Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I See You Summer

As I look at the life sized schedule on my wall for this summer I realized that summers are not at all what they used to be. I remember just a few years ago being able to look at the months of June, July and August only to have the days coated in two words: SUMMER VACATION. I think to myself, what did I ever do in those three months? I remember being outside all of the time and playing games with my friends. I went to lacrosse and wrestling camps during the week days and traveled on the weekends here and there with my lacrosse team for tournaments. I would go to a camp on a lake and just relax. "Those were the days." Now my summer agenda has warped from tiny empty calendar boxes into boxes the size of my hand and filled to the brim with color coated lists of important "to-do's" and deadlines. I am busy every day of what used to be three long relaxing months and I bring it upon to myself. But like many people, I like the challenge and the feeling of being productive and accomplished.

This summer I have chose to be productive in as many ways as possible. Although there is much on my plate to juggle, I have to remember to put aside a few hours each week to take care of me. Finding time in a busy schedule to do something that isn't in your schedule is extremely important. Whether it be going for a run, seeing an old friend, or watching a movie before bed it is important to let your mind be at rest. It is important to keep up with your fitness life and to stay on top of work and your studies but it is just as important to take a few hours away from your week to enjoy you. Through every thing that I have going on this summer I am always sure to find the time to do something that makes me happy and lets me escape from my schedule for a little while.

Don't forget to take the time out of your busy schedule to go do something that gives you that breath of fresh air. Do something that makes you smile or laugh at least once a day. It is easy to become burned-out when you are going non-stop from day to day. Be careful to not become buried in your own schedule. After all, it is summer so enjoy every little moment you can find!

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." -E.E. Cummings

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Let's Move in School Week

Last week (May 1-7) was Let's Move in School week. The organization "Let's Move in School" has a mission to improve every students health and academic performance in every school across the nation. Let's Move in School " ensures that every school provides a comprehensive school physical activity program with quality physical education as the foundation so that youth will develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime" (http://www.aahperd.org/letsmoveinschool/). Over 4,000 schools adding up to more than 3 million students had signed up for the Let's Move in School event. Through out the nation there were countless students, physical educators, parents, teachers, school administrators and faculty that participated in the movement all in the same week. Not only was the organization "Let's Move in School" promoting an active climate, so was First Lady, Michelle Obama and singer/song writer Beyonce Knowles.

In this wave of movement was a popular "flash dance" that united students and educators alike to participate and be active. There are many versions out there but there is nothing like the original Beyonce had filmed. She took a visit to Harlem, New York City to surprise a school in part of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative to fight childhood obesity. Beyonce and the students danced to her "Move Your Body" hit that she recorded as an exercise video that was distributed to the public and the schools participating in the Let's Move in School week.

Here is the video of Beyonce dancing with the students from Harlem, NYC:

Here is the actual music video of "Move Your Body":

Not only did Beyonce get out there and participate in the event but First Lady, Michelle Obama participated as well.

There's no doubting with a movement like this that SUNY Cortland Physical Education wouldn't get involved. It was a no-brainer that we had to be a part of this great fight against childhood obesity and improvement of academics through physical movement. With the help of Professor Yang and many of the SUNY Cortland students and aspiring physical educators we made a flash dance video of Beyonce's, "Move Your Body" in our very own Park Center (physical education building on campus). Enjoy!

This month is Physical Fitness and Sport month so get out and be active with your friends, family and classmates! "National Physical Fitness and Sports Month shines a spotlight on the important role physical activity plays in our Nation's health and wellness. Participation in sports can strengthen both body and mind, and all kinds of active pastimes can help improve physical and mental well being. During this month, we rededicate ourselves to educating, engaging and empowering Americans of all backgrounds and abilities to live a healthy lifestyle" [FavStocks Reference]

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Do you Freebord?

If you love snowboarding and wish you could do it year round your not alone. There are many boarders out there who wish they could hit the slopes every day of the year. The boarders that realized packing up their bags and leaving their beautiful homes wasn't an option came up with something called the Freebord.

The Freebord is a specialized skateboard that acts as a snowboard. One distinguishing feature of this Freebord is its six wheels. Four of the six are conventional wheels and the other two are located more toward the middle of the board acting as the central wheels which rotate in unlimited directions. By putting pressure on the edge of the wheel the boarder can maintain control of the board. The center wheels mimic the deck of the snowboard as the four outter wheels act as the steel edges allowing the rider to slow to a hault or cut a sharp edge to make a turn. The rider also has each foot in a binding to give more freedom to ride faster and to allow for more tricks or jumps to be executed.

Freebording isn't just a recreational activity although it can certainly be a recreatinal activity for everyone and anyone. There is a pro team called CHoE. This team travels around the nation together sharing their love and passion for the thrill of the ride. These 'adrenaline junkies' are filming themselves as they succeed in heart stopping rides with fanatical tricks. These pro Freeborders include Arnaud de Bluze (Vars, France), Nico Gaillard (Lyon, France), Laurent Brondel (Lyon, France), Mike Hoppe (Oakland, CA), Corey Lucero (Ellicott City), Tom Macfarlane (Perth, Australia) , Justin Oliver (Radford VA) and Richie Verost (Hamburg, NJ). All of these boarders are to end up in San Fransisco later this year to ride together. San Fransisco happens to be the favorite place to skate for many of the riders.

