Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Knowledge Does Not Mean Understanding

A diagram of the forces on the brain in concussion
Image via Wikipedia
I have written before about the horrible effects that concussions can have on any individual. The issue today though is that I have come to an understanding that concussions are simply not taken seriously with most of society. I came to this conclusion after having a discussion with my mother the other day about a conversation she had with a parent of a student athlete.
We were talking like we normally do each day, just discussing school and news of home. She brought to my attention a conversation she had that day about a parent who's child had recently received a concussion. Now my mother has seen what ill effects years of multiple concussions have had on me, and naturally she is quite concerned when she hears of someone else receiving them. The part of the conversation that concerned her the most was the parents lack of any sort of emotion regarding their child having a concussion. They simply just brushed off the thought, saying "children get them all the time, no big deal." After she told this to me I was quite upset, because in fact the younger an individual is when the receive a concussion, the longer it takes for them to recover. Most researchers believe this to be due to the lack of maturity that the brain has at the time of injury. Now I basically stopped growing at eighteen years of age, and when I received my last severe concussion I was twenty-one. Now my brain is fully matured, but it did take me a better part of a year to fully recovery. I still have residual effects like short term memory loss, difficulty processing words, vertigo, and headaches just to name a few. These I do not consider major compared to the issues that used to effect me. Now those "small side effects" may sound like a concern to some, correct? If the answer is yes, then the issue of concussions within children should be taken more seriously then it is, because with children these side effects could be even greater! They could in fact permanently damage a child's future! I have given great thought to trying to further people's understanding of how concussions can impact a life. My Grandfather and father always tell me, "You only get one mind, you only get one body. Take care of them, because they need to last you a lifetime." I feel as though my future as an educator is going to take on a larger role than just teaching students how to become physically educated individuals. I really want to be an advocate for making people aware about the harmful effects concussions can have, especially on children. This way parents like the one I described will understand the dangers, and how to be proactive against getting concussions. 
Knowledge about concussions is one thing, but understanding what they are and the impact that they can have a person is another! Understanding, and being proactive is the key to a brighter future!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Performance Enhancing Drugs in High School?

List of Major League Baseball players suspende...
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Now when many people think of High School sports they think of it being as a time of development. This is a time in which young students are able to develop movement based skills, as well as create strong character, and social bonds. This though, I feel is starting to not become the main purpose of High School athletics. The pressure that is being put on these athletes at a such a young age is increasing drastically, in turn the length that some students athletes will go to in order to succeed is changing.
Believe it, or not performance enhancing drugs are becoming prevalent among High School athletes just for this very reason. These pressures to succeed have driven many athletes to drugs such as creatine, which is mild in comparison to anabolic steroids, and pro-hormones such as DHEA which are precursors to anabolic steroids. According to the MAYO Clinic other reasons as to why High School aged students may take these drugs is due to poor body image, a desire to gain muscle, and of course peer and parental expectations. When I was in High School steroids were in fact present, but I was brought up by my Step-Father to think of performance enhancing drugs as being as bad as other illegal substances, so I stayed away from them. I could see the dramatic effects that it had on some of my peers, increasing their size and strength tremendously within short periods of time. I always felt a pride in myself though, knowing that I was able to perform naturally, and never had to resort to that type of supplement. Some though are not genetically geared toward strength and size, and this they feel is their only route. As a parent and teacher one most educate their children on the ill effects steroids can have on their body and health. They must be held to a standard, and be accountable for their actions if they do in fact choose to go this route, (example, quitting the team). Also as a parent and teacher you must know what the warning signs look like for students who are using performance enhancing drugs, such as a drastic change in attitude, increased musculature, and "moon" face just to name a few. As a physical educator though you must educate your students about these risks, and stand as a role model so that students do not fall into groups that are using these performance enhancing drugs. 
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Is ADHD Truly the Cause?

