I have a keen interest in Sped and its connection to physical education. I worked with a wonderful EA last semester in my PE 10 class, and I just found out we will be working together in 405. She has been so insightful and forthcoming with feedback, info and ideas about how to best benefit a sped student, her enthusiasm on the topic and willingness to try new strategies makes this area even more interesting.
My main inquiry question was “What is the best way to form a strong connection with your EA? Especially in the PE setting where there is lots going on?”
The Secondary School where I am at is well known in the district for accommodating students with many different unique functions into many different class settings. The department of EAs has a strong reputation for being helpful and an integral part of many classroom communities. PE is a popular class for students with unique function and learning demands as it offers students an outlet physically. It can also be used as a break from the high academic demands of core classes. PE offers a social aspect that many other classes don’t which can benefit students with unique functions and abilities. However it is important to be aware of the social conditions and tensions PE classes can bring out and be proactive in creating a positive classroom community, otherwise time will be spent dealing with small issues and putting out small fires instead of hitting the important points of the lesson.
After talking with a couple of EA’s I found a common trend of PE being a combination of excitement for the students and work for the EA’s. It takes energy to manage various students in a high excitement and variable environment where there are lots of stimuli and lots of factors that can lead to classroom management issues.
Since the school is a semester based school they allow students will skill development needs to take PE both semesters. PE offers students of all abilities and capabilities a positive social experience and an excellent opportunity for students to get their DPA (daily physical activity).
This inquiry has allowed the opportunity to for me to reflect on what is ultimately important to my teaching practice. It has reinforced the importance of forming connections and establishing relationships with the not only the students and colleagues but the EA’s as well. This inquiry has also given me the opportunity for growth and to push my teaching practice outside of my comfort zone, when dealing with students with individual needs and IEP’s. It has given me confidence in the importance of speaking up and trying strategies without being afraid to stumble and learn.