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Qualitative Analysis of the Occupational Longevity of a Late-Career Adapted Physical Educator


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QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE OCCUPATIONAL LONGEVITY OF A LATE-CAREER ADAPTED PHYSICAL EDUCATOR By JONATHAN MICHAEL RICHARDS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN EXERCISE AND SPORT SCIENCES UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by Jonathan Michael Richards

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This thesis is dedicated to my family, who has never gone a day without supporting me. Also, this thesis is dedicated to all my friends present, past and, beyond.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are several individuals I would like to acknowledge and thank for their great support throughout my career as a student. First, I would like to thank my chair (Dr. Todorovich) for his continuing commitment, encouragement, and patience with this project and throughout my graduate studies. I appreciate his complete support. Next, I would like to thank Dr. Stopka my professor and mentor since 1998. She is truly the reason why I am completing a masters degree with a specialization involving individuals with disabilities. I would also like to thank Dr. Fleming for his continuing support and great insights. Lastly, words of encouragement from my girlfriend helped me tremendously in completing this project. I am grateful to all of these people. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv ABSTRACT......................................................................................................................vii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Qualitative Rationale....................................................................................................2 Purpose of the Study.....................................................................................................3 Definitions....................................................................................................................3 Limitations....................................................................................................................4 Assumptions.................................................................................................................4 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................4 Personal Interest............................................................................................................5 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.......................................................................................6 Socialization.................................................................................................................6 Defining Teacher Socialization.............................................................................7 Pre-Service Training..............................................................................................8 Adapted Physical Education.......................................................................................13 Life History Approach................................................................................................16 3 METHODS.................................................................................................................19 Participant...................................................................................................................19 Procedure....................................................................................................................20 Interview Procedures...........................................................................................21 Data Preparation and Analytical Procedures.......................................................25 Issues of Trustworthiness....................................................................................27 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................29 Interviews and Observations.......................................................................................29 First Formal Interview.........................................................................................29 Second Formal Interview....................................................................................30 Third Formal Interview.......................................................................................31 v

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Daily Observations and Informal Interviews......................................................32 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................36 For the Love of Kids and the Career..........................................................................36 Liking Special Populations..................................................................................37 A Career Meant for Life......................................................................................38 Growing Up to Having a Family................................................................................45 When She Was a Child........................................................................................46 Family and Personal Life.....................................................................................50 Of All the Hard Settings.............................................................................................58 What Support! What Innovation!...............................................................................65 Great Support.......................................................................................................65 Innovation with Motivation.................................................................................71 6 CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................80 First Research Question..............................................................................................80 Second Research Question.........................................................................................81 Third Research Question............................................................................................81 Fourth Research Question...........................................................................................81 Fifth Research Question.............................................................................................82 Application.................................................................................................................82 APPENDIX A OUTLINE OF FIRST FORMAL INTERVIEW........................................................84 B OUTLINE OF SECOND FORMAL INTERVIEW...................................................86 C THEMES, SUBTHEMES, AND CATEGORIES......................................................90 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................92 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................97 vi

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science In Exercise And Sport Sciences. QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE OCCUPATIONAL LONGEVITY OF A LATE-CAREER ADAPTED PHYSICAL EDUCATOR By Jonathan Michael Richards August 2004 Chair: John Todorovich Major Department: Health Education and Behavior According to recent research, physical educators have a high burnout rate while teaching physical education. It is also known that when physical education involves the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, more difficulties (along with fear) arise for many. Although research has been completed on assisting physical educators with teaching methods for individuals with disabilities, research has yet to be completed examining how special physical educators resist burnout. Most of the research completed on the issue has focused on the negative reasons for burning out. This studys intentions are to display the positive reasons of why a special physical education teacher is still teaching after 22 years of employment. Once presented, the findings may be transferable to help develop environments conducive to regular physical education teachers. A single case study, along with a life history approach, was the basis for the present study. Four themes, consistent within the data, were analyzed and discussed using vii

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qualitative methods. The discussion reveals how the participant remains innovative and motivated during the course of her career. Also, the discussion illustrates the participants lifelong passion to work with individuals with disabilities. Conclusions specifically answer the following research questions: Why does the participant continue teaching after a long career? Why has the participant not burned out, as many others in the field quickly do? What motivates the participant to teach children with disabilities? How does the participant handle difficult situations in the classroom? How does the participant cope with personal stressors while at work? Results showed the following: the participant has a passion for working with individuals with disabilities; the participant knew from an early age that she wanted to be a physical educator working with individuals with disabilities; the participant separates her work from her home life; the participant has a large network of support; and the participant maintains variety in her job settings. It is noted that generalizations cannot be made. viii

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Research on teaching in physical education (RTPE) has significantly improved how teachers teach physical education. This type of research has been conducted in a variety of ways. In 1977, Locke completed a study titled Research on Teaching Physical Education: New Hope for a Dismal Science. In the article, Locke expressed his belief that researchers in the field of teaching physical education needed some help to put more meaning into their research. Locke pointed out that many articles published at the time were written more for researchers and graduate students to get to the next level (e.g., graduate, tenure, promotion) than to improve teaching. Once published, the research often ended. Thus, studies were completed only at a one-dimensional level, and replication or strong lines of research were not developed. Therefore, Locke (1977) called for stronger research on teaching in physical education (with replicated studies and clear research lines). Seemingly in response to this need, Silverman (1991) published an article titled Research on Teaching Physical Education indicating that research on teaching physical education had flourished. Silverman suggested that current research was better and more effective in helping physical education teachers teach than the research presented in Lockes 1977 article. Furthermore, Silverman argued that research completed by 1991 included streams of research that should continue to be explored. The acceptance of new research paradigms and methods (i.e., qualitative research) has resulted in much-improved studies and research outcomes. 1

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2 Qualitative Rationale Since the study by Silverman (1991), qualitative research has become accepted as valid and important research. Thus, researchers have widely implemented qualitative methods into their designs. Indeed, many new researchers in the physical education area are trained in the qualitative paradigm. When conducting qualitative research, researchers complete studies within natural settings and environments where they originate. Patton (2002) explains that qualitative researchers do not manipulate the settings or people studied; therefore, the research is conducted in the natural sense. In addition, there are no predetermined outcomes, results, or hypotheses made before a study begins. A qualitative study follows its natural course and conclusions emerge from the truest sense, with the data collected. Researchers sometimes find a specific case or a single person that appeals to them in regard to their unique characteristics. If intrigued enough, the qualitative researcher proposes a question about the subject (participant). With enough motives, the researcher will conduct a qualitative analysis and the subject will become a single case study. The present study is a qualitative case study design. This qualitative study includes a single case study design, and a sampling strategy referred to as Extreme or Deviant case sampling (Patton, 2002). Patton describes extreme or deviant cases as a strategy that involves selecting cases that are information rich because they are unusual or special in some way, such as outstanding successes or notable failures (Patton, 2002, p.231). Using extreme or deviant case sampling (Patton, 2002), I investigated the outstanding successes of an experienced adapted physical educator. Since the sample size of the study includes only one participant, generalizations have not been made beyond the scope of the study. Rather, findings may transfer and influence similar situations.

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3 Purpose of the Study My purpose was to examine an individual case study of a successful and unique late-career adapted physical education teacher. The following research questions have been addressed using qualitative research methods. Why does the participant continue teaching after a long career? Why has the participant not burned out, as many others in the field quickly do? What motivates the participant to teach children with disabilities? How does the participant handle difficult situations in the classroom? How does the participant cope with personal stressors while at work? Definitions Extreme or deviant case sampling : A strategy that involves selecting cases that are information rich because they are unusual or special in some way, such as outstanding successes or notable failures (Patton, 2002, p.231). Grounded theory : Strauss and Corbins meaning behind grounded theory is to build theory rather than test theory, provide researchers with analytical tools for handling masses of raw data, consider alternative meanings of phenomenon, for a researcher to be systematic and creative simultaneously, and it clarifies the concepts that are the building blocks of theory (1998, p. 13). In-service teacher socialization : Primarily concerned with the influence of the school setting and related education agencies (Templin & Schempp, 1989). Life History Approach : A process to explore the socialization amongst an individual and his/her surrounding environments over ones life history of teaching. Pre-service teacher socialization : Any preparation before being a teacher; primarily concerned with recruitment into teaching and professional preparation (Templin & Schempp, 1989). Recruitment phase : Consists of the 12-15 years of an individuals life before any college teacher education courses have been taken (Hutchinson, 1993). Socialization : the process by which people selectively acquire the values and attitudes, interests, skills and knowledge in short, the culture-current in groups to which they are, or seek to become, a member (Merton, Reader, & Kendall, 1957, p. 278). Teacher socialization : The domain where individuals who work as teachers become a collaborating member in their society of teachers (Danziger, 1971).

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4 Successful physical education teacher : Evidenced when students show increased learning outcome, through exercises or drills, taught by the teacher. Limitations Since the sample size of the study includes only one participant, generalizations have not been made beyond the scope of the study. Rather, findings may transfer and influence similar situations. The personal relationship between the participant and the researcher had the potential to bias the study. Data collection depended on the operation of the audio taping equipment and the researcher writing the occurrences in the observations. Assumptions The researcher and participant had an open relationship during the study. The participant was truthful. The methodology used in the study did answer the research questions. Significance of the Study Teaching adapted physical education is a profession faced by many challenges that negatively influence teacher retention and career length (Templin, Sparkes, Grant, & Schempp, 1994). Unfortunately, there are few successful and innovative late-career adapted physical education teachers. Because it is a goal of teacher educators to prepare teachers for long teaching careers, it is important to understand the processes that help to assist teachers in maintaining their enthusiasm and love of teaching. A study done by Fejgin, Ephraty, and Ben-Sira (1995) shows that burn out rates for physical educators are high. If researchers can discover factors that may influence the burn out rate, then physical educators will prosper, and so will the children being taught. This study is significant because it provides insight into the factors that influenced the career history of a late-career, innovative, and successful adapted physical education teacher. Thus, the potential exists for using the findings from this research to begin

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5 learning how to influence the career of pre-service and early career adapted physical education teachers. Personal Interest I have personal interest in completing this study because once I complete my education I will be a Certified Adapted Physical Educator (CAPE). While enrolled, I was involved in many adapted physical education programs. In some instances, I see the need for change. Some teachers are highly motivated and very enthusiastic about teaching, while other teachers do not show the same motivation and enthusiasm. Perhaps there are hidden reasons that cause the lack of motivation and enthusiasm. Perhaps the reasons are not so hidden. The possibilities can involve the administration, funding, other faculty, or maybe the teacher is just burned out. In this study, I discovered the foundation involving one particular case that can be used as a model for other cases to improve teaching environments. Not only will other teachers be able to use this information for their careers, but so too, should I.