English: Percent of Youth 4-17 ever diagnosed ...
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ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a term that many people know. This popularity though has come about quite quickly, from what was once an unheard of label not too many years ago. Now this makes me wonder, is there something happening with our youth physically causing them to acquire this cognitive disorder, or is there another reason.
I believe that many of the children that have been diagnosed with ADHD have been in fact misdiagnosed, either not having the condition, or possibly having another underlying condition that mimics that of ADHD. Now for a student to truly be diagnosed with ADHD I believe that the characteristics must be shown not only within the schooling environment, but throughout the daily life of the individual. I feel this way because if a child in school shows disinterest, or are always acting out in class this may mean that either they do in fact have ADHD, or simply that the material that they are learning is not interesting to them, or too easy. Now this recent rise of students with ADHD may also reflect a teacher, or parents quest for perfection within the child. An intolerance of "child-like" behaviors on the adults part may be to blame. So in order for the parent or teacher to regain control of that child their first instinct is "give them a pill," "the quick fix." Now this relates more to a "Pill Based Society," which I will discuss in later articles, but I feel as though this mentality does play a large role in context of this subject. So if this plays a large role, what must change? Well the answer is the teacher, or the parent. As a teacher one must accommodate for that student, and their needs, making a more learning friendly environment. Even for the child that truly does have ADHD, it is not that they do not wish to learn, but it is their bodies that are hindering them from doing so. Teaching techniques must be employed during these types of situations. Allowing the student to move in class, or you moving with the student. As a teacher you must be versatile, do not allows be so quick to blame the child. In fact it may be you that is to blame. Be a reflective teacher, and always adapt, this is what must be done to be successful and influence as many students as possible for the better.
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Can Diet Affect Autism?

Reports of autism cases per 1,000 children gre...
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Autism which was once a lesser known type of cognitive impairment, only being present in 1 out of 1000 children is now seen in 1 out of 110 children. The cause for autism is still unknown, and is highly debated among individuals within the medical field. Now autism is a cognitive impairment that can never be cured, but the life and functioning of an individual living with autism can be changed for the better.
Now an article written by the "Discovery Health and Fit" website states that by altering the environment, and diet of an individual living with autism can actually cause ability within that individual to improve. They state that along with occupational therapy, and other types of treatment a proper diet and regulated environment can actually have a synergistic effect, building on one another to compound their effectiveness. They state that actual food, and not processed items are best, due to the susceptibility individuals living with autism have to gastrointestinal problems. They also state that a healthy environment is key, trying to take away as many chemicals that one may become in contact with as possible. Another, more invasive type of health procedure that they state may be beneficial to individuals living with autism would be "chelation therapy." This therapy helps to remove heavy metals from the body, in turn detoxifying the individual. 
I can speak from experience how a healthy diet, and clean environment can have a profound effect on cognitive functioning. When I was sick for the months after my concussion I found that a healthy diet was key in order to function regularly throughout the day. People cannot truly understand this effect until it becomes a direct presence in your life. This is why I thought it was necessary to share this article, because many people should be aware of how environmental and dietary factors can play a role in health and wellness. 
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tabata...What is That?

English: KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea— Airmen ...
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Tabata, or what is commonly referred to as "High Intensity Interval Training" is what I believe to be the future of cardiovascular fitness techniques.Today within my 470 class this type of training was reintroduced to me by my professor, Dr. StephenYang. I had known about this type of trainingpreviously through research I had done for an in-depth exercise routine written months prior.
This type of training involves, as the name may lead to, a period of high intensity exercise followed by a short rest, this process repeats for as long as needed. HIIT is done in accordance with a 2:1 ratio, meaning for how ever long work is performed a rest of half the working time is given. This allows for a quick recovery to be had, but not so long of one that the the body gets out the target working zone for cardiovascular fitness. A term I have found that is correlated to HIIT is the "after burn" effect. This term describes how HIIT if done for prolonged periods actually keeps the metabolism of the body going throughout the day, essentially "burning" off fat when no exercise is being done. Rich and I performed these types of workouts with our wrestlers this past season. Rich is a "Team Beachbody" instructor, and his knowledge of HIIT is quite extensive. These high intensity cardiovascular, as well as muscular periods greatly mimic that of real life situations found in wrestling, and this is why we thought it was a great conditioning exercise for our wrestlers. The training did show on the mat, this year our cardiovascular endurance was greater then that of any opponent. I contribute this to the HIIT training performed by Rich.
HIIT is a great type of exercise that is valuable to all. As one can see its uses are almost limitless, from personal fitness all the way to benefits in the classroom as a type of mind and body stimuli. The knowledge is out there, all you have to do is be willing to accept, and apply it!
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Developing Philosophy: Part Three