A member of the pro team from Perth, Australia, Sam Trowbridge passed away on April 21, 2011 from a Freebord accident that occurd the 20th late in the afternoon. He was riding without a helmet and caught a heel edge where he was immediately knocked unconscious and later the next day pronounced (brain) dead at the hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. His riding abilities, video editing skills as well as passion for the sport was spread throughout the world and admired by all.

It is important to recognize that reguardless of your age you are prone to serious injuries, Freebording is a dangerous sport to partake in and should be attempted at caution and with the proper safety equiptment. Never let your fears keep you from trying something new. Life is meant to be explored. Develop a new skill you never knew you had. If you like what you see, do what these guys did and order a Freebord designed to your own needs. Don't forget the helmet! You can find one your own size and at various designs and colors through the following longboard website:

Do you Freebord?

Visit the Freebord Official Page to learn more!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Edutaining in a House of Physical Education

Last week SUNY Cortland's APEM Club had the privilege of being the audience of a SUNY Cortland doctor from the Health Department who calls himself an Edutainor, Dr. Trunfio. "An Edutainor", he explains, "is someone who can incorporate humor and learning into the classroom...or is it a house of education because I know you physical educators are touchy with your terms". This was the moment in the session I began smiling and laughing for the next 60 minutes of his session. He says, as an educator you must "engage your students through entertaining them in education" and this is the key to holding their attention and keeping them on the edge of their seats. He encouraged us teachers to reach out to the masses and teach to the student. In your classroom there will be a multitude of ways that your students learn and it is your job to teach to each individual learner. To sum the different ways that your students will learn can be found in Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theories. These theories include linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily kinesthetic, spacial, interpersonal, intrapersonal intelligences as well as the later added, naturalistic intelligence. Without edutaining to all of the masses, not everyone in your class will learn. It is your responsibility to educate everyone in your classroom. Dr. Trunfio stated, "Without entertainment, it's just information". So how do you incorporate this entertainment in your classroom and still educate your students?

To engage all of these different learners that could be in your classroom, Dr. Trunfio has developed something he calls the Laugh First Project. In this project he has created the acronym GOTCHA. GOTCHA stands for, Games, Openness, Tickets, Chaos, Humor and Abracadabra.

  • GAMES: Dr. Trunfio encourages to present the students with a challenge, game or (as a physical educator would put it), an instant activity to get your students roped into your lesson and engaged in what is going on in your classroom. During the session Dr. Trunfio had a few volunteers stand in the front of class to create a balloon animal following his instructions.

  • OPENNESS: Being open with your students and sharing your stories allows for them to see that you are human, just as they are. It brings you all to the same level and allows for your students to open up to you. Dr. Trunfio shared his embarrassing story of waking up late for a final exam on SUNY Cortland's campus and running to the classroom only to then realize he was taking the test in his underwear and coat. The idea of waking up late and having to get from the dorms to a classroom at SUNY Cortland was something we could all connect with at one point in time.

  • TICKETS: As soon as we walked into the classroom Dr. Trunfio was there to present to each of us a raffle ticket. My immediate thought was that we were all going to win a prize. This is what Dr. Trunfio wanted us all to think. He later told us that the tickets were to hold our attention and to keep us in the session until the end because we all expected to win a prize. He then told us we were not going to win anything but then gave away a t-shirt to one winner.

  • CHAOS: Movement is important for focus of your students. Dr. Trunfio was everywhere. He utilized every square inch of his floor/stage. He walked and ran up aisles as he was talking to us, reaching out to everyone in the class. It was hard for him to not put himself in the proximity of the students. He also created chaos in the room with his vioce being loud and upbeat. He was energized and used multiple props as if he were a clown in a circus. He eventually was wearing a rainbow curly wig holding juggling batons with a giant red ball for a nose.

  • HUMOR: The element of humor sets a curved line strait and is the shortest distance between two people. Humor was something that was always being incorporated throught his session. He told stories of what he has done in his past to create humor. One of which was how he has used caution tape on the door to see the students become confused and wonder how to get into the classroom. Eventually they figure it out but seeing their faces when they see you inside and the door taped off will instantly create humor for you as well as them. Another way Dr. Trunfio brought humor into the room was when he stood in front of the class with his juggling baton and told everyone that they had to stand up and applaud and yell as loud as they could and the louder everyone yelled, the higher he would juggle the batons. We all stood up and applauded and yelled as he threw one baton halfway in the air and let it fall. We all became silent as he confessed he didn't know how to juggle. He just wanted a standing ovation instead. He explained that laughing is all a chain reaction. As an edutainor, you only have to make a small handfull of your class laugh because when one person laughs, the person next to them usually laughs and so on. Laughter is contageous.