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE It is the purpose of this chapter to facilitate the researcher in becoming familiar with past research completed in the field of adapted physical education. In doing so, this review of literature will delve into several important areas that, after acknowledging, will help drive the present study. For that reason it is necessary to define and discuss the following areas: Teacher Socialization, Pre-service Training, Adapted Physical Education, and the Life History Approach. Components are reviewed in relation to teaching adapted and regular physical education. A review of these components reveals the theoretical perspective and background relative to the present study. Socialization Although one can look back into time to read Wallers 1932 classic study, The Sociology of Teaching, socialization studies involving teaching started to show up in the literature in the 1950s. Since then, its prevalence has increased significantly since then (Becker, 1952; Lortie, 1975; Tabachnik & Zeichner, 1985; Templin & Schempp, 1989; Wright & Tuska, 1968). Even so, socialization studies involving teaching physical education have evolved more slowly (Hutchinson, 1993; Lawson & Stroot, 1993; Stroot & Williamson, 1993; Templin & Schempp, 1989). Familiarity with socialization and reviewing studies conducted in physical education helps one to understand the role of socialization in influencing teacher practices. 6

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7 Defining Teacher Socialization Since socialization theory has existed for quite some time, many different definitions have emerged. Templin and Schempp state the following about Wenworths 1980 article: Definitions range from socialization as the moral obligation to uphold societal norms to socialization as a Freudian conception to socialization as a training phenomenon to socialization as learning whereby an individual moves into behavioral alignment with societal norms or the expectations of a given social system (1989, p. 2). In addition, teacher socialization is defined as the domain where individuals who work as teachers become a collaborating member in their society of teachers (Danziger, 1971). Whereas Merton, Reader, & Kendall define socialization as the process by which people selectively acquire the values and attitudes, the interests, skills and knowledge-in short, the culture-current in groups to which they are, or seek to become, a member (1957, p. 278). Dewar argues, Becoming socialized involves more than learning the appropriate scripts, it is an active process whereby individuals negotiate not only what they learn but how they interpret what is necessary to be a successfully socialized teacher (Templin & Schempp, 1989, p. 3). The rationale is the individual (teacher) takes an active part of his or her own life, in society. The individual then decides how to create a successful level of socialization at school, while teaching. The opposite of this, a functionalist type of framework, such as what Wenworth uses, says individuals are products of society; that is, historical social structures (1980, p.2). As one can see there are different points of views within the socialization context. However, both points of view agree that socialization involves people in society in all aspects of their lives. Furthermore, it is a process in which an individual either affects, or is affected by the environment that surrounds them.

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8 Pre-Service Training Presently, many studies have been completed on pre-service physical education training (Behets, 2001; Doolittle, Dodds, & Placek, 1993; Graber, 1989, 1993; Hardy, 1999; Karp & Williamson, 1993; Mitchell, 1993; Solman & Ashey, 1995; Stroot & Williamson, 1993). Preservice socialization processes are primarily concerned with recruitment into teaching and professional preparation (Templin & Schempp, 1989). Templin and Schempp further explain that pre-service socialization represents important socializing experiences that occur before one actually enters the service of teaching (1989, p.4). The two are important to understand because they will assist with the identification of the processes in which the participant was exposed before she decided to be a teacher. Later in this review, the Life History Approach will be discussed. Understanding pre-service processes, and with the use of the Life History Approach, the researcher will have a solid foundation for developing questions to probe the participant throughout the study. Recruitment Phase. Within the teacher socialization context, is the recruitment phase of physical education teachers. The recruitment phase consists of the 12-15 years of an individuals life before any college teacher education courses have been taken. This is the time when all of the knowledge, values, attitudes, beliefs, skills, and interests of the individuals evolve (Hutchinson, 1993, p.344). These evolutions come from personal experiences within sport and physical education (Dewar, 1983; Doolittle, et al., 1993; Pooley, 1972). Lorties (1975) research explains five themes that captivate individuals toward the realm of teaching: Interpersonal : The passion for working with youth. Service : Wanting to make contributions to society by working with youth.

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9 Continuation : Needing to work in an environment that is comfortable and familiar, such as school settings. Time compatibility: Wanting many holidays along with extensive vacations in the summer. Material benefits : Needing money and job security. It has been known for some time that the recruitment phase of teacher socialization depends on past experiences of pre-service and experienced physical educators (Dewar, 1983; Doolittle, et al., 1993; Hutchinson, 1993; Lortie, 1975; Pooley, 1972). In so, Hutchinson (1993) and Doolittle et al. (1993) proposed, It is unclear how this information has been influenced by individuals experiences during formal teacher training and teaching in schools (Hutchinson, 1993, p. 344). Therefore, in 1993 Hutchinson completed a study that researched the perspectives that prospective physical educators have about the physical education teacher role prior to entering college teacher training programs (p. 344). Ten high school students, who showed interest in pursuing a career in teaching physical education, participated in the study. Hutchinsons findings were that the group had three common speculations about physical education: (a) physical education provides sports and athletic participation, (b) having fun in physical education is a goal, and (c) anyone, with enough determination, can successfully complete a skill. She describes them as having narrow perspectives on teaching physical education (p. 353). Furthermore, she discusses: If the perspectives of teaching held by these would be teachers cannot be expanded and improved through teacher training, they will emerge as physical educators who (a) continue to uphold the attitude that physical education accommodates athletics, (b) remain bound to a custodial orientation, (c) endorse a shallow approach to curriculum, (d) perceive planning as unnecessary, and (e) regard student participation as student learning. Unchanged perspectives will potentially perpetuate a teaching force already stereotyped as rolling out the ball, particularly at the secondary level (Hutchinson, 1993, p. 353).

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10 This study and similar studies display that pre-service and in-service teaching programs play a vital role in the making of a good physical education teacher (Doolittle, et al., 1993; Hollingsworth, 1989). Pre-service Professionals. Pre-service professionals will now be discussed. A study conducted by Hardy (1999) concluded that pre-service teachers situate their emphasis on the gathering of experience with the realities of teaching, learned at the university they attended. While attending school, pre-service professionals have not gained significant experience working in the field. Therefore, their knowledge only comes from what they have learned in the classroom. A look into pre-service professionals attitudes is necessary in order to fully understand the effects that hands on experience has on physical education students. Recent research displays pre-service professional preparation should include hands on experience with individuals with disabilities. Moreover, with the use of the Physical Educators' Attitude Toward Teaching Individuals With Disabilities III (PEATTD-III) (Rizzo, 1993) studies display that the attitudes of pre-service professionals significantly change after participating with hands on experience (Folsom-Meek, Groteluschen, & Nering, 1996; Folsom-Meek, Nering, Groteluschen, & Krampf, 1999; Hodge, Davis, Woodard & Sherrill, 2002; Hodge & Jansma, 1997, 1999; Kowalski & Rizzo, 1996). The PEATTD-III survey (Rizzo, 1993) is an instrument that measures physical education professionals attitudes toward working with individuals with disabilities. In 2002, Folsom-Meek and Rizzo validated the PEATTD-III survey for future professionals. Results indicate three measurements, outcomes of teaching students with disabilities in

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11 regular classes, effects on student learning, and need for more academic preparation to teach students with disabilities (Folsom-Meek & Rizzo, 2002, p. 141). Hodge and Jansma (1997) studied students enrollment in introductory Adapted Physical Education (APE) courses that did, did not, require practicums. The study utilized the PEATTD-III survey for future professionals (Rizzo, 1993). Conclusions report, strong conformational evidence was shown for the effectiveness of introductory APE courses (p. 72). Furthermore, the study indicated introductory APE courses that required a semester long practicum had the highest rate of attitudinal change concerning pre-service professionals attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. A similar study completed by Folsom-Meek, Groteluschen, et al. (1996) had equal results to Hodge and Jansmas 1997 study. The study compared physical education majors and other academic majors attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. The PEATTD-III survey (Rizzo, 1993) was employed during the study. Findings display no significant difference between majors; however, significance was found between hands on experience versus no hands on experience. In addition, non physical education majors with hands on experience showed more favorable attitude toward individuals with disabilities rather than physical education majors with hands on experience. Finally, the study concluded, despite the major, hands on experience increases attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. Variations of the above studies, utilizing the PEATTD-III survey (Rizzo, 1993), have been completed to further validate the need of hands on experience for pre-service physical education professionals (Folsom-Meek, Nering, et al., 1999; Hodge, Davis, et al., 2002; Hodge & Jansma, 1999). In 1999, a study revealed non-physical education

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12 majors displayed more positive attitudes toward individuals with disabilities, women presented more of a positive attitude compared to men, and pre-professionals with hands on experience displayed more positive attitudes than pre-professionals without hands on experience (Folsom-Meek, Nering, et al.). The vast range of studies completed on the topic present the importance of pre-service training. Furthermore, the studies call for hands on experience in order to increase the attitudes of pre-professionals toward individuals with disabilities. Then, pre-professionals will move into the workforce prepared to work with individuals with disabilities (Maeda, Murate, & Hodge, 1997). Lastly, a study was completed on how states with licensing for adapted physical education has pre-service students with increased positive attitudes as a whole compared to states working toward licensure or without (Folsom-Meek, 1998). This study displays that with the proper education and hands on experience, attitudes of pre-service professionals will maintain a higher positive attitude toward working with individuals with disabilities than others without the appropriate education. In-service Professionals. Whereas pre-service teaching is concerned with situations before stepping into a classroom to teach, inservice teaching is primarily concerned with the influence of the school setting and related education agencies (Doolittle & Schwager, 1989; Templin & Schempp, 1989). Templin and Schempp further explain that in-service socialization represents socializing experiences that occur after one enters the teaching ranks (1989, p.4). Only after in-service professionals begin to gain experiences outside of the classroom settings, is when their knowledge-based education is put to the test. It is at this time when they begin to gain significant experiences influenced by school settings and education agencies.

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13 Adapted Physical Education This portion of the review will discuss studies involving adapted physical educators. The topics will discuss the need, the attitudes of regular versus adapted physical educators, and support versus lack of support from co-workers. It is not the intentions of this section to discuss what and how adapted physical educators teach, for it is assumed this is already known. Researching this section of literature will assist with understanding why the participant (in the present study) is a unique case in the field of physical education and adapted physical education. In 1999, a study completed on adapted physical education job openings for first and second priorities compared the years 1975-1976 and 1997-1998 (Zhang, Joseph & Horvat). The conclusions state that the field is a growing employment market. However, those who specialized in the field are encouraged to minor in other areas and those who specialize in other areas are encouraged to minor in adapted physical education. The reasoning is that the market shows adapted physical education second priority job openings are increasing more quickly rather than first priority job openings. This study displays that the need is high for professionals who are trained in adapted physical education, but the school systems may not make it a first priority to hire those specialized in the field. However, one who is specialized in other forms of teaching and also has little training in adapted physical education is more of a priority to hire. Another study completed on the need for adapted physical educators is presented. This study takes a different approach to presenting the need. The study used findings from a prior study that looked at a similar question. The prior studys findings were that 4% of United States schools required adapted physical education services and overall the adapted physical education student-teacher ratio was 104 students to every educator

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14 (Kelly & Gansneder, 1998). The findings of the later study revealed that the nationwide need for adapted physical educators is 22,116 additional educators (Zhang, Kelly, Berkey, Joseph, & Chen, 2000). The number given can be used to advocate for the need of trained adapted physical educators across the country and more specifically in local school communities. To understand how current educators feel toward working with individuals with disabilities, research on educators attitudes must be addressed. Recent studies concluded that current teachers feel they lack the education and experience to work with individuals with disabilities (LaMaster, Gall, Kinchin, & Siedentop, 1998; Russell, 1997). A study completed by Russell in 1997 asked teachers if they feel if they needed more training in adapted physical education. Of the returned surveys, 81% stated that they did need additional training. Another study completed in 1998 found similar results (LaMaster et al.). This study indicated that little support was given to Adapted Physical Educators while the educators feel they were not adequately prepared for teaching inclusive classes. Furthermore, the study states, These teachers had strong feelings of guilt and inadequacy as they continued to try to be effective for all children (p. 64). As indicated earlier in this review, research displays positive attitudes in teaching individuals with disabilities correlates with hands on experience and appropriate coursework at the pre-professional level (Folsom-Meek, Groteluschen, et al., 1996; Folsom-Meek, Nering, et al., 1999; Hodge, Davis, et al., 2002; Hodge & Jansma, 1997, 1999). A final discussion in adapted physical education literature will look at the support for adapted physical educators. Throughout the review of literature many studies describe different levels of support. Several studies display great support for their participants

