‘My best lesson’ is one that I feel demonstrates the reality of Physical Education and involves several situations that I am sure every teacher has experienced at some time or another. The lesson was for a third year elective basketball class, and, as a student, I spent quite a lot of time meticulously planning the ins and outs of the entire lesson.
The lesson involved isolating the different stages of the lay-up through a gradual build up based approach. This is where the first situation arose that I am sure will be familiar to most PE teachers throughout the country – 5 minutes before the lesson was due to start, I was informed that Higher pupils had swapped from a theory lesson to practical therefore needed the games hall; and my class had to go outside onto the concrete with no baskets- lesson plan out the window!
After a few minutes of panic, I dug out an old TGFU lesson I had delivered from a previous placement, and decided to use this as the basis of my lesson. The content of this lesson was ‘borrowed’ from a fellow practitioner that I had observed and really liked their approach.. This is another situation I am sure all PE teachers have experienced, and sharing resources is an area I have become more and more passionate about as I have gained experience.
As a student, sharing resources is incredibly important, especially as I was still trying to learn ‘how to teach’, as well as ‘what to teach’. Straight away, the pupils were involved and engaged in the lesson, as they believed they were just ‘playing games’. As such, when it came to discussions and my teaching, the pupils were far more engaged than when doing isolated skill practices, as they could really see the relevance of the discussions for their games play and their team. As a result, this lesson guided my future practice as I now tend to teach this type of lesson much earlier in a block/activity, in order to engage pupils so that they buy into the skill development practices delivered later in the block, as it will improve their overall game play.
So in summary, the ‘best lesson’ I have delivered wasn’t the one I planned for, and wasn’t original, creative ideas I had thought of myself. That said, the learning experience for the pupils was of high quality, and the reflection has impacted on my current and future practice, which, for me, is what PE teaching is all about.
This article was written while Harry was a PGDE Student at the University of Strathclyde, and on placement at Chryston High. He is currently in his NQT year at Bannerman High School.