Chris Roca firstname.lastname@example.org 4/16/10 EEX 4242 Recreational Teachers in Action
Early Perceptions What can I do? Before arriving to my first day of volunteering with the kids, I really did not know what to expect. I did not know what kind of disabilities these kids had and I wondered if my activities would not be as effective and fun to them. How will they see me? When I first saw the opportunity to engage with kids by spending time with them doing indoor/outdoor activities, I knew this fit me perfectly. For this activity I wanted the kids to see me not as a teacher, but more as a friend. I did not want to be labeled as a teacher instructing orders. I wanted them to be open to feel on who I am, rather than see me as their superior.
Setting The entire setting for this project was held at the Loch Haven Neighborhood Center.
To start out with, I was born in California and raised in Florida. I am of Hispanic background and currently going for my degree in Math Education at UCF. I am 23 years old and have one older sister and one younger brother. My interests are to play any kind of sport and to exercise. Throughout my college career, I’ve had many experiences being in a classroom where I was needed to volunteer. But last year was my first experience being in front of the classroom teaching the students. In that year I was in Junior Achievement. At first I was very nervous because I did not know how the class would respond to my teaching strategies, but overall I think it was the best experience I had with students. Personal Demographics
My partner and I chose to come once a week to engage in recreational activities with all the kids at Loch Haven. We broke down each day to see what activities would be best for all this kids. We decided to come once a week for about two hours in the afternoon. We did not want any of them to be excluded from the activities, so we tried our best to make every activity inclusive for all. First week we saw that they had a basketball hoop out side, so we chose to play some 3-0n-3 basketball. This was very fun. We played about three to four games, rotating teams so that every one could win. Engagement Activities
Engagement Activities The second week we both decided to bring the games indoor since they had a wide open space to do many activities . So we decided to play four square with the kids. We made huge squares so that all the kids could have adequate space to play the game. Some of the kids did not know how to play so we had to give a brief explanation before getting started. The third week we played pool and some video games with them. On this week there weren’t many participants during our time of service.
Engagement Activities On the fourth week, we created a miniature race for all the kids. I think this was the best activity we did with them. We had the most participants for this activity. What we did was have the kids race in a course set up by us. This course was divided up into three sections: first part was the cart race, second part was zig zagging around the cones with an egg on a spoon, and the last part was the blindfold walk.
Engagement Activities On the last week, we played a variety of games. First we played ultimate frisbee. At first the kids did not like this game, but after playing it they did not want to stop. After we decided to play some team dodgeball.
The average age of the kids at Loch Haven is 16 years old. Based on what I saw, there was a good mixture of kids from about three or four ethnic backgrounds. On average there were about 10 kids participating every week in the activities. The most we had participating was 13. Participant Demographics
This experience has made me a lot more patient. Throughout all the activities, my patience was put to the test. No matter what was going on, I had to focus and understand what was going on with the kids rather than the activity. I’d say every time I went to volunteer at Loch Haven was experiential to me. Beside my partner and I, there was always another helper there always assisting us with the activities. The most important thing that I noticed from him was that he acted the same towards every kid at Loch Haven. He never talked down, baby talk, or isolated any of the kids. He was respectful and real to all the kids. This experience really changed the way I saw things. On TV or at school, one is told all the time that they should respect others no matter what they look like. But until you actually go and you are present in that environment, you will never know what it is like. I’d like to encourage all people to take some time to volunteer at Loch Haven. Reflection