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15 while others focused solely on lack of support. The following study was discovered and is utilized in this review to show how adapted physical educators may not even be asked to join a students Transitional Plan team (Krueger, DiRocco, & Felix, 2000). Looking into this study will assist the present study in that it will display different ways an adapted physical educator may not be supported. The study comprised of mailing a survey to Wisconsin adapted physical educators on the subject of Leisure Transition Plans (LTP). In the state of Wisconsin, there is a public law that mandates adapted physical educators to develop an LTP. The surveys return rate was 75%. The results show that of the 75% returned, only 21% of the adapted physical educators had developed an LTP. Astoundingly, 64% of the educators were never asked to be a part of the transition planning team. Therefore, one can assume that there is little support throughout the school system for the adapted physical educators. The assumptions include little support from the principals and co-workers of the schools, too. This study shows that in some cases such little support is given that adapted physical education teachers may not even be asked to join the students mandatory transition team, part of the nationally mandated Individual Transition Plan (ITP). On the other side lies an approach where school systems are asking adapted physical educators for consultation advice. Two studies have been researched on this issue. The first describes how adapted physical educators feel about providing consultation and also indicates the prevalence (Lytle, 1999). The results indicate that the need for adapted physical educators consultation is more prevalent at middle and high school levels. Also, the results state that consultation as a means of support to general physical educators is increasing through the nation. The surveyed participants concluded

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16 that the effectiveness of the consultation depended on the attitude of the general educator, the skills of the APE specialist, and the amount of administrative support given. A similar study was completed on the consultation of adapted physical educators (Lytle & Collier, 2002). This study expanded upon the first and had like results. The study concluded that the consultations effectiveness was also dependent upon the general educators attitude, like the first study. However, the study went further to explain that the consultants communication skills and competencies were also a factor regarding effective consultation. It shows that it takes both a good attitude from the general educator but also the consultant must be highly knowledgeable on how to assist. Life History Approach For many years, researchers have used a Life History Approach as a process of exploring the vitality of a single case study. During the last two decades, studies emerging with this approach have increased significantly (Ball & Goodson, 1985; Goodson, 1981, 1988; Naess, 1996; Sparkes, 1993; Sparkes & Templin, 1992; Sparkes, Templin, & Schempp, 1990, 1993; Templin, 1989; Templin, Sparkes, et al., 1994). In the past, researchers conducting single case studies mostly paid attention to factors that had negative impacts on the individual (Naess, 1996; Templin, 1989; Templin, Sparkes, et al., 1994; Sparkes, Templin, & Schempp, 1993). The studies focused on cases where the participants were in situations in the workplace that caused hardships in teacher socialization processes, and through those hardships, teaching itself. Such oppositions came from positions in the administration advocating for less physical education and more book teaching in the classroom, low funding for physical education programs, lack of support from other faculty and administration, personal conflicts of wanting to coach but having to teach physical education in order to do so, and other personal issues

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17 such as family problems, and issues dealing with sexual orientations (Templin, Sparkes, et al., 1994). The literature suggests that because of the above situations, burn out rates in physical education teachers are high (Fejgin et al., 1995). Studies like these show no direct assistance for helping physical education teachers because they do not model wanted programs. However, the studies do prove that there are many factors that exist which can affect physical education teachers, either for the bad or for the good. Future research needs to examine the other side of teaching physical education, the side in which conflicts and oppositions are less apparent. These programs can be used as a model for programs that have negative forces working against them. This will better assist administrators and teachers to find an environment to receive the best results in physical education programs. The participants case is one that shows the other side. Her environment, along with the faculty and administration with which she works with is supportive where most are not. In 1988, Goodson discussed in his book, The Making of Curriculum, that researchers must explore and explain what teachers may not even be aware of. This is done through multiple interviews and direct observations. With the purpose of understanding everything that affects the participants teaching adapted physical education, the researcher has taken a life history approach to reveal the known and unknown aspects of the participants essence in teaching. Researchers use the life history approach as a way to better understand all aspects of the persons life. It is a process to explore the socialization amongst an individual and his/her surrounding environments. With physical educators as an example, the investigator will research the persons life at work (facilities, classroom settings,

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18 motivations, students, parents, co-workers, and administrators), life at home (relaxing techniques, relatives, motivations, etc.), current and past education (courses taken, courses interested in taking, continuing education, etc.), and related jobs and experiences. Brown (1999) explains that there is an interface within the life history approach. Furthermore, Brown says it is an interaction that occurs between two social dimensions, those of an individual and the society. Templin, Sparkes, et al. (1994) discuss Zeichner & Gores 1990 article and state that: The life history approach explores the subjective realities of individuals in a way that both respects their uniqueness and allows them to speak for themselves. Equally, life histories are able to provide rich and textured information about the ways in which teachers perspectives are rooted in the variety of personal, familial, religious, political, and cultural experiences they bring to teaching (1994, p. 276). In reference to the life history approach Naess states we are able to see not only how various social, psychological, economic and religious factors influence the teachers life choices, but we also are afforded the opportunity to reveal the social structures in which such choices are made (1996, p. 314). Fry (1997) discusses that the life history approach is not story telling, but merely an interpretation of an individuals experiences, in the case of this study, teaching experiences. Furthermore, Fry explains about her study, other researchers with different ideological positions could well produce alternate interpretations (1997, p. 145). This is true in all studies; therefore, accurate data collection processes must be taken.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODS This study is a single case study and used a sampling strategy referred to as Extreme or Deviant case sampling (Patton, 2002). Patton refers to extreme or deviant cases as a strategy that involves selecting cases that are information rich because they are unusual or special in some way, such as outstanding successes or notable failures (Patton, 2002, p.231). In this case, the researcher looked at an outstanding success in the experiences of an adapted physical educator. Other sampling strategies make generalizations of the area studied. This specific case cannot be used as a generalization for other adapted physical educators because it is unique in its own way. Participant For the purposes of this paper, the participant studied is named Claire. Claire is an experienced teacher of adapted physical education. Currently, she has taught for over twenty-two years in the public school system and worked in several other positions in her field before that. In 1975, she graduated college with a degree in physical education. After college life, she took a job in a state mental health institute (hospital) where over 300 residents lived. She worked there for only ten months, explaining that the living conditions for the residents were horrific. With much disgust for the living conditions of the clients, she quit the job. (Eight years late in 1983, the facility closed down permanently due to a class action lawsuit). Her next job, in 1977, was in a similar facility located in the same state. At the time, the facility housed over 2,000 residents. After three years of working there as a special physical educator in a state school program, she 19

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20 decided to find another job. From there, she worked with the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC). She became the Recreation Director while also teaching special physical education as half of her duties. While working at the ARC she was being paid through a grant. After two years of employment (1979-1981), the grant ran out and she had to find another job. Six years after receiving her college degree, Claire decided to give the public school system a chance. In 1981, she started working full-time as an adapted physical educator at a school (in this paper, called Marshville School for students with disabilities). This school is for the local community and is referred to as an anchor school. While taking on the full-time position, she also worked, part-time or split-time, with a few other schools in the physical impairment units. While working these part-time jobs, she also worked as an adapted physical education teacher. She has remained at Marshville School ever since. Twenty-two years later she remains on the cutting edge of her field, teaching adapted physical education. Procedure In order for this study to be conducted in the true naturalistic and qualitative sense there were two procedures the researcher followed. Neither of the two is more important than the other. The two procedures consisted of multiple interviews and observations. The multiple interviews included three formal and daily informal interviews that coincided with daily observations. The length of the data collection processes lasted for a period of two months. Nearly fifty hours, in twenty-seven episodes, were logged in the field while collecting data. This is discussed in further detail in the next several paragraphs.

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21 Interview Procedures One of the procedures used to collect data was interviewing. There are two variations of interviewing that were adopted for this study, they are: standardized, open-ended, formal interviews and informal conversational interviews (Patton, 2002). Multiple interviews between Claire and the researcher occurred throughout the data collection process. Formal interviews. The standardized open-ended interview approach requires carefully and fully wording each question before the interview (Patton, 2002, p.344). The questions for the interviewing process were written and evaluated thoroughly before they were selected for application. The interviews were open-ended to allow flexibility in Claires answers and are arranged so there is no error in receiving one-word answers. In addition, valuable data were collected from Claires answers, in that the answers are the own thoughts and words from her. There were three formal interviews arranged by the researcher. The first was conducted at the beginning of the study within the first week of data collection. These questions were written with the thoughts of the original research questions of why the researcher is doing the case study. The questions were in reference to her education, work experiences, students, co-workers, community, motivations, time off, and home life (Appendix A). Answers from the first formal interview were the foundation of the entire study. Within forty-eight hours after the first interview the researcher transcribed the entire interview onto a computer with the use of a data transcriber. Once transcribed, the researcher analyzed the data and sorted them into categories. With this method, thirty-three categories emerged from the data (Appendix C).

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22 The second formal interview occurred in the middle of the study during the fifth week of data collection. While the first interview was the primary step into learning about the participant, the second interview was developed to probe further in detail about the participant. The questions were written during the fourth week of data collection with the understanding that many things were known about the participant but not much known as to why they occurred. This interview asked the participant to explain her actions and her feelings on various topics. Writing the questions late into the study also allowed the researcher to analyze data in the first half of the study and then to develop questions that arose from the data analyzed. This method was useful because it allowed the researcher to pinpoint questions that still needed to be answered (Appendix B). Within forty-eight hours after the second interview the researcher transcribed the entire interview onto a computer with the use of a data transcriber. Once transcribed, the researcher analyzed the data and sorted them into the thirty-three categories, which emerged from the first formal interview. There were no new categories that emerged from the second formal interview. Once the data were sorted into the categories, the researcher developed four themes and seven subthemes in which the categories were placed (Appendix C). This is the basis for the discussion section in this paper. The third and final formal exit interview occurred after all data were collected and analyzed. It was an exiting, formal interview. A key point of the final interview was to have the participant review the researchers interpretations of the data. In the interview the participant decided that the researcher interpreted all of the data correctly. Also, the researcher asked the participant to add any data that she felt was missing. The participant then gave feedback letting the researcher know that she agrees with the findings. The

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23 interview concluded with the researcher thanking the participant for allowing the opportunity to research her as a special case of an Adapted physical educator. Informal Interviews. An informal conversational interview is a variation of the open-ended interviewing process and was assessed for this study. Patton conveys, this interview offers maximum flexibility to pursue information in what ever direction appears to be appropriate, depending on what emerges from observing a particular setting or from talking with an individual of that setting (Patton, 2002, p.342). There were no pre-determined questions asked. The reason so is once in the setting the researcher did not know what would happen next. When different students are present Claire may handle them in different ways; therefore, provoking a question from the researcher. The researcher then asked her in an open-ended, yet informal question the reason for her actions. The informal conversational interview was conducted on a daily basis. This allowed data collection on a regular basis. It also allowed for questions and answers to arise spontaneously. The interviews were either written down in a notebook or tape recorded with the permission of the participant. After completion of the interviews, the researcher transcribed the data onto a computer using a data transcriber. Observation Procedures. Another procedure completed was multiple observations. The observations were completed on twenty-four occasions for approximately two hours each time. Subsequently, the observations coincided with the daily informal conversational interviews. The observation approaches are discussed in the following few paragraphs.

