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Local junior high students get a lesson from future phys ed teachers

As part of the HKR 2210 course (Movement Concepts, Folk Dance and Creative Dance), taught by lecturer Kellie Baker, second year students volunteered to teach dance at Brother Rice. Two grade eight classes learned how to warm up to music and had a chance to have their ideas integrated into the warm up.

This was the first exposure the physical education students had to teaching in a school setting. But the students, like Shiann Park, were up for the challenge. "I absolutely loved every minute of it. It was a small glimpse of my career path and I cannot wait to get my foot in the door and make a difference in the lives of the children today," said Park. "It made me feel so confident in myself and inspired me to never give up. It was an experience I will never forget."

Park said she had zero dance experience before starting this course. She was a little nervous at first but her excitement soon took over. "It is certainly a program I will introduce in my classes. Not only did this course introduce me to dance and movement concepts that I was not aware of but it also allowed us as a class to bond and become more familiar and comfortable around each other."

In another course called Territorial Games, Baker also visited Brother Rice to play basketball. She introduced the students and the physical education teacher to the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) model, a model that evolved in the 1980s which focuses on emphasizing game performance before teaching skill. The TGfU model draws on concepts such as defence/attack, space and angles of play, which were not considered important in the traditional teaching of games. Basketball is classified as a territorial game under this model as are games such as flag/touch football, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee.

According to Baker, the physical educator at Brother Rice was excited about the professional development and said she planned to implement TGfU and dance into her program. "The junior high students also had rave reviews after only one class with comments such as 'I really like the basketball class you did with us', or 'That was fun, I learned a lot'. Those kinds of comments are great for the HKR students because it helps give them the confidence they need to step into a classroom full of students and do something out of their comfort zone like dance or TGfU as a new way to learn about sport. That's not an easy thing to do."

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