  • ABRACADABRA: Every time you step in front of your students you have the chance to create magic and not a minute of time should be wasted because when your having fun time flys. There is no reason why humor can't be implemented into each unit or lesson you teach. Dr. Trunfio demonstrated how laughter is a chain reaction by having 4 students lay on their backs with thewir heads on each other's stomachs as one laughed until they were all laughing uncontrolably. He then paused and told us how time flys when your having fun. As he pointed to the clock I realized that we had just finished sitting through his 60 minute session. He had fit everything that he wanted to say in only 60 minutes but so much had happened in that time and there wasnt a minute I wasn't paying attention or a thing that I didn't remember when I left the classroom.

Dr. Trunfio had utilized every minute that he had with us. He roped us in From the first minute and didn't stop edutaining until the 60 minutes was up. Educating through entertainment is something that I believe every educator should be doing. Given, there is a sense of professionalism and seriousness in educating but there are ways to make in memorable and fun for your students. To be a teacher that your students will always remember and to haave them rememebr all of what you taught you must capture and hold their attention. How will you bring your classroom to life? Dr. Trunfio brought his classroom to life through GOTCHA.. It is every educators job to bring their classroom to life. What are you waiting for? Start creating magic in your classroom today!

*Visit Dr Trunfio's website:


Saturday, April 9, 2011

ABDC Season of the Superstars

ABDC is another way to say America's Best Dance Crew. ABDC is a reality TV show on MTV that involves a selected 10 crews from all over the US. These 10 dance crews bring their own style of dance to the stage to entertain their viewers and to compete for $100,000. Every week the crews are given a challenge. Since the show has been up and running since February of 2008, this is the sixth season titled, 'Season of the Superstars'. It's titled 'Season of the Superstars' because each week the crews must choose from one of today's top artists and choreograph a dance to one of the artist's songs. This past week was the opening premier of season six and the top artist chosen was Lil' Wayne. The opening number was a hit and favorite from this season's judges as well as fans. This season's judges include an American rapper, songwritter and dancer Lil' Mama, former lead vocalist of the pop group N'SYNC JC Chasez, and a b-boy freestyle urban dancer D-Trix.

This week's season premier was an eye opener and really demonstrated many different styles of dance. For instance, the group I Am Me is a crew that is all about visualization and imagery. They use creativity from every day life and incorporate it into dance. One of their goals is to show America how they can take objects from every day life and turn them into a physical movement. This crew is one of a kind and absolutely a team to keep your eye on. But with so much talent this season, you may find it difficult to choose your favorite crew. Choose quickly because each episode a crew is voted off of the show to narrow the contestents down until America find's their favorite crew of the Season of the Superstars.

Stay tuned to MTV to see more of ABDC!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oceans of Oportunity: Day 1

So much has happened in a day here in San Diego. I have had the privilege today to attend and participate in many sessions as well as assist in one. I have put together a video of much of what I have experienced today although there were a few sessions I did not have the chance to video tape... (I was too buisy running around sweating my rump roast off). But I did manage to get a lot of video. In this short movie I have collected tape from a session with SUNY Cortland's PE Technology Guru, Professor Yang. In this session I assisted with a mini lesson for the iDance, the cardio kickboxing Dance Dance Revolution, and the do it your self Teenage Mutan Ninja Turtles battling game using DDR mats and a paded punching bag. Then I enter the Conventions Exposition center where I find two young men demonstrating the Gibbons slackline and how it is used to work on your balancing. I also see Sport Stacking and all of the many different cups that are available for teachers to purchase. The video closes with a quick demonstration of how to throw a disk properly as well as trick passes for Ultimate Frisbee, trick shots for Frisbee Golf and a short demonstration of how to play Frisbee Lacrosse. Not shown in the video is a series of creative and innovative games for elementary and secondary education levels. These games can be modified, advanced and twisted to make it "your own". Today was a great first day at the convention center and I can NOT wait to see what tomorrow has in store! Stay tuned and enjoy the videos!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Snow Today, Sunshine Tomorrow

Tomorrow is a big day for a few Physical Education majors at SUNY Cortland as they board a plane to leave behind twenty degree weather and take off for the warm San Diego sun in California for the next 9 days. You might say to yourself, "spring break was last week so why would they go during a school week?" and the answer is, for the AAHPERD National Physical Education/Health Convention and Exposition. As teacher candidates we have grown to understand that it is those that seperate themselves from others in their profession that will have a better chance to become successful. With the desire and passion that my fellow teacher candidates and friends have towards making an impact in education I have all of the faith in the world that they will become who they aspire to be and make the changes they wish to see in this world. We are the next generation and we are on a mission to be the next best leaders and educators of the new era in Physical Education.

With 800 students in the SUNY Cortland Physical Education major my friends and I knew that we had to make ourselves stand out. We have joined together under the Alliance of Physical Education Majors (APEM) Club here at SUNY Cortland. Through this club we have participated in various activities and workshops to better others as well as ourselves. We have gained experience and practice through helping and teaching others. We attend meetings on a weekly basis to keep each other updated on current events, ways to advance the club, and to exchange new ideas and knowlegde that have been filtering through the major itself. We are committed to making a difference and the heart that we have for Physical Education drives us to become better teacher candidates every day.