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24 The researcher chose to conduct daily observations for several reasons. One was to describe the settings, the activities that take place, the people who participate in the activities, and the observations of the participants perspectives. Second, as a result of being present in the setting, the researcher did not have to rely on prior conceptualizations of similar settings; therefore, firsthand experience allowed the researcher to be open, discovery oriented, and inductive. A third reason for conducting observations was that sometimes the participant may not be aware of certain situation occurring in the setting. In the interviewing process, a question may be asked, but if the participant is not aware that it is occurring in the settings, then the participant cannot answer the proposed question. It was the researchers responsibility to decipher when the participant is aware of situations and when she is not. In addition, this was an opportunity to discover things to which others have paid little attention. A fourth reason was that by conducting direct observations it was an opportunity for the researcher to find information that the participant may have been unwilling to discuss in the interviewing process. The participant may be sensitive to some topics and not willing to talk about those situations in person. A fifth reason is that while interviews are a vital source of data, they are also the perceptions of the participant. While the researcher observed the participant, the researcher will not have to rely on what the participant says, by listening second handedly, but can observe what the participant says is true. Finally, the researcher was able to use personal knowledge of the settings during the formal interpretation stage of the analysis (Patton, 2002). There are a few variations in observation approaches. An observer can be a participant, an onlooker, or both. Patton describes a participant observer as one who

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25 employs multiple and overlapping data collection strategies: being fully engaged in experiencing the setting (participation) while at the same time observing and talking with other participants about whatever is happening (Patton, 2002, p. 265). In this study, the researcher was a participant observer, a participant, and an onlooker, as Patton describes above. In doing so, this combined daily observations with daily informal interviews and supplied the researcher with regular data collection. The observations did occur daily throughout the study. Along with observing the participant in the classroom settings, the researcher subsequently wrote field notes in a notebook or tape-recorded the thoughts of the researcher and/or actions of the participant. After completion of the observations each day, the researcher transcribed the data onto a computer using a data transcriber. Written field notes were also used in the observations. When utilized, the researcher later typed the field notes and placed them with the other data types. Data Preparation and Analytical Procedures Data gathered through formal and informal interviews and observations, discussed earlier, was conducted by using the individual-case analysis procedure (Patton, 2002). The individual-case analysis procedure refers to what is happening to an individual in a particular setting and how the setting affects the individual. The researcher implemented the grounded theory as a process of generating theory rather than concentrating on particular theoretical content (Patton, 2002). By applying the grounded theory, the researcher utilized the most influential paradigm for qualitative research in the social sciences today (Denzin, 1997). Strauss & Corbin (1998, p. 13) refer to grounded theory as a way for researchers to connect with data through the data analysis. The framework they offer is a series of coding procedures which help

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26 provide some standardization and rigor within the analytical process. Strauss and Corbins (1998, p. 13) meaning behind grounded theory is to build theory rather than test theory, provide researchers with analytical tools for handling masses of raw data, consider alternative meanings of phenomenon, for a researcher to be systematic and creative simultaneously, and it clarifies the concepts that are the building blocks of theory. With this application of theory, a more inductive strategy will occur. Subsequently, using a constant-comparative approach the researcher will connect inductive strategies with deductive strategies (Glaser, 1978, 2000; Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Patton, 2002; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). A constant comparative approach involves systematically examining and refining variations in emergent concepts (Patton, 2002, p.239). It is necessary to sample the variations in order to compare and contrast them. The researcher applied this technique by categorizing the data. Data were categorized into themes that represented common discourse with the actions, feelings, and the affect on the participant from the settings of the participant. The researcher developed the themes by using the emergent category designation (Erlandson, Harris, Skipper & Allen, 1993). This technique involved taking the data and separating them into categories of ideas. The categories evolved from the following rules: The researcher read and defined the first unit of data. This became the first entry into the first category. Next, the second unit of data was read. If the content had the same tacit feel as the first then it became the second entry in the first category. If the data were not the same tacit feel of material then it became the first entry in the second category. The researcher followed these steps, of separating and joining data where appropriate, until all of the units of data were delegated to their categories. If there were units of data that did

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27 not apply to a given category then the researcher placed these data into a miscellaneous category. These data units were looked at again to see if they were a part of any of the existing categories. If there was no additional information that each datum provided to the study, then each inappropriate datum was discarded. The researcher then defined a title to distinguish each category established. The titles were written on a separate sheet of paper where all titles can be seen at the same time. The last step was for the researcher to start the whole process over again; however, he used the titles as a basis. The purpose of this was so the researcher would not be fixed on the categories presented, but could keep an open mind to either allow new categories to emerge or to get rid of those categories unnecessary. There were no categories discarded or no new categories that emerged from repeating the process. Once completed, the researcher felt that all data were appropriately categorized. Issues of Trustworthiness Three primary approaches were implemented for establishing trustworthiness for this study (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Themes and categories that emerged from the data were cross-checked (Patton, 2002) and compared across data sources to confirm or disconfirm assertions made by the researcher. This process, referred to as triangulation, is a well-used qualitative technique for ensuring trustworthiness and validity of the assertions. Here the researcher sought after several different sources for insight about the spoken events or relationships the participant incurred (Patton, 2002). Second, the participant was asked to review the interpretations made by the researcher and to correct any inaccuracies. The participant requested no changes to be made. If the participant did request for changes to be made, then the recommended changes would have been discussed with the participant and any changes deemed necessary would have occurred.

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28 Next, peer debriefing was utilized and assisted in evaluating the quality of the assertions made by the researcher (Patton, 2002). This process involved three researchers knowledgeable of both achievement goal theory and qualitative research methods. The three researchers periodically reviewed the assertions made by the researcher.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The purpose of this section is to explain in detail the processes, settings, and time into the study when the interviews and observations were conducted. Interviews and Observations Three formal interviews were conducted throughout the study. All three were administered by the researcher and executed at specific points within the study. Also, the researcher conducted daily informal interviews that coincided with daily observations. The researcher spent nearly fifty hours in the field (over a period of two months) completing interviews and observations within several different settings. The following settings were at the school where the participant teaches: the participants office, the school gymnasium, a field next to the school gymnasium, lunchroom, and through out the schools hallways. Other settings included rides on school buses, the participants vehicle, and a municipal swimming pool facility. First Formal Interview The first formal interview occurred at the beginning of the study. This interview was completed within the first week of data collection. The researcher confronted the participant and together they decided a time and place to carry out the interview. The interview occurred in the participants office at the school where the participant worked. The two people involved, the researcher and participant, sat down in a formal setting and completed the interview. The researcher administered predetermined questions that were well thought of before the interview occurred (Appendix A). The predetermined 29

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30 questions allowed no error in receiving one-word answers but gave the participant open-ended questions that required explanations. Interview questions were established in order to have the participant express situations such as previous experiences, feelings, child life issues, work ethics, family life, and other personal issues. The first formal interview lasted approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. The data collected from this interview provided the researcher with the entire basis of what the study became. Once the interview was complete, the researcher then transcribed the entire interview. Next, the researcher analyzed the data and sorted them into categories that became apparent. From this, thirty-three categories were developed and separated into themes and subthemes (Appendix C). Second Formal Interview The second formal interview occurred within the fifth week of the data collection period. Where the purpose of the first formal interview was to give a broad explanation of the participant over personal issues with work, family, and other experiences, the purpose of the second formal interview was for the participant to explain in great detail issues the researcher needed clarified. Again, this interview required predetermined questions that were essential to receive the answers needed (Appendix B). Once the questions were written the researcher confronted the participant and together they decided a time and place to carry out the second interview. The interview occurred in the participants office at the school where the participant worked, the same place where the first formal interview transpired. The two people involved, the researcher and participant, sat down in a formal setting and completed the interview. Because this interview was vital in explaining the study in great detail, the length of the interview was approximately two hours and thirty minutes. The participant, still involved with teaching in the school year,

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31 did not have enough time to complete the interview in one session; therefore, a second session was needed to finish the process. A second session occurred two days later and lasted for approximately one hour, whereas the first session lasted for approximately one hour and a half, totaling two hours and thirty minutes for the two sessions. Upon completion of the second formal interview, the researcher asked the participant if there was anything that needed to be added. The participant stated that everything was covered and there wasnt anything left out. Then the researcher thanked the participant for taking time to complete the interview. Next, the researcher transcribed the interview and sorted the data into the categories from the first interview. There were possibilities of new categories arising from the second interview; however, there were no new categories that emerged. After the data were sorted into categories the researcher formed themes and subthemes for the categories to be sorted into (Appendix C). This will be addressed in great detail after a discussion of the observations that occurred in the study. Third Formal Interview The third formal interview was administered after all data were analyzed and placed into themes, subthemes, and categories. The setting of the third interview occurred at the participants house. This was a formal interview and both, the participant and the researcher, sat down at a table to carry out the interview. The interview lasted for nearly one hour. There were two objectives for this interview. One was for the researcher to explain to the participant what was established in the data. The second objective was for the participant to give her opinions on the researchers interpretations of the data. The researcher clearly explained both objectives to the participant at the beginning of the interview in the following manner: First, the researcher described how the categories,

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32 subthemes, and themes were created from data within the first two interviews. Before the researcher discussed each theme, he told the participant to interrupt at any time if she wanted to add something or if she wanted something clarified. The researcher then discussed each theme as how he interprets the data. As the data were presented, the participant acknowledged that the researcher interpreted each theme correctly. Even so, on a few occasions the participant asked for clarification and also opted to add her thoughts on the situation, but always agreed with how the researcher depicted each theme. At the end of the third interview the researcher asked the participant to look over the first section of the discussion so the participant could understand how the researcher is going to portray what was talked about in the interview. This gave the participant a good understanding as to how the researcher writes his interpretations of the data. About the interview and everything the researcher has discussed, the participant stated, I think you have covered it extremely well. Daily Observations and Informal Interviews The daily observations and informal interviews will be discussed together because of their closely natured processes. Their processes are closely natured because the two coincide with each other. This is explained in the following few paragraphs. There were several incentives for the researcher to conduct daily observations. One was to describe the settings, the activities that take place, the people who participate in the activities, and observations of the participants perspectives. With the use of field notes the researcher later could recall what occurred in the daily observations. The field notes took place in the form of writing in a notebook and talking into a tape recorder. The researcher would record his own thoughts or the participants actions or words in the settings. Therefore, everything that occurred while the researcher observed, the

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33 participant, was recorded and later transcribed. This method gave the researcher the ability to re-enact each day that was observed. Second, as a result of being present in the setting the researcher did not have to rely on prior conceptualizations of similar settings; therefore, firsthand experience allowed the researcher to be open, discovery oriented, and inductive. This allowed the researcher to make new conceptualizations about this particular setting. The conceptualization the researcher made was that this setting was specific to its own. Therefore, no biases were formed because of other settings influences. A third reason for conducting observations was that sometimes the participant may not be aware of certain situations that occur in the setting. It was the researchers responsibility to decipher when the participant was aware of situations and when she was not. In addition, this was an opportunity to discover material that no one else has paid attention to, including the participant. A fourth reason was that by conducting direct observations it was an opportunity for the researcher to find information that the participant may have been unwilling to discuss in the interviewing process. The participant may have been sensitive to some topics and not willing to talk about these situations in person; therefore, observations would bring an understanding to these topics. A fifth reason is that while interviews are a vital source of data, they are also the perceptions of the participant. While the researcher observed the participant, the researcher did not have to rely on what the participant said, by listening second handedly, but can observe what the participant said was true. This was a process that crosschecked or confirmed statements made by the participant. Finally, the researcher was able to use personal knowledge of the settings during the formal interpretation stage of the analysis (Patton, 2002).

