Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Portfolio Showcase Spring '09 at SUNY Cortland

Photos taken by Dr. Stephen Yang, Christopher Euler, and Andrew Bretsch

On Monday, May 4, 2009, the PE Department at SUNY Cortland hosted its Spring '09 Portfolio Showcase, putting on display the best professional portfolios of all Senior PE Majors. The showcase was at Poolside in Park Center from 3p-4p and guests, including myself, had the opportunity to view all of these outstanding portfolios and ask questions to the Seniors being honored. Because I am taking all of the required PE classes in only 2 semesters, I have only next semester to complete my portfolio. As such, I viewed the Showcase as a great chance to see what I will need to do in the coming months to create an excellent portfolio. I also knew some of the students being honored, so it was great to be able to congratulate them on all of their hard work.

There were approximately 25 portfolios on display, but being that it took me at least 5-10 minutes to view each portfolio and speak with its creator, I only saw about 7 of them. The creators of these 7 outstanding portfolios were Mallory Cogen, Caitlin Gruschow, Jonathan Billings, Kevin Tripp, Richard Rolo, John Fesetch, and Alicia Thomas. All of them were very helpful in answering questions and offering advice regarding the process of putting the portfolio together (I think one of the many great things about the PE Program here at SUNY Cortland is the willingness of students to lend a helping hand). The biggest piece of advice that I heard from almost every student was to save all work you've completed, a hard copy and electronic copy, and then back it up twice. They also said it was helpful to keep your work organized on your computer by semester and by class (which I thankfully already do), and to save all letters you receive from the school regarding achievements such as Dean's List, Honor Societies, etc.

In terms of presentation, I've seen poor quality portfolios in the past that were unorganized with cheap dividers and without plastic protective sheets reinforcing each page. All of the portfolios being showcased on Monday were neat, professional-looking, and well organized. In addition, there was something about each student's portfolio that really stood out when viewing. For example, Kevin Tripp's resume, in addition to being packed with extracurricular activities and related experiences, had a red border and bright Cortland logo on it that was eye-catching. He also had pictures, programs, and his name tag from the 2009 National AAHPERD Conference as an artifact. Caitlin Cruschow color-coordinated the artifacts in each of her NASPE Learning Standards sections that really made it easy to navigate through. Jonathan Billings spent what I imagine to be countless hours editing pictures to make his portfolio stand out amongst his peers. Each of the students did an incredible job and I hope to follow in their footsteps next semester.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Infusing Spanish into PE Workshop

On Tuesday, April 27, 2009, I attended a workshop run by Dr. Columna and several undergraduate PE Majors on the topic of infusing Spanish into PE. Each year, the Spanish-speaking population in America continues to increase. As future physical educators, we should know how to effectively communicate with Spanish-speaking students to ensure that they are receiving the same quality of physical education as English-speaking students.

The workshop lasted for approximately an hour and a half. Dr. Martinez, a Cortland faculty member in the Spanish Department, reviewed the pronunciation of Spanish vowels with the approximately 50 of us who attended the workshop. Dr. Columna and undergraduate PE majors then led us through about seven different activities. In each activity, we learned a few key words and phrases in Spanish that can be used to communicate with Spanish-speaking students.

I thought that the workshop was extremely helpful. Although I took a semester of Spanish here at Cortland, the workshop acted as a good refresher. In addition, I learned some fun and interesting games to incorporate into future planning, as well as ways to infuse Spanish into future classes. I think it is extremely important for PE teachers to learn how to effectively communicate with ALL of their students. I would like to attend future workshops on how to communicate with students with special needs and am excited about taking Adapted PE next semester.