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Practice Described:
On Friday the 6th of May, during periods 5 and 6, I taught a year 7
physical education class, based on combining fundamental motor
skills into team games. This year 7 class was one of my weekly
classes that I had been teaching throughout my first placement
block, and they had requested we play a game called team number
soccer from the previous week under the circumstances that they
worked efficiently through the set content from today. I agreed to
this as the group works well with an incentive, so within the last
twenty minutes of the double the students begun setting up the
game. As they were doing so, I circled the class and numbered
everyone into either team 1 or team 2, making sure the teams were
different from the previous week.
Throughout this double period Student A was showing a lack of care
and participation towards the activities and continuously making
inappropriate comments based of his thoughts towards todays
lesson. My mentor had twice pulled Student A aside from the group
and politely asked to try and contribute more energy into the set
activities. As the class came to an end and the students were
beginning to pack up the equipment, I asked Student A to collect the
cones as he replied with No! Youre not my teacher! Being in
charge of this class I replied to Student A with Yes I am, so please
come back and join the class as you are told. After Student A
continued to express his feelings and verbalise his thoughts under
his breathe, he walked off in anger and would not return when I
asked him to come back to the class. My mentor chased after
Student A as I stayed with the class and continued to pack up the
equipment. After the end of school bell went, my mentor and I had a
chat about what happened in the situation with Student A.
Case Commentary:

This case was discussed with my mentor, the school councilor and a
peer preservice teacher. All three audiences stated the situation was
not bias and there was no one to blame. The main statement was
that my initial reaction should not have been to become personally
attached and blame myself for what I thought was a failure to teach.
When my peer PST (pre-service teacher) explained that as an initial
reaction in a situation like that, they would have done the same, this
made me feel comforted and accepting of my decision. Although, to
hear from experienced teachers that this situation is to be expected
and this may happen several more times with students going
through adolescence, this put me back in the unknown and made
me question my ability as a teacher.
Practice Explained:
This situation really shocked me and I left the class feeling confused
and unsuccessful in my teaching as I believed I had created a good
rapport with Student A, and I did not understand why he became
aggressive towards me during this class and escalated the way it
did. After the bell had gone my mentor and I met in the office and
had a discussion around why this situation occurred. I expressed to
my teacher that Student A made me quite frustrated, as I did not
understand why he was reaction to me the way that he did. My
mentor listened to how this situation made me feel and suggested
that I do not let students behaviours get to me so quickly, and learn
to control my emotions when teaching. I understood her advice
more after she explained to me that Student A had lost his mother
to cancer in the previous week and was acting up in classes lately as
a result of this. Student A was expressing to teachers that he was
fine and did not need to stay home but when he was in class he was
making bad decisions and taking his anger out in unordinary ways.
Although during this situation I felt like I had failed as a teacher
when one of my students left the class against my word, I now
understand that some situations are out of my control and the

actions Student A was displaying was not as result of my teaching.

My mentor gave good advice on this situation and expressed that
situations like this will continue to happen with students going
through adolescence and the best way to deal with it is to figure out
the underlying factors before taking it personally.
My mentor had a meeting with the school councilor shortly after
class, who had been seeing Student A this week. My mentor also
followed up with myself the following week to touch base on how I
was feeling now about the situation.
Practice Theorised:
According to Maslow (as cited by McLeod 2016) in Maslows
Hierarchy of Needs, in order to achieve the highest level of selfactualization, individuals need to master all other levels first. In this
instance, I see a lack of safety and security from Student A.
Resulting from the loss of his mother; I believe he is feeling fear and
lack of stability in his life. As he is still at level 2 of the hierarchy, all
other levels are also being affected and cannot be addressed until
level 2 is overcome. In level 3 the feeling of love and belonging has
been affected. This includes intimacy with his mother, feeling loved
and having loss of an important family member. This continues up
the hierarchy meaning Student A cannot reach self-actualization and
realizing his personal potential until he overcomes the battles he is
currently facing.
Student A has been offered ongoing support from the school
councilor to overcome these battles and make progress on reaching
happiness and growth. The school has been supporting Student A
since his loss and there have been noticeable improvements in his
behaviours over time. I believe that Maslows Hierarchy of Needs if a
great indication of how a student perceives themselves as a result
of their feelings and actions, whether it be involving an issue at
school or an external environment issue.

Practice Change:
This situation was a big learning curve for me. I found that in these
circumstances I took it very personally and blamed myself for the
way Student A was behaving in this class. After learning more about
Student A, I was able to step back and properly analyze the
situation. This left me finding ways that I can help the student rather
than initially reacting in a defensive and protective manner, rather
than investigating the situation further to begin with.
My mentor and I included this on my communication protocol under
goals and strategies I needed to focus on. We stated that I needed
to investigate and understand areas that students can go to for
help, especially leading up to the second placement block when I
would be teaching sensitive topics such as health. I can say with
confidence that I have implemented this strategy into place during
the second placement block and found I have initially been less
emotionally attached to situations, which gives me time to
investigate the problem and act accordingly.


McLeod, S 2016, Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, Simply

Psychology, viewed 29th August 2016,