Taken From
What is Physical Education to me? Well that is a good question, but I feel as though their is a more important question that leads to this. What is Physical Education to the average person? Answering this question to me is more important then my own feelings towards Physical Education.
I make this statement because I feel as though the thinking of others is more important than my own, after all it is not me that needs to be persuaded into believing in the positive effects that Physical Education can have on a person. I already know the truth, so now I must know what I need to do in order to help others believe. Many people have a preconceived notion about Physical Education, calling it that "gym class with the gym teachers." When people use this term I feel as though it paints a portrait about the type of program they were previously enrolled in, displaying that they were held to no standard for their actions. Also many students only think of Physical Education as the class where they run, sweat, and do not have fun. These thoughts now in turn help develop what physical Education is to me, and what it should be for others.
So that being said, Physical Education should be an educating environment helping students develop over many fields. It should be fun, and hold a feeling of invitation and warmth to the students who are involved in it. Physical Education should give the students an opportunity to learn life long skills to enhance health and wellness, as well as how, and where to apply this in the real world. Also this should be an environment where social growth, and a feeling of belonging should thrive and develop. This is what Physical Education means to me, and the meaning I wish to spread to others.
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Developing Philosophy: Part Two

Taken From
Within schooling I feel as though their are few key components in order for students to have the greatest learning environment possible. This to me means that the student is not only in an environment that allows for them to grow cognitively, but socially as well. 
In order for this to occur I believe that it will take a unified effort by everyone that is involved in the education of the children. Most importantly the parents of the children within the school district. I have found within my few brief experiences in teaching that many people have a sense of individualism, which is good, but sometimes this can be detrimental to the production of society. Everyone has basically the same goal for their child, which would be to succeed in schooling and life. The issue though is that everyone wishes to take separate paths on their journey to the same place. If society were to ban together and work as a unified force I believe much more progress would be accomplished in solving schooling issues, and insuring the best possible outcome for the students. 
When I teach and become an active contributor to a community my goal is to be the mediator for these groups, and bring their ideas together in a unified fashion. Within my school I will encourage the involvement of the parents as much as I can. Now many would have a problem with this, thinking that the idea of giving parents a voice would cause for your teachings to undermined and ridiculed, but I feel as though the insight of the parents is a crucial one. The line between parent and teacher will be well displayed, so that power issues like the one discussed will not occur. I am not just making these concerns up either. I have talked with many educators about the unified approach to education and this seems to be the consensus. What makes me believe in its power is that I have seen it be successful. It has allowed for a community of a district to become better, and help in the success of the children that were apart of it. This is why I feel so strongly that parent, and community unity is a key part in the educational future of the students.   

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Underage Drinking

English: Ball and stick model of the alcohol m...
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Now alcoholic consumption is only legal for individuals that are of twenty-one years of age or older, is this not 4correct? The answer is yes, but this does not stop teenagers from trying to experiment and try alcohol. The Surgeon General reported that almost seventy percent of people under eighteen years of age have tried drinking alcohol. So this means as a future teacher the incidence of alcohol related problems occurring within your school, or with your students is quite high.
So where could the influence of trying alcohol come from in the first place, and how could it be so influential? Well the answer is that usually the notion to try alcohol comes from peer pressure, or environmental influences. The Surgeon General also states that individuals that try alcohol by the age of fifteen usually grow to up to become alcohol dependent, or have some sort of alcohol related problem. Also according to the Mayo Clinic an amount of 755 million dollars is spent yearly on alcohol related injuries within teenagers, and that out of 40,000 teenagers from 15-20 years of age that were injured, about seventy-nine percent obtained that injury in an alcohol related accident.
Now the only way that comes to mind as to how and curb this number is by giving students the knowledge as to how and not become involved with alcohol in the first place. Now knowledge is one thing, but really getting through to the students is another. It really is a team effort in trying to prevent a statistic like this. Having the whole community come together and perform community based events showing the issues that coincide with teenage drinking I feel is really important. This helps to bring the environmental factor that contributes to underage drinking down considerably. Myself being an advocate of health and physical fitness, to become a crucial leader in the fight against underage drinking, as well as drug use within the youth will be a primary goal of mine.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What is Multiculturalism to Me

