Another Wonderful Week

This week was fantastic. I was involved in so many great things.

I taught a couple lessons again this week and they all went well.

Orienteering is fun to teach to Year 7’s because they are 12 and 13 years old and they get so excited to be in class with a foreign teacher. This week they had a scavenger hunt and had to find things around the school. My cooperating teacher was sick that day so I did the class by myself and I’m proud of how it went because it went very well.

I also helped coach some football this week again. I am loving that I get to coach this. It is helping me get some ideas for when I start coaching back in the states. One of the days I helped coached it down poured, the rain was very cold and there was a very nasty wind to add to the misery. Some of the students didn’t have their skins (under armor) or track suit tops and were freezing and some were crying because they were so cold. The other teacher and I stopped earlier than usual because the weather was awful. It is so fun to help coach these students because they range from the ages of 8-11. They are all boys because girls don’t play football at Hymers, because the boys don’t play netball at Hymers. Some of these students have so much talent when it comes to football, and some don’t. What I enjoy the most though, is that no matter how talented these students are at football everyone of them gives 100% during practice. That makes help coaching them so great. I have really enjoyed watching some of them improve little by little each practice.

I also helped with swimming since Steve was sick one day. I worked with a student one on one with some of his swimming strokes. This included the front and back stroke along with the breast stroke. He was a strong swimmer and tried very hard to practice each stroke with the best technique he could.

I also taught another volleyball lesson to the same Year 9’s I did last week. It went pretty well, but we didn’t get as much done as I was hoping because of how the lack of listening and talking of some of the students. These students are 14-15 years old, so listening to a teacher is not a top priority. I was impressed with how some students really focused on their technique that we worked on last week ans were trying hard to to it correctly. The students played a serving game called bloob, it’s really fun, but they didn’t get to play much of it due to all the talking so hopefully we can start with that next week and then go into an actual game.

During the week a lot more students said hello to me and asked me what to expect during class. It is nice to start being seen as a teacher with the students, it helps me feel more comfortable in the school.

On Thursday, I went to York with the U11 netball team for a fixture (game). When we got to York my jaw dropped to the ground. The first thing I saw was a massive church called York Minister towering over the entire city. Very beautiful. As we got farther into the city there were castle walls still standing. That just took my breath away since I have never seen that before. It was so incredible to see. Some of the other teachers I was with laughed at my reaction and explained to me that this is very normal for them and that they take this for granted while I was just so stunned. The girls played pretty well though and I was just happy to have been allowed to go with them and see all of five minutes of York.

When I got home that night I asked Brooke if she wanted to go to York on Saturday, so that is what we did. (I’ll get to that in a little while)

Friday had to have been the best day of school for me by far. It started off with me leading some tag games with the Year 7’s, then going to watch Year 11’s play some football. I then taught my volleyball lesson which, besides the talking and interruptions, went well. The best part of the day was games in the afternoon with Year 11 nonsquad netball team. They played a game of bench ball. The game consistes of two teams (even if possible). The game starts off with one team member from both teams standing on opposite benches. The whole goal of the game is to get your entire team on the bench. To do this team members have to throw netball ball’s to their teammate on the bench. If the teammate standing on the bench catches the throw the person who threw it goes to stand on the bench also. Game ends when one team has all of their players on the bench. There is some strategy to this game, you have to play defense, and decide who stays back and who tries to join the bench first. I got my chance to play and I HAD A BLAST!!! It was so much fun, and you could tell the girls were having a lot of fun when all of their teachers joined in. This is a game I can bring back to the states, as a warm up game of some kind.

After school on Friday, Brooke and I went over to Alice’s (one of my cooperating teachers) house for tea (dinner). Earlier that day though, Alice had given me a Hull City Jersey that she said I could keep. We then bought tickets for a game coming up on Feb 11th. I’m super excited to be going and was very appreciative of the nice gesture on Alice’s behalf of giving me the Jersey. Dinner at Alice’s was very fun. I got to meet her 1 1/2 year old son, Harry. So cute and such a fun little boy to be around, he wasn’t shy and while Alice made tea Brooke and I got the chance to watch and play with Harry. Alice made homemade pizza, salad, and chips (french fries). She then made a dessert which was a chocolate rice crispy cake with a whipping cream topping with fruit in it. The meal was delicious. Alice was very nice to have invited us over and we both had a great time.

