|State University of New York at Cortland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
During my time as an undergraduate at SUNY Cortland and Monroe Community College I have worked in many teaching roles. I have taught students in a ll grades, kindergarten through high school, as well as many adapted Physical Education classes. My experience with diverse students has been fairly broad. These experience have been quite varied. I have worked with students from different cultures, who speak no English, students of different socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as students with different mental and physical abilities. I remember this experience I had during my Freshman year of college with an ESL student who was at the elementary level. I believe that he had recently moved to the United States from China, and knew very little English. The unit was Volleyball, and at this time in my career I was not quite into the teaching role, and was just helping/observing my host teacher. I remember the child looking at me with an almost teary eyed gaze holding the volleyball. He did not know what to do, because he could not understand the instructions. I went over to him and I demonstrated physically how to serve the volleyball. Without language or anything of that manner I taught that child how to correctly serve a volleyball with fantastic form. Some time later talking with my host teacher he said to me "language is not important in P.E. because everyone is equal in Physical Education." Now I know many may argue with this statement, because the role communication in team work, but if you think about it, if you are a good enough teacher you should be able to teach to all students no matter their ability. Another experience I had within my career was with a student who had suffered several strokes at birth. This lead to them not being able to use the right side of their upper body. Now this child was quite young, only six years of age, but I would notice her almost hiding her arm form the view of the other students as if she was afraid to show them. She was quite uneasy during my lessons, and did not want to participate too much. I wanted her to be more part of the group, so I devised a way of literally making her and the other students a part of my lesson. I used story books in which they would actually live out the story as part of a lesson, and in order to make the book go further the students would have to complete a task each time. This made her quite happy, and throughout the semester I noticed her ability to me more open with not only me, but the other students drastically increase. This in a way tied into my ability to bring in other subjects like reading, and even science. The students would act out these story scenes, and learn interesting facts from them. This to me is a crucial way of tying Physical Education to other subjects, and having the students learn in different modalities. I feel that the more ways in which a student can learn a subject, the more of a chance their is of them learning the subject indefinitely.
Technology, like that of exergames have been hit with the diversity issue when it comes to how one perceives themselves in the virtual world. What has been found in games like "Just Dance," and DDR, many people feel uncomfortable performing moves that are gender based. This meaning moves that are too feminine, or too masculine. What they did in order to combat this was allow the user to look over the moves before it is played, thus allowing them to make the just of whether or not that song is for them. Personally I feel as though the though of not knowing what comes next make the experience more exciting, and fun to play.
Diversity is everywhere! As a teacher I will see more people than most in a different profession. I will have an impact on more people as well. It is my job to teach in the most effective way possible, to reach as many people as I can!