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Multiculturalism to many is a subject mostly based on the color of the skin. You may be thinking to yourself, "How could he say this? I don't think like that." The fact is though many people believe cultural ties only go skin deep. This to me is almost an ignorant way of thinking. The culture of an individual for me encompasses so many more parameters than just what color they are.
Ones culture to me involves a multitude of characteristics including religion, morals, heritage, socioeconomic status, sexuality, and personal beliefs. These are a few areas that I believe help to create a "culture." These all impact the lives of an individual on a daily basis, and almost set a guideline as to how they interact with others. Sadly though because of these guidelines some individuals can become discriminated against. Ever since time began people with conflicting ideas have always been at war with one another. Differing cultures and ideas have been the premise for every conflict that has ever occurred. How am I as a future teacher, that will be most definitely be faced with students that come from differing cultural backgrounds, suppose to accommodate to the needs of all individuals? My answer would have to be through being creative. My gymnasium would act as a neutral zone where discrimination would not be tolerated. My activities would focus on team bonding exercises, allowing each individual to be in a leadership type of role, and have them organize their group. I once asked a Physical Educator what their thought on was one having students that spoke different languages, or had different cultural backgrounds was like for them in class. They responded to me that "in P.E. language doesn't matter, everyone fits in." I find this to be somewhat true, considering much of what is done is performed physically, and not verbally.
Communications skills though are important. The great part about Physical Education is that these skills can be developed in a way that accommodates to more than one type of learning style. My hope as future teacher is that this type of discriminatory thinking becomes abolished, and that my teachings help individuals to become more well rounded in the the way they think about the world.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Healthy Living 2012

Education is Key to a Better Future

Barack Obama
Barack Obama (Photo credit: jamesomalley)
My grandfather who I feel is one of the greatest, and truly inspiring individuals I have ever known has told me many different "words of wisdom" regarding life. The one piece of advice I can almost hear inside of my head him saying is "stay in school my bube (German for boy), the only way to move forward is to be smarter, not stronger." So what my grandfather was telling me to do was to rely on my mind to carry me through life, and to not just depend on my brute strength to succeed. I love to be physical, so I came to a happy median...I went to school to become a Physical Education teacher.
The new education plan proposed by President Obama somewhat tells this same type of idea, but for helping the economy to become more established. Obama would like to propose an eight billion dollar Community College Career fund in order to create more jobs. These jobs would be in areas like healthcare, clean energy departments, and information technology. I think that it is great that this program allows for apprenticeships, and on the job training to be a focus of some courses offered during college. The only real way to learn I believe is to actually be in a real life situation with a hands-on approach. What Obama really wants though is for jobs to not be outsourced, and to keep employers looking within the United States. 
As a soon to be teacher this for me means that an increased interest in higher education will be held by many senior high school students. I feel as though this is great, because the more a person knows the more equip they are to succeed in life. As a mentor I will be there to help them make these decisions, and hopefully send them on the path that fits them the best.  
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Sound Body, Sound Mind

I have spoken before about how important having a healthy body is for the mind. I mostly based this on psychological factors,saying that how one views themselves is important in mental health. This is true, but now their is evidence that actually supports a physical change within the mind may be linked to exercise. Naperville Central High School is this statements proving ground.
Paul Zeintarski the former Physical Education Coordinator of the Naperville School District was the one who discovered this correlation. Many districts believe that Physical Education is useless when it comes to the overall education of a student. When one thinks of school the first thought that comes to mind is math, or science. Physical Education has mostly been linked with the stigma of "that class where we played dodgeball." This type of thinking has lead to Physical Education being down played in most schools, especially so in high needs types of schools where grades are poor and improvements academically need to be made. Zeintarski states that this thinking "is the exact opposite of what is needed to be successful." The program at Naperville started over six years ago and since then scores in math and science have gone up considerably, so much that the only reason for this has to be linked to Zeintarski's program. Many doctors have studied this type of correlation, and have actually stated exercising before learning causes the brain to develop new neural-pathways. These pathways lead to better thinking, and retention of knowledge.
So as one can see the presence of a strong, healthy body allows for the brain in turn to become stronger, and healthier. This I would say is a situation where correlation does in fact lead to causality.
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sectional Championship: Day II

