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Field Experience Part III

Zach Zimmer

National University
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For the field experience I went to observe both a special education class and physical

education class and note the similarities and differences in classroom management styles. I

observed Mr. Steve Kidd in his RSP, resource specialist program, class and Coach Adam Wall in

his general education PE class on Monday the 29th of April. Both teachers work at Buchanan

High School in Clovis Unified School District. Both of the classes had a wide variety of students

ranging from freshman to seniors. Buchanan High School is located at 1560 N Minnewawa Ave,

Clovis, CA 93619 and can be contacted at (559) 327-3000. Mr. Kidd can be reached at and Coach Wall can be contacted at
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For the field experience I had the distinct opportunity to observe Mr. Kidd, a RSP teacher

at Buchanan High School, and Coach Wall, a PE teacher at Buchanan High School. Mr. Kidd’s

class consisted of 10 students, all on IEP plans. Mr. Kidd started off the class by electing one of

the students to collect the DHI’s and homework that was due, as is routine. After collecting

assignments Mr. Kidd transitioned into the sexual education unit. Mr. Kidd took the time out of

the lesson to let the female students in his class know that if they ever felt uncomfortable

discussing some of the material with him or the other boys in the class to let him know and he

would make accommodations to have a female teacher come in and discuss the unit with them

personally. During the lecture the class talked about the different sexual hormones that males

and females carry, some of the changes that can be expected from puberty, and what ages they

can expect these changes to begin. After lecturing for about 20 minutes the class ended the

period by transitioning into their tranquility walk. The tranquility walk is the time for the class

to get up and walk around the amphitheater for a change of scenery, and simply stretch their legs

or go to the bathroom. It was at this time Mr. Kidd was able to answer the interview questions.

While talking to Mr. Kidd about his take on classroom management he explained he runs his

classroom with only one rule in mind, absolutely no put downs. This rule was implemented due

to the fact that a lot of these students come from pasts where they were picked on for their

differences. Mr. Kidd strives to implement a class that every student feels safe to be themselves.

While interviewing Mr. Kidd he made it apparent that one of the behavioral issues that he faces

in his class stems from the social hierarchy that inevitably occurs. In Mr. Kidd’s class these

students often spend 90% if not all day with him and the rest of the students. The problems that

arise from this are certain students may begin to pick on or downright bully other students in the

classroom. Mr. Kidd does his best to stop this behaviour in its tracks. He does this by treating
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every student equally and openly appreciating each individual for who they are. Wrapping up

the interview Mr. Kidd gave some great advice for new teachers trying to implement their own

classroom management. Be fair, be consistent, leave your ego at the door everyday, and be

flexible with your students.

When observing Coach Wall’s class the first thing I noted was how well the class ran

based on the routines Coach Wall had implemented. As Wong states,(2018) “Start each class or

day with a routine in place so that learning can begin the first minute of the school day. The bell

does not begin the class. The teacher does not begin the class. The students begin the class on

their own by doing their routine.”(p.61) Every day the class sits in front of the east gym in roll

call order waiting for Coach Wall. After roll call the class entered the west gym to perform their

daily warm-ups. The class already knew when entering the gym to get into six even lines. It was

evident right away that Coach Wall spent a lot of time with his class teaching them how to

transition to a new area, how he expects them to be in roll call at the beginning of a period, and

how warm-ups would go. This helps cut down on students being off-task, and in turn behavioral

problems in the classroom. After the class completed the plethora of warm-ups they went out to

the track to complete the fitness section. Since the class was in-between units Coach Wall eased

up on the fitness and had his class simply walk and snake the entire stadium. After snaking the

stadium it was time for the class to head in and dress out for next period. After class I had the

opportunity to interview Coach Wall and get his insight on class management in PE. I learned

about the importance of establishing a routine with your class from day one. Coach Wall also

stressed the importance of establishing clear class rules. Dressing in proper athletic attire, no

rough housing, and treating classmates with respect, to name a few. He also stressed the
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importance of planning for your transitions from one activity to the next. Finally he explained

the need to be consistent with consequences and to make sure to follow through.