On Saturday, Brooke and I went to York. York is about an hour away from Hull by train. York is beautiful, like I said earlier. I was so excited to be exploring it. Brooke and I got the chance to walk across the old castle wall. It was so cool to do and then to look down and see everyday life happening, knowing that this castle wall is thousands of years old. It amazed me how there is so much history in York. We visited York Minister. The church was so beautiful. The inside had very big painted glass windows. I took many pictures of the church inside and out. Brooke and I then visited all the shops that surrounded the church. They were so cool. So many little shops and so were very specific. We found many candy shops (sweet shops). Many clothing shops, a couple Halloween shops and a Christmas shop. There is a place in York called The Shambles it is a very very very old street with many shops going down it. The street is cobbled stone and very tiny. It looked like an ally way. Imagine Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and you can then paint a picture. It was just so neat to see and walk down. Brooke and I tried to find the old castle but we didn’t know how to get there. We also visited a train museum that was close to the train station before we left. That was really cool to see. I took a lot of pictures there of very old trains and of the newer ones too. York was a very beautiful place to of visited and I would love to go again and hopefully see the castle.

Today is the Superbowl so Brooke and I bought some Superbowl food (or at least what we could find) and will be watching it here at 10pm tonight. Regardless I am still excited…GO BRONCOS!!

Can’t wait to see how this week of teaching goes!! Still loving it here.

Here are some Pictures taken in York:

York RiverYork National Railway Meseum -Thomas York National Railway Meseum 2 York National Railway Meseum - Train Gears York Natinal Railway Museum York Minister York Minister 3 York Minister 2 York Castle Walls Yellow Train Wren Train Train Signs Train Parlor Train gears The Shambles Stained Glass York Minister Stained Glass York Minister 3 Stained Glass York Minister 2 St. Mary's Abby Ruins St. Mary's Abby Ruins 2 Sleeping Coach Replica Train Red Train Queens Train Queens Train 2 Old train Old Train Tickets Old train coach Old train coach 2 Old Sun Clock Inside York Minister Inside York Minister 2 Eurostar Train Dinning coach Black Train 1555585_10151850068617455_518291122_n


Two weeks of Student Teaching…Check

Two weeks of student teaching at Hymers are already over and things are continuing to be going great.

This last week I got to teach a couple of lessons on my own. I taught orienteering, volleyball, and a football (soccer) lesson. I have also been helping out with field hockey, net ball, and swimming.

It felt great to be able to teach my first lessons. I am confident that I can now go through the rest of my student teaching being able to teach lessons and connect with my students.

My first lesson I taught by myself, with the help of Brook (she’s a volleyball player), was volleyball. It was so interesting to teach volleyball because it is not a big sport in England. I really wanted to focus on the proper technique because if students can get a handle on the proper technique of skills, harder skills can eventually be taught, leading into basic games. Brook and I focused on bump passing, setting, and a little bit of serving. For non of my students ever playing volleyball, I believed the lesson went very well. Most of them tried to use the proper technique and that is what I really wanted my students to focus on. At the end of the lesson, Brook introduced serving and that is what we will work on this week. The hardest part of the lesson was telling students they couldn’t kick the volleyballs and many started off doing so because of playing football. Overall I was happy with the students efforts and hope the same will happen this week. My students were 15 and 16 years old.

Orienteering was really fun to teach. The students were Year 7 so they are 11 and 12 years of age. They were all so excited to do this lesson. It was so easy to feed off of these kids energy and I really enjoyed being able to talk to the students who were waiting for their partners to hid their objects. Next week students will be doing an orienteering scavenger hunt and they all got very excited about this especially since there will be prizes for the winners.