Taken From
Yesterday was the second day of the Section IV Wrestling Championships. All three of the wrestlers we had brought to this tournament were in the wrestle back bracket. They each had tough losses the first day, and now was the time for them to show the heart I had been trying to explain to them and to wrestle back and gain third place.
None of our wrestlers were called to compete until about three hours into the tournament. Our first match was quite impressive, no points were scored on us, and we scored about ten. However though the next round was not so pleasant. Two of our wrestlers got beat meaning that they were now done with the tournament. The same ill fate followed with our last wrestler in the third round, he got beat, ending his season. This for me was quite a saddening experience. The two seniors that we brought there were brothers, and to see them lose and know that was the last time they would ever wrestle was heartbreaking. I could see the disappointment in their faces. I was especially saddened for our middle weight wrestler. He had probably the largest "heart" of the team this past year, and to see him get beat was almost like an attack on myself. I talked with one of the coaches from another school about how I felt so bad about these wrestlers losing. He told me that with the time we had to train our wrestlers that Rich and I were amazing coaches, and brought the team further than anyone expected. I felt as though this was a great compliment, and it made me feel somewhat better about the situation.
I am also somewhat saddened by the fact the season is now over. Realistically thinking I may never have the opportunity to coach at Southern Cayuga again. I have to follow where my life's road leads me, and their is a great possibility it will not end in Southern Cayuga. This got to me a lot. I feel as though I am abandoning the younger wrestlers because we brought the program so far from nothing, then possible leaving it so it will turn to nothing again. I guess this is a natural reaction though. I will have to look at the positives of the season, and reflect back on all the amazing people I met and were able to learn from. This experience did in fact allow me to love the sport of wrestling again, so I guess that is probably worth it all in itself.
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Friday, February 10, 2012

First Day of Sectionals

Taken From


Broome County Veterans Arena Binghamton
So today was the first day for our Southern Cayuga wrestlers at the Section Four Championship Tournament. For a few of them this tournament is a new experience, but little known to them this is a first for me as well. I have never been to a sectional tournament for section four, but from what I have seen it is run quite well. It is being held in Binghamton at a multipurpose arena. The awe of such a sight for these wrestlers I feel was first intimidating, and their confidence may have wain because of this feeling. I realized what was occurring and I immediately put a stop to it. I explained to them that when they go out to the mat that to picture there is just them and the other wrestler, that none of the crowd or lights are there, that they should wrestle how they want to wrestle. When I said this to them I could see in their eyes that they understood what I meant, and that they could use this tool I had given them.
The first round of the tournament had some positive matches, and some less positive matches. I chose not to say negative, because I believe every experience that is had is one that you can learn from. So these matches had some positives, but not as many as I would of liked to have seen. The second round though I felt was quite good. The lite-heavy weight athlete that I have talked about before wrestled quite well. He is extremely gifted athlete. I would say though he is in that "zone of proximal learning," where he has all the tools necessary to be successful, but does not yet know himself what he is capable of. He beat a much larger wrestler than himself today, and when he stepped off the mat he told me that he had no idea how he performed the moves he did. Once it develops kinesthetic awareness, and develops a more cognitive understanding of the sport he will be great. It is my goal to get him there.
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

SCCS Wrestling

Taken From
So today was the last practice before sectionals for my wrestlers at Southern Cayuga. This week Rich has been having themed based practices, all having to do with the body, and the various components that help form an athlete. These being strength, speed, agility, and smarts, today's practice being the last was about wrestling smart. This meant that practice was not as much physical, but had instead more of a cognitive aspect. We would quiz them on situations that required strategic thinking, like when to give up a point during a match, in order to get two in the future. These we felt were crucial components to their wrestling style that needed to be reviewed. The other new wrestlers were not quite ready for this in depth type of outlook on learning during the beginning of the year, but with the three we have going to sectionals we came to a consensus that they were now ready.
I also felt as though this was an important time to discuss with them the meaning of "heart." I told them that now was the time to not hold back, that this was their time to strive. When fatigue becomes so overwhelming, that then is the time the need to dig deep, and find the power within. If that they are able to accomplish this, then they can never be beat! I looked into all of their eyes when I was saying this, and all I could see back was a look of determination, and focus. I feel as though my words truly inspired these athletes. At the same time when I was saying these words to them I had visions of myself being in their position. My coach once said these same words to me. So now reflecting back on this I feel as if I truly am the teacher, and these are my students. Not in the sense of school, but almost of life, in the sense that these words I am telling them will always be their for them. These words will be their to guide them, and form the person they are. I hope the best for these students of mine in tomorrows tournament. I do not wish for them to go through life with the weight of "I could have," or "I should have been." I want for them to say "I did," and "I am." This is my wish fore them, and I believe they can succeed. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Unnecessary Loss

