Concrete experience

I thoroughly enjoyed today’s class, it wasn’t as challenging or as daunting as I had initially expected but I think that had to do with the bond I felt with Stephen. Stephen is a non-verbal 15 year old boy in a wheelchair who also has osteoporosis. Initially when I was told Stephen was on his way and that he was non-verbal and in a wheelchair I panicked slighty, more so of the idea of him not being able to communicate rather than being limited in movement. I quickly learned that “Sometimes we don’t recognise talent, especially when it’s out of context,"and this is true in all aspects of life, not just in teaching. I had an array of sports lined up but I choose to stick to basketball and tennis today, mainly basketball as I felt I was most confident teaching basketball to Stephen and I had good adaptive equipment such as the ground hoop. Stephen absolutely adored the basketball and I genuinely think I said well done/fantastic pass/shot 20 million times! His face lit up any time he caught or threw the ball accurately or anytime he succeeded in scoring. I genuinely did not expect to feel so overwhelmed with emotions teaching him, I really enjoyed every minute of it and am very excited to teach him for the next 4 weeks. Although I didn’t experience any particular concrete event with Stephen precisely, the look of joy and excitement on his face when he scored his first basket was the best 10 seconds of my day. Reflection

As I have said above, today was a fantastic experinece, however, it wasn’t as organised as I feel it could have been. It was a new experience for most of us and I feel we were thrown into the deep end without much prepartation in terms of medical knowledge. We should have been matched on paper with our student and been told their condition so as we could do our own research before the class. I strongly believe that some form of first aid preparation should have been provided, espesically for those of us who had students with epilespy, some weren’t even made aware their student was epileptic. I personally left Stephen today with many unanswered questions and although I enjoyed it immensely, I feel we all would have benefited more from gaining medical information on our students to broaden our knowledge and enable us to engage further. I feel I encouraged and praised Stephen to the best of my ability to participate in class although may have struggled slightly with the communication aspect. A quote from a previous jounal I wrote; “I realised that I am more comfortable with the “communication” element, and I think nearly afraid to stay silent! This is ironic as now I am really getting challenged as a teacher seeing as stephen is non-verbal. For the next lesson I need to practice lámh as a means of communication. I also feel that Stephen lacks very basic motor skills such as throwing and catching, and in turn hand-eye coordination is very weak too. Next week I plan to create a lesson based on these aspects. Future goals

Stephen was an absolute treasure to work with, he is really attentive and willing to engage. He gets easily distracted by his environment and his osteoporosis limits his movement across the board. The main thing I am worried about is repetition or that he will get bored as I feel it may be quite difficult to do one on one drills with Stephen so a future goal is to be creative in my lesson and not to fear the aspect of challenging him. Although stephen is non-verbal, he is a great listener and I learned today that he is a visual learner. Instead of giving verbal instructions I need to just demonstrate to stimulate visual awareness. I was confident that I provided a lot of motivation thoughout the class and this is something I must continue with as it really encouraged stephen to participate fully. I feel that today really made us become aware of the difficulty we may be faced with having a child with an intellectual disability in our PE class. It was genuinely heart-warming but eye-opening at the same time. As the Latin Proverb states; “By learning you will teach;

By teaching you will understand.”

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