I got my first experience with teaching 9-10 year old boys football. It amazes me how chatty young boys can be…can’t image how the girls are. This was just a blast. I had them work on foot skills, using their space and running off the ball. Played a possession game and then played a scrimmage game with having them try and work on all the little things I tried to hit home with them that day. They did pretty well in the scrimmage game trying to stay spread out and not bunched up together. I hope they had fun and some of them came up to me and said thank you and that they did have a good time. That was great to hear.

Last week it felt great when students started saying hi to me and recognizing me as their teacher. Helped me feel more adjusted to teaching. I really enjoyed being able to watch some of my students play in their netball games and hockey games. Most of the students at Hymers are extremely talented athletes along with being great students. I also enjoy being able to go to some practices and help out the best I can. I enjoy hockey practice the most because the tactics  of hockey are the same as soccer so I can help when I see something such as using the pitches width and what not.

On Friday, Brook and I went to a Folk Festival in Hull. It was so great! So many amazing musicians and so much talent. I really enjoyed it and was glad we decided to go.

This week I will be teaching more lessons and am looking forward to it.

1st week in England

I have now been in England for a week. It has been a very good week. My first week of student teaching was amazing. I can not say enough about how the staff and students made me feel welcomed as soon as I arrived. It has been so easy to become adjusted to Hymers College because of this aspect.

I have experienced many new things this week. I have watched a lot more net ball since my first day of student teaching. I have watched the younger girls all the way up to the oldest girls in the school play net ball. It is fun to watch the younger girls develop their skills, along with asking questions on certain aspects of the game. Watching the older girls who play on the senior A team is also great because they play the game very quickly. I still struggle with understanding some of the rules, but I believe I have a pretty good understanding of the game due to watching so much of it in the last week. On Saturday, Brooke and I went to Hymers to watch the fixtures (games) of netball. It was nice to see the girls playing an actual game instead of just watching practice.

This week I was also able to watch field hockey practice. I would of loved to play this game if I lived in England. It’s played on an astro turf field because the ball would get stuck in grass, so there needs to be a smooth surface to play the game. I have seen this game before because it is a summer Olympic sport. To me it is essentially soccer, but with a hockey stick and a ball. The positions and formations can be the same in soccer. I enjoyed watching the younger students play it. I got the chance to play during a drill and it is harder than it looks. These girls can hit the ball so hard that I missed trapping the ball several times, but I was impressed with how good these young girls were at this sport. This Tuesday the girls I watched practice with have a mini hockey tournament coming up. I’m excited to watch them play.

This week I also got to watch a lot of swimming. The swimming class that stood out the most to me was with the Year 11’s. They had their mock trials of survival training. They had to swim with two long sleeve shirts on and pants on. They started with sliding into the pool on the shallow end and either using breast stroke or front crawl stroke with their head out of the water to the other end of the pool. They had 30 seconds to get there and their feet could not touch the bottom of the pool or they automatically failed. Students then had lye on their backs with their feet to their chest and chins to their chest in the water. This was the survivor float and they had to stay in this position for 6 minutes. After that students had to use a straddle jump to enter the pool, use breast stroke to swim around the entire perimeter of the pool. When they got to a teacher they had to use a feet first dive to dive under the water and swim five meters underwater and then continue swimming around the pool. They had to do this twice around the pool and then tread water for two minutes with holding up one arm straight in the air, they could switch arms every thirty seconds if they wanted to. I was exhausted watching them. Some of them were very good swimmers while others didn’t take their mock trial seriously, so hopefully they will when the real one comes around in two weeks.

One of my favorite things I did this week during student teaching was help assist the younger boys in Junior School in football. For about two hours I got to walk around during practice and help the students with their football skills. They were working on getting into space off the ball. I had so much fun with this, I felt in my element because I actually know this sport. I believe the boys I was working with were about 9 or 10. Some had very good technique while others struggled, but what amazes me with these students is that no matter what activity these students do all of them still try very hard to do it right and to become better. I love that aspect as a teacher.

On Friday I also got to play football with the Year 11 and Year 12 boys. These students are 16 to 17 years old. This was very fun and I enjoyed it. These students get to pick what activities they can do during their gym hours because they are older and have gone through the P.E. curriculum. The game was competitive but enjoyable. The older students don’t compete in football like the Junior school does because rugby is the main focus for the older boys.

