William Woods University physical education students recently had the opportunity practice their lesson plans with the children at Fulton Preschool, located on the WWU campus.
The students are all in a course called Studying the Methods of Teaching Physical Education Pre-K through Fourth Grade. Students visited the preschool Dec. 2, 4, 6 and 9.
As a part of Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA) standards, the William Woods students were required to create a lesson plan that formed linked objectives and assessable skills. Rather than the students teaching one another, the professor of the class took a different spin on their final project.
“I was able to do this [activity] when I was an undergraduate,” said Dr. Timothy Hanrahan, assistant professor of physical education. “I thought the students would be able to learn three things: teaching is hard work; it requires competency in planning, patience and execution; and, last but not least, they can do this!”
Feedback from the Will
iam Woods students was positive, and many found great satisfaction in the experience.
“I’m glad I got the opportunity,” said Dillon Shoemaker, a William Woods senior from Mexico, Mo. “We can learn as much as we want in the classroom, but it’s not the same until you’re actually in the position with the little ones.”
Dr. Hanrahan also felt the experience was extremely beneficial to the students.
“The walk back to class was exciting because the students were talking to each other about what they saw, what they would fix, how they could improve—and
questioning all kinds of components,” said Hanrahan. “I told them they learned more in 30 minutes of actual teaching than in a week’s worth of class.”
This is the first year the university has participated in a teaching partnership like this with Fulton Preschool, but it will become a regular practice in the future. There are also plans to branch out to more local schools.
“The Fulton Preschool will allow us to do this each fall. In the spring, the Adapted Physical Education class will travel to the Missouri School of the Deaf and Columbia Public Schools to work with their adapted students and work on including Individualized Education Program (IEP) information into their lessons,” said Hanrahan.
An IEP defines the individualized objectives of a child who has been found with a disability, as defined by federal regulations. A child who has difficulty learning and functioning and has been identified as a special needs student is the perfect candidate for an IEP.
Students who visited Fulton Preschool were Dontre Jenkins of Libourn, Mo.; Ivan Bodul of St. Louis, Mo.; Jordan Fleming of Columbia, Mo.; Adam Roberts of Granite City, Ill.; Dillon Shoemaker of Mexico, Mo.; Destani Stensrud of Exeter, Mo.; Jessica Wheaton of Independence, Mo.; Caleb Thomas of Jefferson City, Mo.; and Nick Trammel of Mokane, Mo.