When we heard about the National Convention we knew we had to get ourselves there no matter where it would be held. Much to our surprise it was being held on the other side of the United States, in San Diego, California. We were excited to go but afraid it would be too difficult to make the trip a reality. With proper planning and schedualing through the club, there is a group of us that have managed to book our flights and hotel room so that we could get there early for some touring and spend the entire week expanding our knowledge and networking in a beautiful city with very powerful leaders in Physical Education and Health.

Getting a job as a Physical Educator is not an easy task in today's economy but there are many things that you can do to separate yourself from the rest of your fellow majors. Don't wait another moment and get involved with as much as you can handle. My advice to younger majors would be to go above and beyond. Grab some friends and set yourselves apart from everyone else. Become inspired and inspire others as you continue your journey through the number one Physical Education program in the Nation.

Next year the National Convention will be held on March 13, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts... will YOU be there?

To find out more about the 2011 National Convention please visit the following link:
Also stay tuned this week for updates from beautiful San Diego, California and the National Convention from my perspective!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The sky is my limit, what's yours?

We all grow up with dreams. Whether it be, 'When I grow up I want to be..." a police man, in the NFL, or an Actress we all had dreams because we felt that anything was possible. The only limits or restraints that we had as children were the ones our parents gave us and the ones we gave ourselves.

Anthony Robles was born with one leg but he didn't let that restrain him from doing what he wanted with his life. Growing up he was like any other kid playing football, basketball, paintball and eventually wrestling. Anthony had a dream to have athletic success by becoming a football player in the NFL. When he realized he would never be heavy enough to play he decided to start wrestling. He began in Mesa High School in Arizona. Although Anthony didn't do well his first year he was driven to be a successful athlete through wrestling. He loved the sport and began using his one leg to his advantage as the years went on. By the last two years of his High School Career he had finished with a 48-0 record for each season. He graduated with two state championships, one national championship, a two year All-American title and an acceptance letter into Arizona State University to study for a Bachelor in Interdisciplinary Studies as well as wrestle.

Not only did he wrestle for ASU but he accomplished 4th at the NCAA Championship in his 2008-2009 season and 7th in his 2009-2010 season as well as earning the All American Honor for each season. He worked hard and didn't make excuses for himself. He wanted to do everything that his teammates had to do including running the mile. He ran his first timed mile on his crutches in 10 minutes and by the end of the year he was running it in 8 minutes. His coach says "we complain a whole lot less" because of Anthony. He is an inspiration to all as he shows what it means to not make excuses for yourself and how success is possible when you don't limit yourself and your abilities.

His senior year at ASU is close to an end but hardly winding down. He is ranked first at the NCAA Division 1 tournament and today is the championship round begins at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. He expects to take first. He stated on Wednesday, "I plan on going all out. I'm going to be throwing the kitchen sink and everything else out there with it". The fact that he is missing a leg makes him disabled but he has never seen himself as someone with a disability.

Fans on YouTube arn't afraid to talk about their stories and experiences with Anthony Robles. Fans will tell you, "...this guy was one of the most classy and nicest people you could ever meet". Another fan stated, "Anthony you are a champ. You taught my friend with one leg to wrestle at a camp last year and now he's great. Keep doing what your doing bud. Your a true athlete and a hero to us all." He is a role model and inspiration to all.

As you can see Anthony Robles didn't limit himself in anything that he did. He set goals for himself and was driven to achieve them. Reguardless of what excuses he could have made for himself, he chose not to. Do you make limits for yourself that hinder you from succeeding in the goals you wish to achieve? It's great to have goals but how will you achieve your goal? Try things Anthony's way and don't make excuses for yourself on that road to success. For me, I'll learn a lesson from Robles and go after what I really want. The sky is my limit, what's yours?

Friday, March 11, 2011

SCOPE Media: Historical Figures in Education/NCATE

In this weeks broadcast SCOPE Media cast would like to inform you of some of the historical figures that have impacted education. We would also like to discuss what NCATE is. Included in this video are also a few personal standards that SUNY Cortland students hold themselves accountable for. Enjoy the video and don't forget to leave a comment below!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Who is John Amos Comenius? I am!

John Amos Comenius believed that "all men should know all things". He also drew up the model that is today the system of schools we use in America. Check out the following interview of him to learn more!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Athlete-Student or Student-Athlete

In President Obama's State of the Union address he "received a standing ovation when he said there should be more prestige in winning the science fair than the super bowl." Too many youngsters are looking up to athletes before they are looking up to a doctor or a teacher. Not that this is a bad thing, but they need to know that those role models got to where they are because they were a student first. The role of sports at the interscholastic level is to teach values, build character and develop the young bodies of these student athletes. Notice the student came before the athlete? That is because it is more important for a student to put their studies before their role as an athlete. Being an athlete is not what will get the students to the next level in their education, but their studies will. Although athletics do contribute to the growth of the individual they are not the most important part of the student's growth. There is a lot that a student may learn in athletics that can be taught in the physical education classroom. Students are encouraged to participate in athletics to enhance their physical skills, compete and grow as young individuals but this is also seperate from their school work and must not be seen as more important. If a student sees that it is OK to let the athlete come before the student through collegiate athletes then at a younger age they may drift from their studies to place athletics first. This will hinder the growth of the student if students are not shown that their studies come first for a reason.

