Samantha Morey Co-op Profile
Name: Samantha Morey
Program: Physical Education
Year of study: Third year
1. How and why did you decide to attend Memorial for your degree? At the age of six, I told my parents that I wanted to be a “gym” teacher. Memorial University had a great program and studying here allows me to stay in the province I proudly call home.
2. What drew you to your chosen degree? I’ve had so many positive experiences through Physical Education while in junior high and high school. I decided to pursue this career to give my students the opportunity to have the same great experiences as I had.
3. Where did you work on your co-op placement? The Little Gym of St. John’s
4. What motivated you to choose that job? This job allowed me to teach and help deliver a positive learning experience through the sport of gymnastics to children ages 3-12.
5. What career highlight would you like to share from your previous work place? As an instructor, I had the opportunity to work with children to primarily grow their gymnastic skills; however, at The Little Gym we focus on growing the child as a whole through the physical, social and cognitive domains. When working with a child for an extended period of time, the growth in each of these domains becomes apparent. A highlight for me is seeing the growth in my students and talking to the parents about it. What we teach at The Little Gym is transferable to life outside of the gym, and it’s rewarding to know that our students retain what they learn and practice these life skills at home and at school!
6. What did you learn in your program of study that helped during your work term? Understanding how The Little Gym delivers a developmentally appropriate curriculum allowed me as an instructor to teach stimulating, informational, and effective classes. In order to provide the families at The Little Gym with excellent services and information, instructors must first become knowledgeable about the developmental growth of a child; what is typical during the growth of a child’s skills, what is not, and how to promote healthy growth. HKR 2300, Growth and Development, gave me a good foundational understanding of these things. Also, HKR 2220, a required activities course which includes a unit of Gymnastics, gave me a basic understanding of some of the skills and spotting techniques which allowed me to teach classes more confidently than if I had no previous, relevant experiences.
7. What was a typical day for you at your work place? Each day at The Little Gym is a little different, which kept it very interesting! Since our classes run on a weekly basis, no two days during one week are the same. My days would include teaching classes, tidying the lobby, taking phone calls, answering emails and a thorough cleaning of the facility at the end of the day. I would also do prep work for party’s on the weekend each Friday along with any miscellaneous preparation for upcoming events.
8. What was the best piece of advice you ever received through your co-op experience? “Praise to the positive”. When dealing with class management issues, praising to the positive means that the issue itself is not highlighted, instead, positive behavior is highlighted. For example, if there is one child who is talking while they should be listening, don’t single out the child by asking them to stop what they are doing and listen, instead pick out a child who is listening and say, “I love when my friends listen to me when I have something important to say! Thanks Billy for having your listening ears on today!”
9. What advice would you give a student who is unsure of what to study? Dig deep; find something that you are truly passionate about and make your passion your career.
10. What are you most looking forward to within the next few years? Within the next few years, I will have completed a Bachelor of Physical Education degree and will hopefully be in the process of obtaining my Education degree through MUN. I am most looking forward to going back into a school setting, this time, as a teacher.