Promoting Leadership in Physical Education and Recreation

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Dora is a third grader who is deaf. She is very athletic and greatly enjoys participating in physical education. Her physical education teacher, Ms. Schedlin, noticed that after instruction for each activity, Dora waited 10 to 20 seconds to initiate her movement skill. When Ms. Schedlin asked about her hesitation, she said that she just wanted to watch her classmates so she would knew what to do and follow them. This made sense to Ms. Schedlin because even though Dora had an interpreter, Dora did not always know exactly what she was expected to do. A few weeks later, Ms. Schedlin realized that she never asked Dora to demonstrate, that Dora never asked to be a captain, and that Dora seemed to expect to follow her peers all the time. Ms. Schedlin became concerned and discussed this with Dora’s classroom teacher, who said she had observed the same behavior. They decided to work together to ensure that Dora gained some leadership experience. With some encouragement from Ms. Schedlin, Dora led her class in stretching, helped with attendance once a month, and became a squad leader for the obstacle course unit. Both teachers noticed that she started to initiate games at recess and that she did not always wait to start her movement activities in class.


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