Growing up I have always had coaches telling me that my studies came first and I never really understood why until I was in college but even through GE classes I noticed I could have been such a better student throughout high school if I had only understood why they told me this. Educators not only need to stress the importance of the student before the athlete but they neet to explain and show why this is important.

Although my first priority is to educate through the physical I do plan to coach someday. With this being said I would like to share my coaching philosophy. Enjoy!

My personal coaching philosophy consists of working hard to develop the young minds and bodies of my student athletes into a mature group of individuals with values, character, and advanced and fine tuned skills. Through practice and learning experiences I will also educate them on new profound skills and areas of the sport that they may not have had previous knowledge of. I am willing to coach any student of any age because I believe that every student can be an athlete as well. Although, I am most interested in coaching at the Junior Varsity level because the athletes have already gone through their basic skills at the modified level and have some knowledge of the game. I want to be the one to fill their minds with a more advanced style of the sport. I am driven to make a difference in each student’s life through assisting them with goal setting of their own and educating them on how to become better athletes and individuals through putting them onto that road of success toward achieving their goals. At the Junior Varsity level the athletes have left the modified level and are getting ready for the varsity level. I value being a part of the athlete’s lives as they transition to the highest level in interscholastic athletics because when I look back at my experiences as a student athlete it was the coaches that made a difference in my performance on and off the field (mat, court, etc.) that I remember the most. Transitioning from the Junior Varsity to the varsity level is a stepping stone in any athlete’s career. In this transition I plan to develop my student athletes by educating, motivating, and developing their mind and bodies through sharing my knowledge and demonstrating a responsible, disciplined and positive attitude through pure passion and love of the sport, no matter what sport that may be.

So when your out there in the teaching world don't let one student pass you by that believes they are an athlete before they are a student. Make a difference, it's why were all a part of this profession after all, right?

Take a look at the following links. Why not promote the student athlete more often like this?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dunk Contest on Sport's Center!

Tomorrow night Sport's Center will show 2011's NBA Sprite Dunk Contest in Los Angeles. The contest is usually shown as the final event to Saturday's closure of the All-Star Weekend. The four players to compete include DeMar DeRozan, Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka and JaVale McGee. New York's Blake Griffin has been deemed a favorite but the crowd will be the judge of that as they are the one's to decide who will walk away with the win through a process called "crowd-voting".

Check out some of the dunk ideas for Griffin sent in by fans and fellow basketball lovers!

The contest is a fun annual event and entertaining for it's viewers. Be sure to tune in to Sport's Center tomorrow night to join in on the action!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gender and Religion Making a Difference in Sport

Have you ever been compelled to do something that interested you but never put fourth the effort because it was out of the norm or other's felt different about it? Among feeling anxious, excited and complete this is how I felt when I decided to join the sport of wrestling. I began in the second grade but didn't completely know what I was getting myself into until 7 years later. All I knew was how much I loved what I was doing and that I continued to grow as an individual. A common question I would be asked was, "Is it weird wrestling other guys?" and I always replied, "I don't see it as a female versus a male but a wrestler versus a wrestler". When I began wrestling I had never seen a female in the sport. With this being said, there wern't any women's teams at the scholastic level. When I did reach the age when I had to decide if I wanted to wrestle on the men's modified team I went for it. I did really well on modified and only really noticed that I was having an insane amount of fun and had a crowd of mom's following me from match to match to cheer me on.

It wasn't until my fresman year that I was told I would be wrestling on the men's varsity team. I was thrilled but much to my surprise I had more against me than I ever thought possible. My father was contacted by the athletic director of my high school and was told that we would have to come into his office for a meeting before I was allowed to be on the team. I knew that Title IX existed so I assumed there wouldn't be any trouble. I was wrong. Title IX did exist but there were ways to make it difficult for me to actually make the team. During the meeting I remember the Athletic Director telling my father that I "would be touched by males in places I may not want to be touched". My father didn't know what to say aside from pointing out the obvious fact that he knew I was a female. I sat quietly and nodded my head for most of the time until he asked me "what are you going to do if you are touched where you wouldn't like to be touched?" I responded with, "I'll pin him". He realized I wasn't going to be scared away from wrestling and proceeded to tell me I had to complete a physical test passing all of the criteria in order to actually be on the team. As he listed all of the catergories including a timed mile and a half, a set number of crunches in a minute, a timed shuttle run, a standing long jump, a timed 50 yard sprint, and a timed chin up I asked him why I had to be tested. His response was because I had to be compared to the boys. When I asked him what boys, I was the only one taking the test on my team, he changed the subject.

