Rhea County High Practicum Reflection
(a) Location/dates of practicum: see attached Practicum Log Sheet.
(b) Summary of activities observed and duties performed: While observing and participating in the Rhea County High School adaptive PE class, I learned a great deal about how to effectively teach PE to those with disabilities. It was a good experience that opened my eyes to what is going on in the public schools when it comes to teaching those with disabilities. My previous experiences had only been with specialized schools that are for exceptional students only, rather than a public school. At Rhea County, I participated a great deal in their PE class and got a lot of hands-on experience teaching. Most of my observing came from watching the Special Olympics, which gave me an opportunity to really examine some of the hindrances that those students have in life.
(c) What the student learned: Throughout my observations this semester, I learned a great deal about what it looks like to have a successful adaptive PE class. I think it is very important that students get into a positive routine and they are given a chance to become active in ways that they are unable to outside of the school setting. I found it very effective at Rhea High that the students had a set stretching routine that everyone knew. Many of the students would keep the teachers on track with which stretch came next. This is something that many students need in order to feel balanced in their day and if it were to change, would feel disorganized or upset. Keeping the students focused is a huge task for adaptive PE and can be better achieved through routine.
(d) What the student liked/disliked and why and specific suggestions for improvement of the program/practicum site: In a public school setting, I think it is difficult to really cater to an adaptive PE class. There are so many tools out there that can be utilized, but unfortunately cost quite a bit of money. That is something that I disliked about the program at Rhea High. While they are limited by the amount of money that can be put into the adaptive PE program, I was a bit surprised that the class did not contain some variety in the activities they did. Maybe the students get those needs fulfilled elsewhere, but it just seemed like more could be done other than simple games. We learned about adapting games in class so that students with disabilities can be more successful, but I didn’t really see that in Rhea High.
(e) How the student was able to specifically apply knowledge gained through prior college coursework to the activities performed/observed at the practicum site: One specific example that I remember where we applied knowledge from the class, is when we were playing dodge ball with the class and we adapting the game to a shorter court so that the students could have…