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Cover of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
I am watching a show called "My 600lb Life." I feel compelled to write about this, and my feelings that have been brought up after watching this show. This particular episode had to do with an individual who is severely obese, and weighs in excess of six-hundred pounds. The show documented the struggles that he went through, and what caused him to send his life in this direction. He was once a a successful singer, and had every opportunity in the world, but things took a turn for the worse and he started to become what some call "an emotional eater." Due to the weight he gained, his career as a singer, and his social life ceased. Through the show he was able to have gastric-bypass performed so that he would be able to get within a normal weight range. This type of operation involves the cutting of the stomach, making the volume smaller. This in turn makes the body feel full quicker, and less food to be consumed. The operation was a success, but soon after he fell victim to a degenerative muscular disease that caused him to be bed bound for almost six years. The question I raise is "could this all have been avoided?" He was such a positive individual, and his life seemed to be turning around, then suddenly with body turns on him and their is nothing he can do about it. Another story that is similar to this is the one about "IZ," or Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. He was an American born musician from Hawaii that through his music tried to unite his people, and stop gang violence among the Hawaiian youth. He was also an individual with obesity, and due to medical complications died prematurely in life at only the age of thirty-eight. It saddens me to hear about such kind hearted individuals dying, or becoming severely disabled because of obesity.
I am writing about this because I feel as though it is my duty as a future teacher to instill within the youth the skills necessary to be healthy individuals. I feel as though the loss of such good people could avoided if only this knowledge was presented to them. Of course their are underlined issues other than poor eating that are involved with obesity, such as genetics, and mind set, but knowledge is an important preventative measure. My wish would be for every child I teach to know a way in which to improve their life in a healthy manner. Then for them to go and teach another the tools I taught to them as to how and be a healthy individual. If knowledge was able to spread in this manner then I believe that this saddening loss of life could be avoided, and we would not have to lose such positive and influential people. 
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Apps for Lifelong Health!

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
I have discussed the use of technology and health before, but I have recently discovered a few more applications that one can use to sustain a health enhancing life style. The best part is that these apps can be directly used within Physical Education!
The first app "TrainingLoad" I feel complies with New York State learning standard 1b. I say this because the app allows the user to calculate the intensity of a workout, and the rate of perceived exertion. Students within the classroom could use this to develop an exercise program. Some may be thinking that this is not really feasible for all students, because they do not have the resources to get this app. Really though all it takes is for one student within a group of, let's say five, to have this app. This I think is quite feasible, because of the ever growing popularity of smart phones with younger children. The next app is similar to the ones that I discussed in previous blogs. "Nexercise" is an app that monitors activity of the user, and gives rewards and points based upon this. I feel as though this could be used during the school day, and could be part of a community resource unit measuring physical activity outside the classroom. After all, why should Physical Education not have out of class assignments? All other subjects do. This next one is my favorite thus far, "" is an app that the user can jog or run with. What this app does is it uses the GPS location of the user, and it measures the rate at which they are moving. When the user moves fast, "run," the music tempo increases to enhance that "pump" feeling during an exercise. The app does the same for the user when they slow down, the music tempo decreases. This could be used during cross country skiing units, for when the students have free time to ski along the trails, as well as an array of different activities with P.E. Having this app would allow them to push themselves during class. The only problem I could think of with this though is its accessibility to all students, because not all of them may have an iPhone, or iPod. 
These are just a few of the apps that I found interesting. The use for technology in the classroom is endless, all one has to do is look for it! To be a reflective teacher, and try your best to enhance the learning environment for the students should be the goal of any teacher. This is just another way of following through with this, and it is my goal to be progressive in my teaching, and never settle for anything but the best possible way to help my students!  
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Monday, February 6, 2012