I didn't question him because I was willing to do anything to wrestle. I passed this test that became an annual pre-requisite just for me to continue to be on the team. Earning my teammate's respect was the first obstical I had to overcome. I put in the same, if not more, effort as everyone else. Knowing I was at a disadvantage strength wise I knew I had to push myself to prove I could be equal, if not better than the men. It wasn't long until I had that trust and respect from my teammates and coaches.

This respect helped me get through years of being stereotyped. I was stereotyped as gay, manly and unintelligent. None of these ever made sense to me because I knew who I was and those that stereotyped me never got to know me as an indivdual. Friends and teammates that did know me personally would say I was never the person that the stereotype made me out to be. Being stereotyped did have a harmful effect on me because it made me quieter and less eager to make new friends. Teachers as well as students need to be aware of what stereotyping can do to an individual because stereotyping is just a false identification given to an individual you may know nothing about.

That first year on the varsity level opened my eyes to the different kinds of controversy that was involved with opposite sexes facing each other in a sport. I had numerous articles written about my wrestling ability in the newspapers but my gender was always focused upon. I was seperated from my team during weigh-ins and was never allowed to weigh in naked (to be lighter on the scale) like the men. I had one opponent tell his coach he wanted to wrestle me. He had that "I'll put you in your place" attitude. After poking me in the eyes numerous times I pinned him and recieved an apology from him and his teammates after the match. I was often given forefits because some opponents wouldn't want to wrestle a female in fear they would either lose or hurt me. This was frustrating because although it gave me a win, I always felt as though I didn't earn it.

I can only imagine how Cassey Herkelman felt as she was awarded the Iowa State Wrestling Championship title at 112lb partly because of a forefit by Joel Northrup earlier on in the tournament. You ask, his reason for forefiting the possibility of winning a State Championship title that he had dedicated so many hours of training for? Because of his religion. Northrup's father is a minister in the Believers in Grace Fellowship, an independent Pentecostal church in Marion that believes young men and women shouldn't touch in a "familiar way". His father stated in an interview, "It's totally his choice. He's a young man now and he's worked hard to get where he's gotten. It's up to him, and it was his conviction" not to wrestle Herkelman. Among Herkelman was another female in Northrup's bracket and that was Megan Black. Megan mentioned that Northrup had been matched up with her three years prior to this state tournament and forefitted due to his religion. She stated that she respects him for adhering to his beliefs.

After hearing about this I was upset that a forefit led Herkelman to her state championship because if I was in her shoes I would have wanted to earn each one of my wins in a fair match. She did respect Northrup for his decision and continued on to win her State title. Unfortunatly she had no control over the forefit she recieved and I am happy for her and the accomplishments she has made.

Northrup had a commitment that was bigger than wrestling and he stuck to it. I also respect him for his decision on sticking to his religion although I have different beliefs.

I have had a similar situation happen to me during my sophmore year. I was schedualed to wrestle in the Class tournament at 103lb as the first female in NYS Section 3 to do so. The night before the tournament my coach called asking me to hand my spot to the 96lb wrestler because he was having trouble making weight. Usually we would have a fair wrestle off during practice to decide who would take the spot. The 96lb wrestler happened to have the same beliefs as Northrup and was never allowed to wrestle me although we were teammates in the same weight class. I was a year younger and knew I would have two more chances at the Class title which would eventually put me through to sectionals, a life long dream. I gave him my spot not knowing my wrestling career would end at the start of the following year with an acl tear.

I do have respect for other people's religions that they follow and the beliefs that they have but I believe bringing those beliefs into athletics and having one person's beliefs effect another person's outcomes in a sport shouldn't be happening. Religion and sport, to some extent sould be kept seperate. If that can't be done, as in Northrup's case, they should walk away from the competition all together and not wait to hand a free win to an opponent. Many people saw this forefit as a fearful act because of the male-female set up. Although this is true for some male wreslters, it is not for true for Northrup. He has the utmost respects for his female opponents but chooses not to wreslte them due to his religious beliefs which fall under gender differences. He respects their accomplishments in the wrestling world but because his religion over powers his wrestling world he will always choose his religion and beliefs over a wrestling match.

To view more about the Herkelman and Northrup debate view the videos below and find more deatils in the following links:



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Stereotyping...are YOU aware?

Do you know what it really means to stereotype? Stereotypes are considered beliefs that all members of a group have a fixed set of characteristics while ignoring each member's individuality. Stereotyping can leave a seriously damaging effect on a member or group. Stereotyping an individual or group can lead them to believe they truly are what they have been made out to be. For example, if an individual is classified to a group that is considered unintelligent they may begin to believe they aren't smart and allow themselves to fall into this group because of the stereotype they have been given. Growing up you may have stereotyped without meaning to. You may have classified someone to a specific group simply because of the way they dressed, their race or ethnic background, or simply by a cluster of people they may be interacting with. This is a quick shortcut your brain takes to characterize a member into a specific group without you having to get to know the member as an individual, which in fact they are. Every one is an individual. Put it this way, would you want to be classified to a specific group? This is stereotyping and teachers as well as students need to be aware of it. If teachers and students are aware of the stereotyping effect this is one step toward overcoming at least part of the problems that stereotyping can create.