Throughout the week I believe I have been adjusting to life in England. I believe it is not much different than living in America. People get up, go to school or work and enjoy the little things in life. I’ve been enjoying learning different words and phrases that English people use compare to Americans. Example being, I have been getting use to calling lunch time, dinner time, and dinner time, tea time. I’m also getting use to calling french fries, chips. French fries in England are cut very thin, while chips are cut thicker. Flapjacks in England are sugary granola bars, while pancakes here are very thin, almost like crapes. I have really enjoyed learning these new words, I won’t be surprised if I go home in 6 weeks and use these terms and confuse everyone around me.

I have really enjoyed using the public transportation in England. The bus system in Hessle and Hull City run very nicely. They are on time, something I can’t say much of if taking public transportation in Chicago. Brooke and I have mentioned this to some of the teachers at Hymers and they laugh because they don’t think the same way. I guess if Hull gets snow the buses run very poorly.

On Saturday night, Brooke and I went out to some pubs. It was a very good experience. I’m not a big beer drinker so I drank cider and it is very good. Something I realized is that when going out to the pubs here there is a mix of younger people and older people in the same bars, something not seen often in the states. Another thing I liked was that at just about every pub people love to dance. Yes, this includes the guys. People were dancing like they didn’t care who saw them. It was so great. I really enjoyed it.

This week has been so great and I can only hope for the next 6 to be as good. This week, I will hopefully be starting to teach lessons and become more adjusted to life here in England. 🙂

First day at Hymers College

Today was my first day of student teaching at Hymers College. I left the house I am staying at with the other student I am student teaching with, Brooke, at 6:50 and caught a bus from Hessle Square at 7am. We took our first bus into Hull City and that took about a half hour. We then caught another bus and missed our exit by a good mile because we didn’t see the school. We had a good walk to get to Hymers, but we were not late.

This was my first day seeing Hymers College and it was breathtaking walking up to the grounds. There are twelve buildings on the College’s campus. The main building use to be an old estate so it looks like a very big mansion. It’s absolutely beautiful. When we first got there I went to the general office (main office) because I didn’t know where to meet with my cooperating teacher. One of the sports (P.E) teachers, Steve, meet me in the office. He brought me to the sports faculties and the sports staff offices. He made me feel welcomed right away. I got a chance to meet some of the other staff members I would be working with also. I believe there are 6 sports staff members at Hymers and I meet them all today, and they were all very nice and very helpful with answering questions and showing me around.

The sports facilities are great. There is a pool, a fitness area, an astro turf pitch, 6 rugby pitches, twelve tennis courts (which are also used for net ball), and a gym that has three courts on it. The school is very privileged with all their sports complexes.

School at Hymers starts at 8:45am and goes to 4:00pm. The morning begins with assembly, which is where the Headmaster (principal) addresses the entire school, and then school announcements are made. The first two periods I observed Steve and Allison’s swimming classes. Students are good swimmers at Hymers, even the ones that teachers don’t think are as strong are still pretty good.

After the first two periods there is a break from 10:35-11:00 where all the staff meets in the staff room. This is where the headmaster can address all of the staff on upcoming events, along with any other announcements. Teachers also have the option to ask questions and express concerns. During staff meeting there is tea and coffee that teachers can make along with biscuits that are available. I believe I will be drinking a lot of tea while I am here.

I then got the opportunity to talk to Steve and Nick, who is the head of games, on what I wanted to teach while I am student teachers at Hymers, I told them I am willing to teach anything they want me to. They liked hearing that, but also said it is important that I get the chance to teach some subjects I feel comfortable with along with challenging lessons.

We went through the next couple months and decided that I can possibly teach volleyball, swimming, badminton, fitness, and dance. The interesting aspect about their dance is that they do not teach the dance we teach students in the States. I was talking with Steve and I was telling him how we teach line dancing, fun children dances, like the chicken dance, and ballroom dancing. He asked me if I would be willing to teach line dancing to students. I said of course. Steve also explained to me that they teach a classroom P.E. class. It consists mostly of anatomy. He said I could teach a couple lessons of that if I am willing to. I said I would give it a go.