EDU 470 Chapter One: Different Ways of Learning


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This past winter I have been the Assistant Head Coach of the Southern Cayuga High School Wrestling team. This was the first real position I have held within teaching that carried with it a responsibility on this level. Throughout my time at Southern Cayuga I feel as though I have developed as a teacher, and most importantly I feel as though I have impacted the students for the better. I feel as though I have helped them to become better individuals, as well as more effective wrestlers.
I remember when Rich(the Head Coach) asked me to assist him with the team. I was somewhat hesitant, but I recognized the great opportunity this was for me. Not in the sense of having another "resume builder," but to help others, and to teach something I have such a passion for. At first when I began to coach I was somewhat timid, because of the time it takes me to acclimate to new environments, but over time this timidness dissipated. Rich helped me to develop my coaching ability, and how to better convey my knowledge of wrestling to the students. I would have to say their is no better feeling in the world thus far, then watching a student put to use the skills that you have taught them. I can almost pinpoint that moment in time when the student understands the meaning of your teachings, and how to apply it. I like to refer to this as the "ping effect." I had this happen a few weeks ago with the light-heavy weight wrestler I have been coaching. I worked with him one on one the days prior to a big tournament, trying to teach him new skills specific to the heavy-weight style of wrestling. (This reminded me of how my coach worked with me weeks prior to sectionals.) When he had wrestled in previous matches his style was more similar to that of a light-weight, and in turn this hindered him. The day of the tournament arrived, and before he wrestled I kept quizzing him on scenarios, and what to do during certain situations. He answered correctly all the questions I asked. The time then came to see if he could apply this knowledge on the mat. He went out and wrestled, looking like a totally different individual. He applied every skill that I had taught him in all his matches, finishing second at a varsity tournament, only being a freshman. Watching this student wrestle made me so proud, not only having the assurance that my coaching ability was sound, but knowing that I had helped him to find a confidence in himself to ascend to that "next level" in wrestling.
This type of experience makes me look forward to the rest of my teaching career. I hope that my teaching can make a difference in all my students, like I have done so with my wrestlers. To succeed in doing this is my promise!  
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

A New Look at Food

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The move I am about to discuss happened some time ago, but many have no knowledge of it. This is the reconstruction of the food pyramid. In fact the pyramid that we have all grown up with has now been turned into a food plate! A plate has been chosen because it best signifies what proportions an individual should have with their meal in an easy readable portrait. 
The original food pyramid that we all know, and grew up with(the 1992 version) had contained within it a number of six food groups. These were based on a quantitative amount, the bottom being the largest part of ones diet, and the smallest being the least important. This pyramid was based mostly off of carbohydrates, but as some may know, too many carbohydrates can be detrimental to the body's health. In order to try and correct this problem the United States Department of Agriculture, who is responsible for the creation and monitoring of the food pyramid came up with a new design. This design was intended to to promote exercise, and the measuring of food, instead of portioning food. This design was called the MyPyramid(2005), and it was a great improvement from the standard pyramid that most of us know. The only concern about this design was that it was not based solely on health, but large food processing corporations may have had an influence in its design, vying for larger "square footage" within the pyramid. So again in June of 2011 this design was again under scrutiny. What came form this was the food plate. The plate showed a easy to read way in which individuals could could organize their diets so that they could maintain a healthy lifestyle. 
I feel as though this new design is user friendly, and easily understood. This is important to me as future Physical Educator and health promoter, because younger students like elementary aged for example can look at what they are eating, and compare that to the food plate. This is a simple, but important way to increase health literacy within the youth of our nation which is greatly needed considering the rising number of unhealthy and obese children. 
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Heart Month Now Begins!

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During the month of February our nation is banding together to celebrate Heart Month. This month signifies an effort to raise awareness to all about the growing threat brought to our nation by cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. A staggering 2,200 deaths are caused by heart related illnesses each day. That is equivalent to one in three deaths a day being caused by a heart related illness. The heart is such an essential part of life, but it is probably one of the most over looked parts of the body when people try and apply themselves in a program to become healthy. I say this in the manner I have because many people know the importance of a healthy heart, but when it comes to exercising most are just concerned about the size of their muscles in the mirror. I think of the body as being a machine, and every part of this machine must be running perfectly in order for daily life activities to be executed in the most efficient manner possible. Think of this as being like a car, if your tire is flat(injured leg) then you will not be able to travel far, but if your engine is seized(CVD) then you are not going to go anywhere.
The Department of Health and Human Services has come together in an effort to combat heart related illness. They have created a program called a "Million Hearts."This program has been created to target heart related illness like heart attack, and stroke from occurring in one million people from now until the year 2016. This program is hoping to accomplish this goal by educating individuals about heart healthy choices that can be made within their life. This programs goals I feel stem somewhat off of "Healthy People 2020" in the aspect that they would like to educate people in how to make healthier choices. "Million Hearts" program is trying to educate how tobacco use and a high sodium diet can lead to CVD by hardening arteries that stem from the heart. 
This program I feel is an amazing start to trying to reform the way people think about health. An easier way I believe to keep cardiovascular disease, and other health related illness rates down is by being proactive. I mean that it is important to instill within the youth of society what proper health habits are, and how they can perform them. As a future Physical Educator is my duty to see this through, insuring the health of our future. 
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