Should teachers and students be aware of stereotyping.? View the following video and then state your opinion!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cultural Diversity

Sue Young grew up in Japan. She is a senior and a foreign exchange student in High School. She participates in all of the activities that students in her high school participate in and completes the reccomended work. Sue has trouble with speeking English because at home she speeks only Japan. Her parents both speek Japan and follow their usual traditions of eating together as a family, mending their own garden, attending festivals and drinking tea most evenings. Sue also enjoys the annual cherry blossom festivals. Sue came to America because she wanted to experience other cultures. She deos enjoy America and the High School that she attends. She enjoys physical education and doesn't have too difficult of a time understanding the tasks because she has a lot of the sports in the curriculum at home, in Japan. When she is participating in an activity that she doesn't fully understand the teacher usually has to demonstrate more and physically show her what to do. This helps Sue understand what she must do. This is not the same for every class but for other classes she does need extra help outside of the classroom. English is very difficult for her to understand and she is not yet fluent but can understand a few words. She carries around an electronic translator to type in any words that she can not understand. She has an academic tutor at her guardian's house in America to help her with homework outside of the classroom. She also takes a French class and very much enjoys it. She wishes to some day go to France to further expand her knowledge on cultural differences around the globe.

Cultural diversity can't be escaped. Whether you chose to ignore it or pursue it further into your life, it will always be involved with your life in some way. For Sue Young, exploring cultural differences is something she finds very facinating. Allowing your curriculum to explore cultural diversity shows that letting this melting pot of America into your life is a wonderful, beautiful and unique experience. Go ahead, get out there and explore the world!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ballroom Dancing at 13

What were you doing at ages five and six? Probably playing with tonka trucks, barbies or the latest Toy's 'R' Us toy. But Anna and Patryk have been practicing their ballroom dancing skills for 8+ years. Four of which were with each other. They have mastered their art all the way to becoming Junior 1 Dance Champions at age 13. They both have their own favorite dance but no matter the style they are dancing they both enjoy what they do. They never stop having fun and they continue to allow themselves to learn as they go. They set high goals for themselves such as being world champions or to have their own school of dance. Get in the Rhythm with Anna and Partyk!

To see a quick interview on Anna and Patryk on "You've Got..." Click Here!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

EKP Certification

Certifications are vital to a future physical educator, the more you have, the more marketable you are. It can make or break wether or not you get a job. This being said, racking up on certifications and staying up to date with them is great for your resume but also puts you in the position to be opened up to more opportunities in general.

On April 29th from 6pm-9pm at SUNY Cortland, students will have the opportunity to be EKP (Educational Karate Program) Certified. This certification allows these future Physical Educators to create a training program based on a curriculum developed by Hindy Ochiai. The program covers the essentials of physical and mental self-defense techniques. It also will teach the attidtudinal practices toward self, others and anti-violence tactics. Educators will teach violence prevention strategies and skills to prevent the abduction of children,

What usually will cost $900 will be offered to SUNY Cortland students at a fraction of the cost, $75. If you already have your EKP certifications, it's not a bad idea to touch up on your skills and re-cert if your certification is expiring.
Hope to see you there!

To read more about Hindy Ochiai or to get more information on EKP Certifications visit:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Integrate Multiculturalism Into Your Curriculum TODAY!

In People for the American Way a survey conducted over 1,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24 and asked if they felt "comfortable" or "uneasy" when dealing with people of the opposite racial group. The results left 55% of African American's feeling "uneasy" rather than "comfortable" when having to deal with the other racial group. Multiculturalism education helps students to develop a more positive attitude toward different racial, ethnic, cultural and religious groups so, why not incorporate it into our curriculum as a must have for our students? It's not difficult to add to your curriculum. Take a look at James Banks, he created his own approach to this task. His approach includes four levels.

Level 1: The Contributions Approach
Include the study of ethnic heroes into your curriculum. Also focus on Holidays, discrete cultural elements and go ahead and have a creative "party" to celebrate different cultures such as Cinco de Mayo.

Level 2: The Additive Approach
When those "special" weeks or months come around try to incorporate and recognize that special time by incorporating it into your lessons for the time being. It may not be exactly what is on your agenda looking back at the curriculum you put together at the start of the year but it may be necessary to recognize and teach a little about it. This does not mean that your curriculum should be altered to fit each of these special days, months or weeks but it should have some recognition of these special dates as your curriculum goes along.

Level 3: The Transformation Approach
Allow your students to put themselves in the shoes of others of a different ethnic background. Let them to see through the eyes of someone who has different view concepts, issues, events, and themes.

Level 4: The Social Action Approach
To achieve a more vibrant democracy and multicultural goals take the transformation approach a step further and promote decision making and social action from your students. Have your students contribute to solve related problems and address social and economic needs in the community and abroad.
With James Banks' four approaches to multicultural education teachers like you can have a choice of a variety of ways to add multiculturalism into your curriculum. Remember that this benefits your students as well as the students your students may come across in the far or near future. Being a culturally responsive teacher allows you to bring your skills and insights into the classroom and encourage your students to become more "comfortable" around others of different cultures. Be a teacher, be a leader, and be an inspiration to all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dance like a Pro!

