I’ve always been a ‘hands-on’ learner, learning best by doing. And studying to be a PDHPE teacher at ACPE has proven no different. It’s fascinating to learn about different developmental theories of children and adolescents, and it is so useful to learn about the NSW Curriculum and how to write a lesson plan. But there is no greater way to learn how to be a good teacher than to teach in the classroom. There’s a quote that reads,
“Theory is splendid but until put into practice, it is valueless.”
Everything that I’ve been learning, and will continue to learn, at ACPE is insignificant until it’s put into practise in the classroom.
The perfect opportunity to do this is in the Professional Experience (PEX) units offered by ACPE. The first Professional Experience (PEX1) is a unique one compared to the other PEXs; rather than going by yourself to a school, you head to a primary school with other second year students and an ACPE supervisor. You spend the next eight Fridays together, 8:00 am until 3:00 pm, just like a normal school day. In the morning, you spend time as a group, discussing lesson plan ideas and soaking up expertise and knowledge from your ACPE supervisor. The rest of the day is spent with a class, the first half observing and helping out in the classroom, and the second half outside, teaching the class PE.
Being my first PEX, it was only normal that I was so nervous, but it has been my favourite PEX thus far. I was put into a group with two other classmates and Kate, ACPE supervisor, and I could not have asked for a better group of people to do PEX1 with. All of my ACPE classmates brought to the table a depth of knowledge about working with kids. We all had a range of different ideas as well as skills in a variety of different sports, which we put into a nice, neat lesson plan with the help of Kate. I was very lucky to be put into a classroom with Miss Adar and 28 bubbly and talkative Year 5 students. They were full of energy but equally excited to do PE with me.
The primary school setting was the best place to begin PEX1. It forced us to get back to basics in designing lesson plans. We found that the vast majority of our classes struggled with the basic and fundamental movement skills, such as running, catching, hopping and skipping. It was necessary for us to develop these skills in the students first before we could introduce sports like soccer, netball and basketball. We were forced to think outside the box and draw from the knowledge that we had gained through studying ACPE to help develop these key skills in our students. And how rewarding it was to be able to play a game of netball with the class at the end of term!
PEX1 will be a prac that I remember! Spending time with some pretty cool Year 5 kids, developing a rapport with them all and helping them become a good team player on and off the field was a great starting point in my teaching journey…
This article was written by ACPE Bachelor of Education (Physical and Health Education) Student; Jen Healey.