Getting the opportunity to compare and contrast a special education and general

education classroom is not something you get to do every day. The most evident similarity

between the two classrooms is establishing clear rules. While Mr. Kidd had seemingly only one

rule compared to Coach Wall’s many they both stressed the importance of establishing these

rules to your students and making sure they don't only understand these rules but also the

consequences that come with them. One huge difference that I noted, as a future PE teacher,

amongst the two teachers classroom management plans is necessity to plan for transitions. PE

classes will be constantly transitioning from one setting to another; football field to the gym,

tennis courts to the wrestling room, etc. As a PE teacher it is drastically important to plan around

these transitions. Wong states,(2018) “When a class of students can make these transitions

seamlessly, more time can be spent working and learning.”(p.147) Not only what area you will

be going between, but how you will monitor them, how you expect them to enter a new area,

what rules you will incorporate when entering and leaving an area, and so much more.

Mr. Kidd and Coach Wall are both phenomenal teachers who both had great advice for

me as an aspiring teacher. One thing they both agreed upon was the need to have a hobby

outside your teaching job. They both talked about while it is important to be passionate about

teaching it should not be your life. Making the job your life is a very easy way to get burned out

at a young age and not make it past five years. One difference in advice came from something

that Coach Wall preached to me. In PE we are constantly motivating kids and trying to introduce

them to a wide range of physical activities in the hopes they will take these and live a long,

physically active life. Since we are trying to turn kids on to physical activity it is important that
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we as physical educators exercise outside of our jobs. It is as they say, “Practice what you


As a teacher you are bound to face behavioral issues, whether you teach special education

or physical education. Grube states,(2018) “Invariably, students will have conflict during a

physical education class. For all conflicts, short of a physical altercation, a simple strategy to

make the students solve the problem serves the teacher and the students of the class best.” (p.51-

52) Mr. Kidd and Coach Wall both explained that one of the common behavioral issues they see

in their classes is bullying or teasing. Both teachers agreed that the best method for dealing with

this behavioral issue is the use of conflict-resolution. Often times bringing together the victim

and bully to hash out their issues is the best course of action. The biggest difference I heard was

the issue of dressing out in PE. This behavioral issue is unique to PE. Coach Wall explained to

me that while the student’s grade will drop and most students will correct their behavior some

will simply continue not dressing out. To handle this Coach explained he typically gives the

student a warning first, then refers them to student services for a lunch detention, then finally

calling home to discuss with parents the best method for the student to start dressing out

consistently. As a future PE teacher I will inevitably have to deal with behavioral issues such as

non dresses. When dealing with behavioral issues I plan to first pull the student away from the

rest of the class and discuss with the student what the best course of action is moving forward.

For instance, if a student is continuing to not dress out in PE I would pull the student aside and

first make sure they have the PE clothes that are required. If the student has access to the clothes

then discuss why it is important to be in athletic attire for PE. Finally, if student continues the

behavior call home to parents and explain to them that everyday the student is not dressing out

that they are losing points.

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Both observations gave a wealth of knowledge when it came to classroom management.

I learned how to be flexible and create a safe environment from Mr. Kidd. And I learned the

importance of establishing clear rules and routines with your class to help it run smoothly from

Coach Wall. All said and done, I plan to blend all the advice that Mr. Kidd and Coach Wall gave

me to establish a great classroom environment that every student feels safe to be themselves.
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Grube, D., Ryan, S., Stringer, A., & Lowell, S. (2018, October). Effective Classroom

Management in Physical Education: Strategies for Beginning Teachers. Retrieved May 2,

2019, from


Wong, H. K., Wong, R. T., Jondahl, S. F., & Ferguson, O. F. (2018). The classroom management

book. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications.