Standard 6

Standard 6: Professionalism
Physical education teacher candidates demonstrate dispositions essential to becoming effective professionals.
6.2 Participate in activities that enhance collaboration and lead to professional growth and  development.

Artifact: Applied Behavior Analysis Conference
Date: November 2011

Reflection: In November of 2011 I went to an Applied Behavior Analysis Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. I did this as a way to broaden my knowledge of behavior management and teaching techniques. Applied Behavior Analysis is an approach that was taken from the learning theory. In behavior analysis, the goal is to find out what is exactly causing or maintaining the behavior through the environment. The "behavior" could be anything from throwing a football, talking out in class, or even eye contact. The "environment" is all the physical or social events that might have an affect on the behavior. In Applied Behavior Analysis, a behavior is targeted to be changed and is done so through different techniques. Attending this conference helped me gain valuable knowledge that I will use in my career. In one picture, I am standing with Brian Iwata. He is the professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Florida and received his Ph.D in Psychology at the State University of Florida. At the conference he was described as the "Father of Applied Behavior Analysis."

6.4 Communicate in ways that convey respect and sensitivity.

Artifact: Raquette Lake Reflection
Date: Summer 2012

Reflection: My reflection from the experience at Raquette Lake shows what it was like for me to be on a new team building experience. I have spent plenty of time in nature, but this was different due to new faces, and new challenges. In the reflection I talked about how I struggled with the idea about Raquette Lake since I just came back from a backpacking trail in California, but I realized within days that this was a new challenge. This relates to teaching because every day might seem like it is the same, yet it poses it a new challenge.

             The first session to Raquette Lake was a very interesting experience. I wasn’t completely sure what to expect because we only had a few days out there compared to other classes that had a two-week session. I tried to go into the experience with an open mind but I struggled with that due to a recent trip out in California. I hiked one of the most famous, beautiful trails in the world and my head was still stuck on the most incredible experience of my life. As the days rolled on at Raquette Lake I realized this was something completely different and when the overnight trip was over, I had great experiences to talk about.
            As the groups were split into two, one to Blue Mountain, and one to West Mountain, I looked around at the people in my group. I was definitely happy with everyone in my group although I would’ve been happy with anyone in the class. The class had meshed very well thus far but the overnight trip might have tested a few people’s limits, although it was only for one night. We set up the canoes, had smiles on our faces and took off. When we came back, the smiles were still there. There was a certain moment on the overnight trip that I need everything we had done was a success.
            On the overnight trip, there was a certain moment that really stuck out to me. On the first day, we had paddled a few hours to West Mountain. When we were making our itinerary we opted to paddle, hike the mountain, than paddle to a lean-to all in one day. As we hiked up the Mountain, we had one student in our group who was really struggling. Everyone in the group had different fitness levels and that was very evident. One person was struggling so much that we had to stop every minute or so when we started to climb. Because I just got back from the Sierra’s and was hiking at elevations higher than 10,000 feet every day for over two weeks, I felt in the best shape of my life. But that’s not the point; it was a great experience for everyone that there was such a wide range of abilities. Reason being, although it wasn’t challenging for me, I stuck in the back with the person who was struggling and provided encouragement. When the group realized that certain people needed a break, the group would all stop together. Although some people wanted to continue, everyone stuck together and hiked the mountain together. The moment that really struck me was when we were on the summit of the mountain. Everyone was sitting around together and looking very happy. For some people it was the first mountain they have ever climbed. Although it wasn’t technical or a major climb, it was an accomplishment nonetheless and as I sat there I was happy for every single person there. I was proud that we accomplished the feat as a team.
            What this experience meant to me was that although people had a wide range of abilities, the task still had to be completed and it did. This can easily be translated to my life. The reason being, you cannot simply go through this world without working with others. Working with others is very important regardless of what field you are in. If you are working in the physical education field, you need to be able to work with your principal, guidance counselors, other teachers, and many others if you really want to be able to make an impact. Since I am a physical education major, I realize that working with people is an incredibly important skill that everyone should be able to develop and be good at. If you are a teacher in a school and do not have the ability to work with your colleagues than you will struggle to find yourself being liked and people buying in to what your attempting to teach the students. When I took EDU 256 and had to do my field experience in schools, I talked to many different teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and even the principal. I know how important it is to establish relationships with people all throughout the workplace. You need to be able to form a team with the people you work with. When I was sitting on top of West Mountain I was thinking that we really became a team that day. We started by canoeing many miles, than finishing by hiking to the top of a mountain. Some people struggled, some didn’t, but the point was that we stuck together, encouraged each other, and because of that, we found ourselves sitting on top of the summit.
            Not only does this experience extend into my professional life, but my personal life as well. What I took away from this was that although an experience might not seem like one that will be very important, it very well could be. One week fresh out of one of the tallest and most beautiful mountain ranges in the United States, I had to go to the Adirondacks for a few days. Being an avid hiker and climber, up to that point I had spent close to a month in the mountains so I was over it. I tried to go into Raquette Lake with positivity and an open mind but it was very hard. I struggled with the idea that I was going to see anything that would come close to anything I saw in California. I have spent much time in the Adirondacks so I knew nothing could compare. But the experience was one that was completely different. What I really took away from this experience that I can apply to my personal life and professional as well is go into every situation with an open mind. You never know what you can expect from a situation and that is exactly what happened to me on this trip. As I still grow older and develop professionally, I am going to be introduced to many different scenarios and teaching styles and I need to have an open mind about it. You cannot think that your way is the best. You need to realize that there are so many different ideas and styles all around the world that you can adopt any of those things and bring them to your own collection. Having an open mind can be extremely beneficial to your personal and professional life. I learned from my overnight experience that I need to continue to have an open mind in all things.
From this trip I took away some new friends. This is relevant to my personal life because having friendships is a very important thing to me. Since the trip has been over, I have hung out with many of these people many times. Having friendships is one of the most important things you can have in your life. There are numerous benefits to have friendships and I am glad this experience has given me a bunch of new friends.
In conclusion, the overnight trip at Raquette Lake was a very beneficial experience. Going into it, I was skeptical about what I would achieve, learn, and take away. It is clear now that I have learned a great deal about working with others and coming into situations with an open mind. Raquette Lake was a great experience and the winter should be even better.