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34 After completing an observation, the researcher developed specific questions that related to what he recently observed. This is when the researcher conducted informal interviews. The informal interviews clarified what was happening right after it happened. For example: there were instances when a student was being told to sit out and was not allowed to participate. This brought up questions such as, When do you tell a student to sit out? Or Do you allow certain students more opportunities than others to misbehave without sit out time? The researcher employed informal interviews to gain information about the settings as they occurred. The questions were not predetermined as were formal interviews. The researcher developed questions while observing that needed clarification about a situation. In addition, the answers that the participant declared prompted other questions from the researcher in order to probe further in detail. This process provided good, detailed data in that the researcher conducted interviews with no boundaries, but could let the interviews poise lead the direction. The settings of the observations and informal interviews occurred in several places. Most of the observations occurred in a gymnasium. Within this setting, the participant led many different activities, such as: basketball, roller-skating, and roller-blading, parachute activities, in-door running races, dance activities, and assorted ball games. Another setting includes a field next to the gymnasium where the participant directed water play and gave students who were not dressed out for the activity an opportunity to play outdoor ball games. Water play involved five aboveground, kiddy pools and students were told to dress in a bathing suit or another pair of clothes that were allowable to get wet. Four of the pools were smaller and were for free-play while the largest pool was big enough for the students to practice swimming skills with the participant. An off-campus

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35 setting that the students were transported by bus was a municipal swimming pool facility. The participant traveled with the students there in the last few weeks of school and summer school to teach them swimming skills. The school in which the participant worked paid for lifeguards to be on duty and in the water while the students were at the facility. Therefore, safety was not an issue. At the end of the school year the participant hosted an awards ceremony for the students. The awards ceremony occurred in the lunchroom. Informal interviews occurred in several settings, including bus rides to other facilities, the gymnasium, school hallways, the field next to the gymnasium, and the participants office.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The objective of this chapter is twofold. The first is to discuss the findings from the data. The second objective answers the five research questions that drive the purpose of this study. In doing so, discussing the findings will subsequently answer the research questions. Once again, the research questions are as follows: Why does the participant continue teaching after a long career? Why has the participant not burned out, as many others in the field quickly do? What motivates the participant to teach children with disabilities? How does the participant handle difficult situations in the classroom? How does the participant cope with personal stressors while at work? This chapter discusses four themes that emerged from the data. The themes are as follows: For the Love of Kids and the Career, Growing Up to Having a Family, Of all the Hard Settings, and What Support! What Innovation! There are a total of seven subthemes, they are as follows: Liking Special Populations, A Career Meant for Life, When She was a Child, Family and Personal Life, Hard Working Environments, Great Support, and Innovation with Motivation. A representation of how the themes relate is illustrated in Appendix C. From the order listed above, the themes are now presented. For the Love of Kids and the Career The first theme is entitled For the Love of Kids and the Career. The relevance of this theme entails two important topics, considered subthemes. The two subthemes are Liking Special Populations and A Career Meant for Life. As the section progresses, the subthemes are discussed in further detail. The first topic, Liking Special 36

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37 Populations involves the participants life devotion to individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, the participant has stated on numerous occasions that she likes working with special populations. The next topic is A Career Meant for Life. This entails situations that continuously occurred throughout the participants life to prepare her for the career that she has chosen. The course of the participants life was directed by what she always wanted to do, ever since she was in third grade. The entire theme plays a key role in what the participant is and does today. Liking Special Populations Liking Special Populations represents a few different categories. Together the categories display how the participant cares for the special populations. The feeling Claire demonstrates comes out in her testimonial within the interviews. Within the next few paragraphs Claires testimonial of how she likes special populations will be discussed. Throughout the interviews Claire consistently states her feelings toward the special populations. Such statements include: I just really like working with special population kids and I happen to really like the severe population. Statements like these occurred often in the interviews. In addition, her feelings toward the special population make going to work easy for her. She states in an interview about why she likes the special population: Well I think that has a lot to do with, my kids love being in school. They want to be here. Theyre like, oh no, its not vacation time, they dont want vacation. I think the willingness to try to do things, the honesty, the innocence, the playfulness, most of my kids. I think I honestly, I have this motor instinct that I know that I am a very important person in their lives, because not only am I their teacher but sometimes I make a lot of big decisions for them. You know like I might be the only person to teach them how to swim or might be the only person to ever take them bowling, and to introduce them to a park. And its just I enjoy giving people new experiences. And thats sort of beyond the teaching part.

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38 The researcher agrees that Claires feelings do go beyond the teaching part. Such statements validate that the participant does truly care about the special populations. Furthermore, Claire reflects on a time when she was working in a mental health institute: And I remember that was the first time that I really felt that I was beyond being a teacher, that I was their parent, I was their friend. I mean what ever we did is what they got, because these were guys that were in the institution. Most people looked at them and didnt think that they could do much because that they werent verbal or they couldnt walk or that type of thing. And we just had tons of fun. More about Claires working experiences is discussed in the next section; however, the above statement displays passion and respect toward the special populations. Claire not only understands the special populations but also lives her life to serve this population. This makes her an exception compared to others who serve the special populations for a short period of time. A Career Meant for Life The next subtheme focuses on how Claires life long devotion to the special populations involves a career that she is dedicated to. Her devotion isnt a feeling that came with her job, but it is a feeling that Claire noticed as early as the third grade. The following is a statement made by Claire during the first formal interview: In the third grade Ive mentioned to you I worked with Head Start kids when the program first came about in the sixties, and at that point on I just always known that I wanted to be a PE teacher. But I just have never seen myself do anything else. Ive never seen myself in another setting. I have never visualized myself in another setting but working with mentally handicapped students. This statement is a bold statement in that Claire said she always wanted to be a physical education teacher and nothing else. Therefore, the researcher asked Claire during the second formal interview a follow-up question that involved the above statement. The following is an excerpt from the second formal interview:

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39 Researcher: I understand that you never saw yourself doing anything else. Can you explain to me why? What was the defining moment in your life when you said, Claire, this is what I want to do, I want to teach special physical education? Claire: I did Head Start in third grade and I volunteered with the Head Start program when they had just developed the program and I spent a summer with little kids They were probably 4 and 5 years old and I was nine or ten years old and we did outdoor activities and I just thought that was great. Researcher: Before the Head Start program that you worked with, you had no clue? Claire: No, I had no clue. No, I dont know if I really even thought about it. Well you know I had pictures of me as a little girl and there are some clues to it I really, I mean, it was a very defining moment in third grade, Ill never forget it, just going, ok, Im going to be a P.E. teacher and that was that. Often when children are at a young age they fantasize with professions that they want to grow up and do. However, at age nine or ten it is not often that a child knows what they want to do and then as they grow older they enter into that profession. In Claires case it was at a very young age, around nine or ten, when she knew what she wanted to do in her life and then proceeded to do it. This is an example of Claires life-devotion to the special populations. Throughout Claires extensive career as a special physical educator, she has acquired a respectable resume of work experiences. This makes way for the next category, involving multiple experiences. In 1975 she obtained a college degree in physical education, at that time there were no degrees offered in special physical education. Her first job lasted for a short period of time, ten months. The job was working at a mental and physical health institution. There, Claire was involved in a recreation program that took the clients on field trips. In an earlier interview Claire described the facility as too institutionalized. This invoked the researcher to ask Claire

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40 to describe what is too institutionalized. She describes the setting in the following passage: I worked on a ward with 23 clients that were in cribs and my job was to get them out of the crib. I drove a school bus and took them on, it was part of recreation program, and I took them on field trips and it just, the institute, they had just, they had just taken the cages off the cribs. I mean it was your hard-core institution and I just, it wasnt for me. Not the environment that I wanted to work in. You know, a little too cold, very intense, it was just kind of sad. I wanted to be with kids that were in a public school. After working in the setting of her first job, Claire decided to leave and move to another city for employment. Her second job was in similar setting as the first job, a mental and physical health institution. She worked at this facility for three years. Her duties entailed working in a cottage on the facility through a state school program where she taught special physical education to the clients. The first year at the facility she worked with very severely profound, non-ambulatory kids. Then from there she worked in one of the cottages through the state school program where she worked with another teacher. Her last year working at the facility Claire became the physical education teacher for the state school program. Claire reflects on her last year in the institution setting: By the end of the third year I was ready to get out of the institution setting. I got really, I remember thinking, you know that environment at that time before the federal government came in, it would be winter time when the kids didnt have jackets and coats and you know the care on the cottages was not really good and I just got burned down trying to fight for kids lives and be their teacher. I mean it was just, you were just, this is too much. I dont know how else to explain it. I mean, youre always just trying to get their shoes on their feet and trying to get jackets so they can come to school and I mean youre always just beating your head against the institution type setting and its just, I just got burned out on it. Claire gained more experience with her next job at the Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC). While working at the ARC, her title was Recreation Director. She stated in an interview that before she worked at the ARC, they had never had a person who conducted physical education full-time. She was the first. Therefore, she was able to

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41 develop a lot of programs rather than take over programs that were already in effect. Another aspect of her job was to travel to a local high school and to a business center to conduct physical education to the special populations. The position was financed through a federal grant. The grant lasted for only two years while the ARC employed Claire. About the job, she stated: It turned out to be a great job. I probably would still be there if it hadnt been on a grant position. But, Im glad Im not, Im glad I am where I am. I was just devastated when I had to leave that job. After the ARC, Claire came to the school where she currently works. Now, she has been working at this school for over twenty-two years. While employed, Claire has taken on multiple tasks that are not included within the school. Thus, she has earned more experience outside of the school settings. After leaving the ARC, Claire became a member of the board for the ARC and the county coordinator for the Special Olympics for ten years. Therefore, not only was she involved with the special populations during her workday but also after hours. While she was working as the county coordinator for the Special Olympics her job duties included, but were not limited to, raising funds for the events, organizing the events, and making sure that all of the athletes went to all of the events for the state and county games. In an interview Claire spoke of her work as the county coordinator for the Special Olympics: It was a lot of fun. Its a lot of workI called in meetings and had maybe thirty or forty people there that were willing to help with the different aspects of Special Olympics and volunteer. You know when we started we had huggers, which they dont do anymore. At every finish line there was someone to hug the athlete when they crossed the finish line. We used to feed them with McDonalds and Burger King and the different places in town. We have our games with about 300 participants, now its more like a regular track [event]. Theres no food. Theres huggers, you know you give the ribbons out, you run the event. Its still a lot of work and a lot of planning; but its been fun to watch it evolve to what it is now.

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42 She stopped working as the county coordinator for the Special Olympics so she could raise her son. She stated, it was taking too much time away from home. Her son was one year old and she needed more time away from the extra-curricular activities that she was participating in, other than school. Today she gives advice, helps a little with the Special Olympics, and she still takes kids to participate. Other activities that she is involved in along with school consist of the following: treasurer of the PTA, the department chair person (at school), organizing open house, organizing the class reunion, and the family picnic. She states, I like doing stuff like that, I like kind of being in charge of extra-curricular stuff outside of teaching in the classroom. As one can see, Claire has taken many opportunities to be involved in and gain experiences within the field of Special Physical Education for nearly thirty years, with the last twenty-two years at the same place of employment. This, alone, has given her the knowledge and aptitude to become the fine special physical educator she is today. The researcher believes that another element, which involves special physical education as the career meant for Claires life, comes out in her passion for her job. As discussed in an earlier section, Claire demonstrates great passion for the special populations. Furthermore, in this section the researcher displays Claires passion for her job in relation to her passion for the special populations. Within the interviews Claire repeatedly states how she enjoyed each job she has obtained. Claire cherished working with the clients at her first job but did not like the setting it was in, as discussed in an earlier section on how the setting was too institutionalized.