After that I went with Steve to a fitness lesson with Year 7 (11-12 year old students). This was an interesting experience. Steve had students start out with a five minute jogging warm up. He was very disappointed with the fact that many students couldn’t run five minutes. He was upset mostly with the effort the students put into, he was constantly having to tell students to stop walking. He then went into dynamic stretching. He then went into relays with different movement patterns, such as students running backwards to the base line, touching the base line then sprinting back to their partner. I realized that when the students were given a chance to be competitive they did much better with putting effort into their running. I told this to Steve and he agreed. The last fitness activity was a stamina training activity. There were five groups, with five students in each group. Each student was assigned a number and a corner of the pitch to start at. Students had to sprint to their partner at the next corner, tag their partners hand and then that partner sprinted to their third partner and so on. This was also a race, groups were done when each member ended where they started, Again, students put good effort into this activity because of the competitive nature of the students. At the end of the lesson, Steve brought the class together and explained his disappointment at the beginning of the lesson because students were not challenging themselves, but said he was happy with the ending of the lesson when students started to put more effort into class. He then expressed that everyday during class you can be competitive not only with your classmates, but with yourself, and that sometimes you may not win against your classmates, but you can win against yourself if you know you put in the best effort you can in each lesson, ever day and are improving on your skills. I liked that because it is true. I hope that the students took that to heart. Steve also said that if students want to become more fit and want help, he is willing to help them in any way he can. After the lesson, he apologized to me about his class and the lack of effort his students showed, but I told him it was a learning experience and that I respected him for telling his students what he did and that about him telling his students they can come work with him on their fitness level.

The next  period was lunch. At Hymers students get lunch from 12:30-1:50. Within this time, students can have practice for the sports they are involved in, if the teachers can fit practice into that time period, and then students can go eat. If students don’t have sports, they can do homework, talk to teachers, or hang with friends.

The first half of this period, I got the privilege  of talking and observing Julia. She was going to go coach net ball, and I have never played or seen net ball so I joined her. This game looks like basketball, but with a whole different set of rules. The first major change is that they hoops have no backboards. Players shoot the balls over their heads, and there are assigned positions that are written on their bibs (pennies) they are wearing. A net ball looks more like a volleyball than a basketball, but has a rougher texture than a volleyball .Players can only go into certain areas of the court, depending on what position they are playing. There is also no dribbling in net ball, it is all based on passing. When players have the ball they have to take a certain type of step-hop to move, and they can only have the ball for three seconds. It is a fast pace game, but very interesting to watch. I hope to observe more net ball during the next couple weeks. I may even be able to play it during the staff vs student game.

I then had a really nice conversation with Julia. We talked about my education, what sports I’m into and many other things. I got to ask her many questions about Hymers and England. She then showed me around the entire school, and introduced me to many of the staff members and faculty. It made me feel so much better about knowing the campus and set me at ease with knowing that the staff is very friendly and willing to help me with any questions and concerns I have. Julia was also able to set Brooke and I up with a ride to school in the morning with another staff member, instead of leaving so early and taking the bus, which is so helpful.

We also talked about after school activities I am willing to help out with and I said anything I can. So after I feel comfortable and adjusted I will start staying after school to help out with sports teams and other extracurricular activities.

The first day went very well and I am very excited to see how the next 7 weeks progress.

After school, Brooke and I went to the mall that is Hull City. It was very nice and it wasn’t much different than going to a mall in the States. There is a store in England called Tesco, its the equivalence of Walmart. Some of the same clothing stores that the States have, the mall also had. Now having explored a little of Hull City, I am no longer intimidated in being in Hull, it almost feels like I’m back in Chicago with all the hussel and bussel of the streets. People are very nice here also. Brooke and I have asked for directions and everyone we asked were more than willing to help us out, which made us feel even better about Hull City.

This weekend Brooke and I plan on exploring Hull City more and getting better adjusted to life here.