Video games don't always include the couch or your gaming chair anymore. Get up and move with Xbox's Dance Central Kinect!


Don't have an Xbox but you have a Wii? No problem! Try the Wii's new dancing game, Just Dance 2! Want to play with some friends? No problem because this game features up to 8 dancers at once!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

7 DIVERSE Teaching Skills

Creating a climate that honors and celebrates your students diversity is a key to success with a diverse group of students. There are 7 teaching skills to help students feel safe, have their unique needs and interests recognized, and are part of a classroom discourse. Just remember DIVERSE promotes equality and good teaching!

Diverse instructional materials: Be sure that all parts of the world and it's diverse thoughts, views and people are woven into the curriculum.

Inclusive: Provide opportunities for every student to participate in classroom activities and discussions including shy or quiet students.

Variety: Use different styles of teaching to allow for all the different types of learners to be successfull.

Exploration: Encourage your students open up their minds to explore and experience or learn about other cultures and beliefs.

Reaction: All students can learn from their questions when they are given effective feedback. Teachers can make sure they give effective feedback through patience, encouragement and high expectations.

Safety: Any offensive comments and physical or verbal bullying should be stopped immediately because without safety and security, little learning is possible.

Evaluation: Consider a wide variety of evaluation strategies to assess the unique strengths of your individual students.

WRUP (what are you playing)?

The cold weather is no reason to stay indoors and not be active! This weekend I was able to travel to Pennsylvania to spend the weekend at a cottage on Lake Chautauqua. While I was there, a friend of mine and I decided to go outside to build a miniature snowman.

After putting our snowman building skills to the test, we built snow forts to protect ourselves in an epic snowball fight.

Also, while at the cottage we witnessed snowmobiles riding on the frozen lake. We also caught a glimpse of some dedicated ice fishers who spent well over 4 hours fishing on the frozen lake. If these guys can get out there why can't you? Get out and play!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


To watch videos of our exciting journey as we progress from students to teachers check out Physical Education in action on my Youtube Channel!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


When you first become a teacher in a new school you will not be under the protection of tenure. This can be an uneasy feeling so to gain support most teachers join either the NEA or the AFT. Both of these organizations work to improve the salaries and working conditions of teachers using collective bargaining.

The NEA stands for the National Education Association and is the largest professional and employee organization in the nation founded in 1857. The NEA is a political force that works to elect pro-education candidates and legislation benefitial to teachers and students. Also, as a part of the NEA you will benefit from publications such as the NEA Today, free legal services as well as training opportunities on subjects from technology to academic freedom.

The AFT has over one million members and was founded in 1916. AFT has a leadership role in education reform as it stands for the American Federation of Teachers. John Dewey was the first member of the group and emphasized that the AFT was strictly of teachers, by teachers, and for teachers. It "supported national standards for teachers, charter schools and induction programs that allowed new teachers to work with master teachers and the active recruitment of people of color into the teaching profession." Before the Supreme Court established that seperate is not equal in 1954, the AFT had already backed desegregation in schools. Freedom schools were ran for black students as the AFT continued to hold strong records for academic freedom and civil rights. AFT leaders had been sent to jail while fighting for their right to bargain collectively. AFT leaders were determain to show their nation the determaination they had to no longer allow teachers to be considered as a second-class status. During the great labor movement (the AFL-CIO) the AFT also shows the nation how the power of the union can help the voice of America's teachers be heard.

As a new teacher entering a school for the first time I can see how one may feel vulnerable without the protection of tenure or under the wing of a teacher organization. I would probably join the AFT over the NEA. I would choose to be a part of the AFT because the idea of the organization being ran exclusively of the teachers, for the teachers, and by the teachers makes me feel more secure and confident that I will be getting exactly what I seek. I would feel as though I am surrounded by a diverese group of people who are brought together to accomplish the same goals or to share ideas that would interest anyone in the organization. Also, an organization that allows for my voice to be heard as well as other supporters in the group has my vote in a heart beat.

To learn more about the AFT visit:
Tolearn more about the NEA visit:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why Do I Explore Teaching?

I am exploring teaching to become the greatest teacher I can be. I want to be a teacher because I love to work with younger kids and I want to be the one who helps mold and inspire them. I want to become a physical education teacher because I want to educate the next generations with how to lead a healthy and active lifestyle that can be fun as well as benefitial to their own bodies. With high hopes of leading a classroom I plan to create an environment that is fun and attractive toward students. Creating an environment that students can be eager to learn in is a must! There are other benefits to being a teacher that do appeal to me such as the opportunity for family time, vacation time and the job security. But, to have the ability to pursue a passion where I am able to educate others in the subject matter that I love, will always trump any other benefit of teaching. This is why I explore the profession and lifestyles of a Physical Educator.