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43 While working there she did many activities with the clients, as Claire reflects in this next passage: I was in the department of recreation and my job was working with non-ambulatory, very severely profound adults and I took them on fieldtrips. So everyday I loaded kids, or young adults on a school bus and wed take them to different parks and bowling allies. Furthermore, with the next passage she exhibits her passion for working with the special populations at the institution, but explains how it was difficult for her to see the clients mistreated: I worked at the job in [the institution] for 10 months, and it was really too institutionalized for me. I had a very difficult time with it because it was a hospital setting and I wanted something, I didnt really care for the way the kids were cared for and that type of thing, so I moved. As explained in an earlier discussion, the next place Claire worked was similar to the first; however the settings were not as horrific. In the following extract Claire discusses the activities she did with the clients and how some people looked down upon them while she had tons of fun with them. [About Claires second year at the second institution] I went to the classroom and worked with PI [physical impairment] kids, and that was probably the greatest classes Ive ever had. I worked with another teacher. It wasnt PE, we did classroom activities. They were kids who were more PI than mentally handicapped. We used to do all kinds of stuff with these guys. We took them to Disney World, we took them home for Christmas, we use to take them trick or treating. We just did everything with these kids. And I remember that was the first time that I really felt that I was beyond being a teacher, that I was there parent, I was there friend. I mean, what ever we did is what they got, because these were guys that were in the institution. Most people looked at them and didnt think that they could do much because they werent verbal or they couldnt walk or that type of thing. And we just had tons of fun. Her feelings express a genuine passion for the kids and the job that she did. As Claires jobs change, her passion for each job grows. It is not that she ever disliked any of her experiences, however in the first couple of settings [the institutions] she felt that she

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44 was not in the correct setting she would have liked o have been in. She wanted to be in a setting where she had freedom to work with the kids rather than in a setting with many regulations, like an institution. Freedom, along with passion, came with her next job as the Recreation Director for the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC). Claire explains her feelings toward the job: Absolutely loved that job. I had it for two years on a grant. I worked with adults in a job, sheltered job setting. And I was a full-time PE person and I would just, when I think back of it I really didnt work real hard. I had 40 kids and I would do PE activities with 40 kids once a day but I would work all day. I wrote a lot of programs, we did a lot of field trips and that type of thing. When the grant ran out, the ARC could not afford to pay anyone to be employed for the position. Claire had to leave the position. She states, When that grant went out, I was very upset, because I could have stayed at that job forever. With the next position, Claire displays great passion. The next position is also the same position she currently holds, special physical educator, for the last twenty-two years. This is her life, and her life is her passion. In the second interview the researcher asked Claire, I know youre very passionate about your job and your students, can you explain to me why you are so passionate? In response Claire stated: Because I like what I do. Wellthis is what I do. This is my life. I mean you know, I have a choice, I can come to work happy or I can come to work bummed out. I much rather live my life feeling good about what I do and happy about what I do. This is, I just think that it is the choice of the way I choose to live my life. It sounds so dramatic. I do this at home, I do this with my friends and I want things to be upbeat. In addition, Claire tells a story about a boss she had at the ARC, while she was working there. The researcher asked her a question that invoked her story, How do you cope with personal stressors while at work? What do you do while you are here? She answered with the following:

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45 I can very easily put aside things. Put it out of my head. I learned it when I worked at ARC, Ill never forget this. I had a boss and I went in to talk to him about something and he hung up the phone when I walked in and he said, Oh one of my best friends just got diagnosed with Leukemia, and we talked about it for about 2-3 minutes and he said, ok, I got to put it aside because Ive got to do my job. And he was able to do that. I was so impressed with that and it just really, I thought you know that is really a great skill to have. And I can come to work and put aside, and then my husband hears all about it. But I mean you know, I dont think you will ever see my carry over from things from home to here. Because thats not how, my job is where I come here every single day, this is where I know I am going to be and I want it to be a great place. I want to have fun here I want to enjoy what I do. I get frustrated, I get angry or disappointed, you know that type of thing with my job, but I want it to be a good place because I know this is where I am going to be. Another feature that makes Claire unique is that she not only comes to work happy, it is her intent to make everyone around her feel the same. She includes everyone who is involved with her. In the following segment Claire is discussing how she wants pre-service physical education students to feel when they come to visit her class: Every time a university student comes here either to do a practicum or internship, I want them to leave here feeling excited about the job because maybe theyll go out and be a teacher for special kids and feel good about it. Its not so much as going out and being an advocate, its just feeling good about what you are doing. This uniqueness also carries over with how Claire wants to give the classroom aides a good experience, as she states in the following: When I have PMH [Profound Mentally Handicapped] classes come in here Im doing it just as much for the kids, what ever program, as I am for the aides that come in here, because I want them to feel good about it too. Because those guys work really hard for those kids and sometimes making them feel good is giving them a break. Or you know, letting them say, you know I can do this. You know, because they are the ones feeding them, changing their diapers, lifting them, just doing everything. I want them to come in and feel good. Its about the kids and its also about the staff that works with them. Growing Up to Having a Family This section incorporates Claires childhood experiences and present family life as inspirations in her teaching. In so, the influence of Claires family as she was a child to as she is now an adult, her childhood physical education, and her athletic experiences are

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46 presented in the following paragraphs. The two parts of this section are entitled When She was a Child and Family. When She Was a Child From the day she was born until about the age of six, Claire was a sick child. She explains, Because I was a premature baby, very unhealthy, very skinny, always cold, every time my lips would turn purple I would have to get out of the pool, type thing. As a sick child Claire reminisces how her parents were overprotective of her and wouldnt allow her to do the same things as others her age. In addition, she remembers that around the age of six or seven is when things changed for the better and she, mysteriously, became healthy. From this point on in her childhood years she lived a very playful and energetic life with the other children in her neighborhood. She revisits her childhood in this next passage: I dont know what happened but around age 6 or 7 I became a healthy person. I think that I was kind of over protected. Ive just always liked being, I think of my childhood as playing outside, being outside. I grew up in a very nice neighborhood that had tons of kids. I think of my summers as playing kick the can, one neighborhood verses another neighborhood anywhere from jacks, I used to make my mom take me to school early so we could be at the bus loop playing jacks, and jump roping, bicycle riding. My childhood was spent playing outside. We live by a lake, so there was always water stuff going on and its just kind of the way [my childhood was spent]. If you have ever spent any time in Claires classroom observing her teaching methods and activities she chooses to use, you would understand that her childhood experiences have been brought into the classroom setting and are being utilized for teaching purposes. As Claire continues to discuss her childhood experiences and love for playing games, this next passage delves into how she now uses the past experiences and incorporates them into how she teaches in the classroom.

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47 Yeah I just, I have always been a kid who really liked to play. We were the kids in the neighborhood who had the ping-pong table, the pool table at the house. We had during the summer time, a couple summers, I remember Wednesday night was poker night at our house, and we had monopoly going. We always had, my family moved a lot when I was younger. My dad was in the military, and we were games people, we always played games, Russian bank, we always had games, boxes and boxes of games. [I] loved jacks, pogo sticking, jump roping, foursquare; we were always playing games. And I think that has really carried over with my job here. That is why I feel like having a rec. room and stuff. I think games are an incredibly great way to teach kids, turn-taking, good sportsmanship. I mean, if I had Anchor more, I would love to really do a unit on board games with Anchor because it is amazing watching kids who dont have those skills playing board games, what you could teach. The following is an excerpt from the second interview that was prompted from the above passage. Researcher: Did that [her childhood experiences] have any influence on you wanting to become a P.E. teacher, and what you do in a P.E. classroom? Claire: Yeah, definitely I wanted to be outside I love teaching kids how to play games and doing things. If you look at my equipment room, I have pogo sticks and jump ropes and jacks, and some of the things that I had when I was a kid. And I am developing more of that with the Anchor kids because they dont have these things. One of the things I love teaching kids is how to play foursquare. Its just something that every kid can do in the street. To play foursquare is something I loved doing when I was a kid. Researcher: Is that a big factor that influences what kind of equipment you bring in, because you think they may never have a chance to do it? Claire: Yes, I think so, absolutely, especially with the roller-skating and the swimming, and the bowling. Absolutely. Researcher: Is it safe to say that you want to give them the opportunity? Claire: Yeah, I would say that 90% of my program is that. You hit it on the head with that one. Doing the CBI trips, we used to do a lot of camping, my husband and I, really appreciate being out in the wilderness, you know thats why I like taking the kids to the different parks, to Devils Millhopper, the Hammocks, were in parks because its what its like walking in the woods. Claire has made it quite clear that when she was a child she loved playing games with other children and loved being outside. Furthermore, unquestionably she states that

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48 her childhood experiences have greatly assisted in her choices of activities to utilize in the classroom. Next, Claires childhood Physical Education experiences and her athletic experiences are presented. The influence of past Physical Education experiences to inspire Claires drive to become a Physical Education teacher began in elementary school. In the early1960s, President Kennedy began endorsing a nationwide push for the implementation of Physical Education classes within the public school sector. This endorsement targeted many schools, particularly the elementary school that Claire attended. With the school required to have structured Physical Education courses, she attended them on a daily basis. She explains: The elementary school I went to in the 60s, president Kennedy was starting the fitness program for youth, the elementary school I went to was one of the schools they targeted and we had structured PE everyday it was my most favorite time of the day. Her love for Physical Education classes did not stop at the elementary school level but increased in her high school years. During her years in high school, Claire became a favored student of the Physical Education teacher. The teacher lived in the same neighborhood as Claire and they would occasionally see each other throughout the neighborhood. Claire rediscovers her high school Physical Education teacher: I just remember, Miss. Holcombe... I guess she was just a really positive person. I remember that she put me in charge of a lot of things, which I liked. And then she also did something, like we did archery, which I thought was very cool. I remember her keeping me after school, and a painting that I did is still there, because I went back there not too long ago, painted the shuffleboard thing [outline] in the hallway. And I thought that was neat as a kid that she gave me that to do. You know, so I think that she definitely favored me in a certain way... I was with her for last period everydayall of the athletes had that period, so we got to do a lot of special things. It was fun. I dont remember, I can sort of visualize her but I just remember liking going to that class.

