Rick Mortenson’s Experiences Teaching a Kindergarten PE Class

For the past couple months, I have assisted Derek Reid and Andrew Domanico in teaching their Kindergarten physical education class once a week.  I helped Derek and Andrew with a number of tasks, whether it was setting up equipment, instructing the kids, or simply doing whatever they needed.  At the beginning of my time working with this class, I noticed that perhaps the kids were a bit timid or intimidated by me.  However, I cannot really blame me for this, as they had never seen me before and were a good two feet shorter than me.  Heck, I too would have been taken aback by a towering giant entering my class out of no where.  However, as I began interact and play with these kids more and more, they gradually became more comfortable around me.  I played in their games, did similar activities, and talked with them, just like another kindergartener would do, and really enjoyed myself.  They soon began to realize that I really was not a whole lot different than themselves.  I would often times be the subject of their laughter as Derek or Andrew cracked a witty joke or one of their classmates got me in a game of tag.  Thus, when I instructed them how to throw properly or hold a baseball bat, the dynamics were different from one of the actual teachers giving them instruction.  While they still respected me and recognized that I was older, they thought of me as just another big kid  in their class, which allowed me to really enhance their physical education experience.

While it was my duty to instruct and teach these children, in reality they were really teaching me.  From these experiences, I have become cognizant of the true value of interacting and being in the lives of those who are younger than yourself.  It allows you to not only set an example of how one should behave or act in life, but it helps to knock down the barrier between  those who are younger and older.  While the difference in age might be large, what is inside these two groups of people really is very largely similar.

One thought on “Rick Mortenson’s Experiences Teaching a Kindergarten PE Class

  1. Rick, I loved reading this. What a wonderful description of the time you spent helping the PE class. I could just picture it so well from how you explain the interactions and attitudes. Having an older student as a role model is very important to young children. These students will not forget that gentle giant who helped them out in their Kindergarten gym class.

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