PE & Student Motivation In An Urban School

Discussion in 'P.E. Teachers' started by PatTm, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. PatTm

    PatTm Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2015

    Teach PE in at an urban middle school where 90% of the students are living in homes at or below the poverty line. Was warned ahead of time about all of the behavior problems I could expect, but was told the small classes have made it manageable in the past. Behavior problems are a huge issue but not as big as student engagement. Most of my classes are about 14-16 kids. However, a minimum of 2-3 are absent daily. Roughly the same number actively fail by wearing inappropriate clothing to class (not just run of the mill dress-code, but shoes like heels or sandals). So on a good day I'm left with 10 participants, 2-3 of which change but don't participate and won't even express any feeling about what they would like to do vs not do in class. Those who are excited for class quickly get ****** at the others for sabotaging class. So this limits my lesson options substantially. Know its a bleak picture, but has anyone encountered a somewhat similar situation and how did you deal with it?
     
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  3. 12Souza

    12Souza Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2015

    Gotta do what you can to get those parents involved. Give validation to those dressing and doing all the right things with positive calls home. Kids at these types of schools want validation more than anything.. so once they notice that youre doing these things it might help. Also i would make those nondressers play anyway so long as its safe
     
  4. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Apr 10, 2015

    I don't know if this is possible, but when I came to my current school, the PE teacher had a box of old shoes. And if you didn't bring your tennis shoes, she would let you borrow a pair of hers. When I took over, I threw them all away, because personally, I didn't like the idea of kids sharing shoes. You can take them home and wash them but it still seemed icky to me. If you could slowly build a set of tennis shows and use marker to mark that they are your property and put the sizes on them. And get a package of socks and mark on them. Then at the end of the week, you can take the dirty socks and shoes home and wash them.

    I was at a head start school with PreK students for a while and that was eye opening to see 4-5 year olds with sandals and no coat when it was freezing outside. I don't think they had those items.

    I did student teach at the high school level in a girls phys ed class. If you dressed out and participated you received a high grade for that day. If you didn't dress out but participated, you received a passing grade for the day, and if you didn't dress out or participate you received a failing grade for the day. So at least if the kid didn't have gym clothes but was still willing to play, they could get partial credit.

    I am curious as to what you do with such a small group? My classes have been anywhere from 40-70 kids.

    I remember my high school girls LOVED floor hockey. You didn't have to be super athletic or have specific sport skills to play.
     
  5. PatTm

    PatTm Rookie

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    Apr 16, 2015

    I've made all sorts of shoes clothes and other things available. Works with kids who want to participate. Small group makes it hard to have a real good lesson. Catch 22, is having a large class with my school's students would require more teachers (its just me) or support staff (we have none) just to prevent some serious problems.

    That's a whole new problem, administration's discipline management philosophy is comically bad. Tried the parent involvement route and still employ it, but no real measurable success. Maybe 25% of the parents are truly engaged and those students are great. Another 15-20% care some if its a core class (Failing PE grade goes on record, doesn't effect overall GPA or grade level promotion at years end). The remaining 55-60% have been either no help or a hindrance.


     
  6. Agold

    Agold New Member

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    Oct 30, 2015

    I'll be following this as well. I also work at a low income school. My classes are the opposite though. Mine range from 55-70 students. A large percentage of my students' parents do not speak English. We are 98% Hispanic (most of whom are from Mexico). I constantly struggle with getting them motivated to participate. I do use incentives such as run passes, but there is a lot of push back from the students. I have a class of 61 with the class average of a "D" . Ugh.
     

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