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49 Another experience, which was a concurrent influence with her high school physical education classes, is that Claire grew up playing tennis. As stated in the above passage, all athletes that played sports in her high school had physical education during the last period everyday. It was time used for bonding amongst the school athletes. In addition, after class each would stay to practice their sport. Claire was born in Oklahoma, but moved to England a few years after. She lived in England for her first, second, and part of the third grade. She began playing tennis while living in England because her mom and her cousins played the game, she states in the next passage: My mom played tennis and she wanted me to play. So I think around eight I had my first tennis lesson. At that time we were living in England and, my cousins, we all played tennis. One of my cousins had a tennis court in the back yard, and thats just sort of what we didand when we moved [back] here [United States], we were in New York for a while. That was just for a very short time and then we moved to Lake City and they had one tennis court where they had a chained fence as a net. Lake City was a very small town and there wasnt really a whole bunch to do, so thats what we did as a family, my sister played, my brother played, my mom played. The game of tennis became a large role in her life. She describes, I played tennis all through High School and I was a very successful tennis player for the time. So that was my connection with the world, and it was a very positive connection. She even recalls using tennis as a means for a first date, It [tennis] was a big social part of my life. I mean, you know, I remember having dates playing tennis, meeting people to play tennis The high school Claire attended was newly built with several tennis courts adding to its amenities. With the tennis courts in place, in order to have a tennis team, all the school needed was a tennis coach. Claire speaks of the tennis coach and the team:

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50 When I reached high school I got lucky, because we had a history teacher in high school that loved the game of tennis, he wasnt very good but just really loved the game. And he formed a girls team. We had a really good team. So, he picked us up and we played tennis for 4 years and did really well and it was just tons of fun. After Claires tennis experiences in high school she continued to play competitively in community college and finally played with the team at the University of West Florida. Lastly, about her tennis career, she states, It was just a really nice connection with the school and the community. Claire became a successful athlete in her career as a tennis player. Recall that she was a premature baby and as a child was very sick. In so, she wasnt able to do participate in play, as other children her age were able to do. When she turned six or seven years old she became healthy and eventually became a successful athlete. Experiencing the first six or seven years of her life gave her the motivation and strength of character to become athletic and to love the outdoors. Now she conveys the passions of her childhood experiences in the classroom where she teaches other children physical education. As a child she loved playing board games and now has a recreation room that has many board games and different activities that she can use as a means to teach different skills to her students. Also, when she was growing older she loved to be outdoors and to play different sports. Now, as a teacher she takes her children outdoors and gives them the opportunity they wouldnt normally have to play sports. It is apparent that Claire has masterfully conjoined her childhood experiences with how she teaches in the classroom. Family and Personal Life Now, Claires personal and family life will be presented. In life it seems as if many teachers become so involved in their work that they put their family values aside. In this

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51 fast paced world the intentions of the teachers may not be to put so much time and effort into their work that they forget about spending time with their family, but this may occur. The researcher believes that this is a reason why people can become burned out within their places of employment. Moreover, this may explain why some teachers do not take time out of their lives to stop and smell the roses and enjoy their lives and families. This segment will display how Claire strives to enjoy her life and her family. In doing so, this section will detail her personal and family life and how her family is the backbone of her life support. While conducting the interviews, the researcher noticed a specific trend that Claire kept repeating; she does not like to spend time alone. She states, I am a person that who does not and will not spend time alone I just think its just having people around me and I like touching and hugging and, you know my [school] kids are into that. Noticing the trend in the first interview, the researcher was prompted to ask Claire to go into more detail about the subject during the second interview. Claire explains: I like being around people. I like talking, laughing, and having a good time. I have always been very social. I just think that its just my personality. I just like being around people. And I just enjoy being around people and having a good time. I dont know how to answer that, its just who I am. That is exactly who she is, and that is what makes her a special case. Claire is an active person and generally chooses to immerse herself around other people. However, there are times when she can be alone but she must be involved in a project or doing something to keep her busy, about her energetic self she states, I just have energy, that I, I read late at night to go to sleep. She continues: Now, I go home at 5:00 or whatever time I get home at, and I crash. Because I put all of my energy here [at work], you know. I will get bursts of energy. But I told my husband and as Ive gotten older its gotten better, but its a good thing they

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52 didnt have all of the labels when I was growing up because I would have definitely had a lot of the labels as they give kids now [She laughs]. While Claire is very involved in her school and community she does not let her involvement take her away from her family and friends. She speaks of her involvement: I think, I organize things really well, and so, I mean like this year, I think I mentioned some of this to you, I am treasurer of PTA, I am the department chair person, I organize open house, I organize the class reunion, the family picnic, I like doing stuff like that, I like kind of being in charge of extra-curricular stuff outside of teaching the classroom. When asked about her extra-curricular activities in the second interview she states: To fill my time I enjoy being in charge of things, and having my hand in different parts of the school. I like knowing how everything works. I like walking into the front office and knowing how the intercom works. This sounds trivial, but I just like knowing how everything works. If I am going to spend every day here for basically my life, you know I want to be a real integral part of whats going on. I feel like I have the talent to carry these on, to carry these activities on. With her involvement in many things surrounding the school where she teaches one might think she would never have any time to spend with her family and friends. But on the contrary, when she is away from work she devotes most of her time and energy with her family and friends. This is what makes her a special case, unlike other teachers discussed earlier in this section. She is a special case because she can keep her personal life and her job separate from each other, as displayed within the next segment of conversation that occurred in the second interview: Researcher: How do you cope with personal stressors while at work? What do you do while you are here? Claire: I am very easy, I can very easily put aside things. Put it out of my head. Researcher: Really? Claire: Yeah, really easy. I learned it, when I worked at ARC. Ill never forget this, I had a boss and I went in to talk to him about something and he hung up the phone when I walked in and he said, Oh one of my best friends just got diagnosed with Leukemia, and we talked about it for about 2-3 minutes and

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53 he said ok, I got to put it aside because Ive got to do my job. And he was able to do that, I was so impressed with that and it just really, I thought you know that is really a great skill to have. And I can come to work and put aside, and then my husband hears all about it. But I mean you know, I dont think you will ever see my carry over from things from home to here. Because that not how, my job is where I come here every single day, this is where I know I am going to be and I want it to be a great place. I want to have fun here I want to enjoy what I do. I get frustrated, I get angry or disappointed, you know that type of thing with my job, but I want it to be a good place because I know this is where I am going to be. Claire has learned the skill of putting her personal stressors aside when she is at work and her school stressors aside when she is at home. This is a unique skill to acquire and to master. Because of this she can continue to be productive while working and to enjoy her life outside of work. This makes her a special and unique case. About her personal life with her friends, Claire speaks: I mean you know there are discussions that go on at home but well my personal life is very, very separate from my job even though a couple of teachers at this school are my best friends and we do things outside of school, and we talk a little about school, but not a whole bunch. One point to be mentioned about her friends is that most of her friends that she spends time with out of work are also teachers, some at the same school. In the second interview this intrigued the researcher to ask, Why do you choose these friends? Simply, Claire replied, I do that because thats who I meet. You know, those are the people that Ive met over the years and its common interest. Claire has stated numerous times throughout the interviews how she loves the outdoors and being active with her friends and family. Furthermore, there are a group of her close friends that she spends a lot of time with along with her family. She reminisces of her outings with the group: We have really good friends who weve been friends with for 20 years. We spend every Christmas together. We spend every spring break together, we, every Sunday we get together and have meals together; we take turns cooking. I mean

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54 were very, Im probably as close to them as I would be my own family. We both have a son their 6 months apart mines adopted she had hers. I mean it just was a fluky thing. Our two families do camping trips, we do summer vacations. Because we do so much with other people all the time and we like that and thats what we chose, um were part of a group of six couples that do everything together basically. And each month we try to have something different so we can all get together and we have been doing this for quite a few years. And then we have lots of traditions, um, Memorial Day weekend season we go to their beach house and you know we just have lots of great traditions. This leads the discussion into another topic, Claires use of taking time off. From the researchers experience in the work field, often employees take advantage of their employer by taking time off and may even use sick time when they are not actually sick. This thought prompted the researchers next set of questions, listed in the conversation below: Researcher: Do you go to work when you are sick? Claire: Yes, I am sick today. Researcher: Arent you allowed time off for sick days? Claire: I take my time, every once in a while I will allow myself and be sick and just go home and stay in bed. I dont like being home by myself, I like being home, I love my family. I dont want to be home and do nothing. The only time I take a day off is when I really feel like I cant get out of bed. I use my time and I use, I rarely have, my husband worked 7 years with out taking a day off. I dont think that I have had a year where I dont think that I had any time really left over at the end of the year. I dont carry over my personal leave. I take time off to really do fun things. When I take time off I am not staying in town. I have a really nice group of friends and we do things over, like I have this 3 weekends out of the year, that I have this group of girlfriends that we go on, we go out of town. I always take that Friday off because I am doing something with my friendsI dont take off just to take off, and I dont take off when I am sick. I take off when I know I am going to do something really fun. You know, I do it mainly, I like to travel, so usually its always tripsI will take off to meet my brother or my sister if they are coming into town. You know I take off to do things that are really fun things to do. As one can understand, Claire uses her time off wisely. She doesnt take off in order to have a day off, but only if she has plans to do something with her friends or family. Most

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55 of the time she even goes into work when she is sick; this shows true dedication. This also displays in further detail her passion for being active. Claire continues with explaining her summer vacations: When its summertime, which is why I dont go and do some of the major Physical Education workshops, because its during my vacation time and my time away. I dont want to do work related stuff during my vacation time. I like getting really bored before I come back to work; so then I am excited about going back to work. When she takes her time off from work for traveling with her friends and family, she comes back refreshed and ready to continue her lifes devotion to her teaching. She returns excited and ready for the challenge of being a Special physical education teacher. Yet, the above statements continue to explain how she keeps her work separated from her personal life. As stated earlier, this is a reason why she is a special case and she does not become burned out as many other physical education teachers do. In the second interview, the researcher probed to find out more about Claires family life. He understood the importance of her family but still wanted to hear what she had to say about her family. A familiar theme arose once again. The following is an excerpt from the interview: Researcher: You just stated that you dont go to workshops in the summer because of family time. There are many people in this world that work themselves crazy, and dont give their family that much time, why do you give your family that time? Claire: I totally separate, I would say, when I go home throughout the school year, I probably do maybe an hour worth of work at home, maybe for the whole school year. And thats usually the first week of school when I try putting my lesson plans book together. When I leave work, work is done. Then I go home and have fun Researcher: Why? Claire: Why? Because I want to separate, I dont, work is not my life, its a big part of my life, but my home life is just as important and I do what I do when I am

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56 here, and I put all of my energy into it and when I go home, I stop this and I do my home stuff. Researcher: Does that keep it fresh for you? Claire: Yeah, I think so. I dont feel overwhelmed by it or burned out by it. Now my first, I would say my first 3 years working here, I would come in weekends just because I was still learning what to do. I was a beginner teacher. But after that I felt very comfortable and I learned how to manage my time and do what I need to do within the work setting, and. The demand for the job is only what I put on it. And I dont put so much on that I have to take it home with me. I stay very busy while Im at work because I dont want to not be busy; I like being busy. The familiar theme of keeping work separate from home arose in the above conversation. Therefore, the researcher concludes that Claires action of keeping work separate from home life is a major factor in her not becoming burned out. She even states that herself in the above passage. Her family life is also an important factor and influence in her teaching, as evident above and more specifically in the following section discussing her family. This is a large reason why she keeps her work and home life separated. Below, Claire begins with talking about her Mother: I grew up with a mother. My dad died when I was young, and my mother never remarried. I grew up with a mother who never worked, that was extremely involved in the community that we lived in. She did outrageous stuff, started daycare centers for underprivileged people, she not only did the daycare stuff, she would bring in the mothers and teach them how to cook and how to go to the grocery store she belonged to the garden club and the womens club, but she was very, very community oriented. Which I think, I grew up watching that and really respecting that and liking that part of what she did. Um, and my mothers also British and was not from this country and lived the life of her and my brother and my sister and I, my dad died of a heart attack unexpectedly when I was 9 and so she stayed in this country and learned how to cook and she learned how to write bills and you know I just had a tremendous amount of respect for her. Shes a very strong woman. I grew up in a matriarchal family, in other words, I mean Ive, my sister is the oldest and shes a very strong woman too and I just lived with strong people

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57 The influence of her family as she was growing has a solid correlation to what she has grown to be today, a strong woman. She continues on with her family and now discusses her connections with her husband: My husband, who were getting ready to celebrate our 21st anniversary Thursday which is also my graduation, grew up in a totally different family, which is you know entertainers, a very quiet mother, you know the father rules the houseSo, I remember when Mark and I first met we both talked a lot about our family and I thought this is really cool. He feels as close to his family and his family is as important to him as my family is to me. You know and that was definitely one of the major attractions when we first met I was looking at our photo book the other day we were laughing at how all our pictures look the same, were just a little older because we do all these fun things. I mean we have a great life. We really do. Above displays how Claires family life and her husband do play a positive role in her life. This makes it easy for her to forget about work. She can come home from work and want to have fun with her family and friends. Then in the morning go to work prepared for another day as a Special physical education teacher. Below is a final question and answer segment from the second interview: Researcher: Does you family life influence you teaching? Maybe how you interact with them, or Claire: I think that when you teach and you dont have children and then you do, things shift a little bit. Because you know you start thinking about how your child might interact or how you want teachers to interact with your child. So, I think there is a little shift that, you know, I think you become a little more aware that you are working with other peoples children... I mean I have a husband that is very supportive and you know if I have questions about some things that I am doing I can always talk to him about it. A final conclusion and thought on Claires separation from work and her personal life is that it keeps her fresh, well prepared to start another day, it is a meaning of finishing a long day at work, she can spend time with her friends and family, she can have fun, and most importantly, she does not become burned out and want to quit.

