Each day I check on Twitter to see the most amazing assortment of Health and Physical Education teachers engaging and supporting each other through this transition to remote teaching and learning. I am proud to see so many teachers willing to keep giving through the hardest of times. As we move forward remember that as we are struggling to teach, our students may be struggling to learn.
Another conversation that I have in my queue is how universities are adapting their instruction and clinical experiences for preservice teachers that are in practicum and student teaching. This is an important conversation to have because these students represent the future of our profession. It is imperative that they receive the opportunity to sharpen their skills in an authentic environment.
So, what do we do now that we are teaching remotely? What will happen to my student teacher who was preparing his first health unit? Universities are starting their own versions of remote learning, but is that enough? What else can the cooperating teacher do to support our future professionals?
Continue collaborating remotely. Check in with your student teacher and involve them in your NTI work. Use this opportunity to allow them to stretch themselves. The authenticity of student teaching is what makes the experience so valuable, so it is important that you keep your student teacher involved with your planning and preparation work. It may serve them well if we ever find ourselves in this situation again.
Here are five collaborative ideas for you and your student teacher:
● Make a daily calendar of assorted, age-appropriate physical challenges for your PE classes.
● Adapt the rules of your favorite board game to infuse physical activity and health prompts.
● Involve your student teacher in parent communications. Parents are in need right now too. Have your student teacher draft an email with self-care tips, and send it out through your school’s information system to all parents.
● Invite your student teacher to assist in any media production that you are doing. My students are going to hear my voice through a variety of platforms like YouTube, Anchor.fm, Flipgrid, and Zoom. Invite your student teacher to be a guest teacher on any correspondence that you have with your students.
Mentoring future educators is a great honor to me. It keeps me grounded, and reminds me of the journey that I have been on for more than 10 years now. If you are searching for more ways to keep your student teacher engaged with your remote classes, follow me on Twitter @STEAMWellness or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This challenge of remote learning has reminded of my favorite quote:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” -African Proverb
Jordan Manley, Health and PE Teacher, Lexington, KY @STEAMWellness
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