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58 Of All the Hard Settings Discussing the next theme involves the difficult settings that Claire has worked in. This does not describe what her positions were in her previous and current place of employment, as this was discussed in an earlier section of this chapter. The objective of this section is to describe the difficult work settings she has worked in and how she has overcome them or why she chose to leave them. There is one common theme that arose in this section; it is entitled Hard Working Environments. Hard Working Environments. The first segment to be discussed involves Claires working environments that were or are currently difficult to handle. The difficult work settings will be discussed in the order from the day she began working to the present day. In doing so, her reasoning for why she relinquished her duties from two of her past places of employment will also be presented. Also, this section will discuss how Claire manages difficult students and co-workers who have negative attitudes in the workplace. A previously mentioned difficult environment that Claire has worked in is the institutional settings. When she decided to work at the first mental health institution the year was 1975 and she was fresh out of college and looking to make an impact in the lives of her patients. Shortly after starting her job, she began to realize that the institution and the employees were working against her beliefs and were hindering her job performance. When the researcher asked, Why was it difficult to work there [the first State Mental Health Institute she worked at] for you and why was it a difficult work setting? Claire replied: The key things that were difficult at [the State Institute] was one you were dealing with a huge bureaucracyyour also dealing with people that, I was the teacher, Id go to the cottage where the kids lived and they were taken care of by people who were paid minimum wage, they had no education, they were very defensive, that had a very yucky job. They were the ones changing diapers, feeding kids; you

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59 know a job with very little reward. And you know here Id come going this kid doesnt have the shoes he needs to have or this kids got to have a jacket onor this kid is not clean or this kid has been abused or you know, Im the teacher trying to work with the kids in the class and really cares about the kids and Im also having to be like a parent, um, trying to get what I could of the basic needs for this kid. But Im dealing with people who are already overwhelmed and underpaid. You know, so it just didnt lead to a really happy environment because if I wasnt the advocate for that student nobody was. You know I think thats just what kind of gets you so frustratedI had to go through all these channels and you just felt like nothing got done and you know the morale wasnt always that great. So, that made it a very difficult situation and I mean you reach a point where youre like their teacher, their parent, their everything. You know you were the person in their life that really cared about them and you might have been the only person. It really was that dramatic, working in a state setting you know. Um, so I think thats what made it very difficult Within Claires discussions about the difficult work settings at the State Mental Health Institutes, her passions for the students and her good work ethics arise once again. This displays her devoted love for her career and the students she works with. In the above discussion her difficult work settings are flaunted and the researcher can feel her passions come alive in her words. In an earlier interview Claire described the facility as too institutionalized. This invoked the researcher to ask Claire to describe what is too institutionalized. She describes the setting in the following passage: I worked on a ward with 23 clients that were in cribs and my job was to get them out of the crib. I drove a school bus and took them on, it was part of recreation program, and I took them on field trips and it just, the institute, they had just, they had just taken the cages off the cribs. I mean it was your hard-core institution and I just, it wasnt for me. Not the environment that I wanted to work in. You know, a little too cold, very intense, it was just kind of sad. I wanted to be with kids that were in a public school. This is when she decided to leave the Institution setting and wanted to work in a public school setting. However, working in a public school setting would not happen right away. After only working in the first Institution for six months she soon found herself employed by the same State Institution but in another city. The second State Institution was running in a little more favorable conditions than the first that she worked at, but still

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60 not up to par for Claire. She worked there for three years and had this to say about why she decided to leave: By the end of the third year I was ready to get out of the institution setting. I got really, I remember thinking, you know that environment at that time before the federal government came in, it would be winter time when the kids didnt have jackets and coats and you know the care on the cottages was not really good and I just got burned down trying to fight for kids lives and be their teacher. I mean it was just, you were just, this is too much. I dont know how else to explain it. I mean, youre always just trying to get their shoes on their feet and trying to get jackets so they can come to school and I mean youre always just beating your head against the institution type setting and its just, I just got burned out on itI wasnt stimulated there. I didnt have the opportunity to, have, create the programs I like to have. With such difficult environments for the patients to be living in and Claire doing everything in her power, on top of teaching, to help the patients live comfortably she couldnt take it anymore. She couldnt handle the State Institution settings anymore. As much as she tried to get her patients the necessary treatments and basic needs for living the institution and the employees seemed to deny with complying. The employees were underpaid, under educated, and overwhelmed with work that they often did what ever they had to do just to get by. Moreover, the employees did the bare minimum and often didnt seem like they cared about the patients. They were just doing it for the money, for their paychecks. This was not a conducive environment for Claire to work in. She is an exceptional case because she was working there for all of the opposite reasons as stated about the above employees. Since this discussion is focusing on the negative attitudes of other employees that Claire has worked with, a particular case needs to be addressed. This case entails an employee who once worked with Claire about fifteen years ago. The two were teachers together at the same school where Claire currently works (Marshville). This case displays how Claire does not and will not involve herself in a negative environment.

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61 When Claire first started working at Marshville she quickly made many friends. As well, there was one teacher who she became really good friends with. This person was the schools music teacher. Often the two would sit around during free moments and talk with each other. At first, it seemed to Claire that her friend was real high energy and that she enjoyed her job. Yet, a couple of years later Claire noticed a change in her friends attitude about her job. Claire illustrates, After about the 4th or 5th year [of their friendship], her husband is going through medical school, she knew she wasnt going to work here anymore and she became really negative. Claire quickly decided that she needed to do something. So, she quit being friends with her. After some time went by, her old friend noticed that the two were not talking anymore. Claire states about the occurrence: One day she came up and she said [Claire] how come we are not friends anymore? And I said, you know I am going to be here for the next twenty years, this was quite a long time ago. If I am going to be here I have to feel good about where I am working, and you dont like this place anymore, and I cant deal with it everyday. I dont want to be around people who are whining and complaining and griping about stuff constantly. You know, I just cant do it, I cannot be your friend and work here and feel good about working here. And because I dont want to hear everyday that youre out of here and you dont like it, when I really care about what goes on here. After the confrontation, Claire spoke of their relationship, It was strange, our friendship was strange after that. Eventually her colleagues husband finished medical school and the teacher and her husband moved to a different location. In the second interview, the researcher asked Claire once again about the negative situation she once was in, [This category] talks about how many years ago you had the friend here that was very negative and you stopped talking with her. Why do you not like being around someone whos in such a negative setting? Claire responded:

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62 Because I know that this is where Im going to be and thats basically what I told her at the time is this is where Ive chosen to be and this is where I want to be and I dont want to be somewhere I dont feel good about it and be around people who dont feel good about it. I want to be lifted up and come in here and just have a good feeling about it. I dont want to hear bitching and complaining and whining. This is an exceptional example displaying Claires positive attitude in the workplace. She says, I just want to be upbeat, I want to be positive I want [to] feel good about why Im here and what Im doing and so I surround myself with people that feel the same way. A final difficult setting, that Claire is currently experiencing, includes managing difficult students will now be presented. While discussing this issue, the researcher will detail how Claire manages her difficult students. But first, a preface to the issue arises and must be explained. In the past few years a new program has come to her school. This program is referred to as an Anchor Program. Claire briefly describes what an Anchor Program is: Its a regular elementary school. But its for kids that are very transient. When they started the program they realized that there was over 200 hundred kids that by the time they hit second grade, were hardly ever in school because they were constantly being moved around from school to school because their parents or who ever never stayed in the same zoned area and these kids were just missing out of more than a half of a year of school. So they developed this program because we had busses that went all over the countyIt didnt matter where they lived; they didnt have to be in a zoned area or neighborhood school The importance of this program is that most of her misbehaved students are in this program. Before the Anchor Program, Claire rarely had students who misbehaved on a regular basis. However, now that she teaches the students in the Anchor Program, students in the program misbehave on a regular basis. It is a different teaching environment due to the fact of what she is teaching the students. Claire explains Im used to working with kids [with disabilities] in teaching them how to do a skill, where Anchor kids I am having to teach them on how to behave and what my

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63 expectations are on how they behave in class to do a skill on that they probably already know how to do. I can break down how to teach you to kick a ball, in a heartbeat, the Anchor kids I have to explain how I want them to sit, watch, walk, stand and move to kick that ball which they already know how to kick. Teaching skills of how to behave while in class is a new talent Claire is learning to perfect. I try to do it more on a positive note than I would on a negative punishment, she states. However, often during class Claire has to sit an Anchor student off to the side because of misbehaving. She uses a cone to assign a place for the students to go. She describes, I will say you need to go and sit by the cone, with your legs folded and your hands folded in your lap. When you are doing that then I know you are ready to come back to class and your eyes are on me. She later states, Ninety percent of the time, the kid is going to sit by the cone, and say can I come back in, can I come back in, because they want to be part of the class. The researcher can account that this procedure does occur consistently. While the researcher was observing Claire, on several occasions she had to sit a student out from participating in class due to misbehaving. In doing so, Claire gave precise and consistent instructions to the students who misbehaved. While observing Claire one day, the researcher witnessed most of the students in a class period misbehaving. The activity that day was called water play and involved several kiddy pools and water toys. She began the class with explaining her rules, Couple of rules. Im gonna be very, very strict. If you break my rule, you will come over here and you will sit down. Im going to be watching closely Often during the class period Claire had to sit several students out. The class was wildly out of control and needed to be corrected regularly. After class, Claire told the students that they would not be able to have water play the following class period they come to and she was going to have a regular, very strict physical education class with them. When the class left

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64 Claire and the researcher discussed what occurred. Claire said, I really didnt explain to them well enough what they need to do, what my expectations were. I just thought they could handle it, just getting out of the pool, just getting out there and just play, and they cant. A couple of days went by when Claire and the researcher spoke again about the class. Claire stated that she met with her troubled class about misbehaving during water play. She went to their class while their teacher was present and explained very clearly her rules of water play. She brought the class to observe another class while they participated in water play. The other class was well behaved and did everything she wanted them to do. The misbehaved class sat still with their teacher while observing the other class following the rules. The next time the misbehaved class came for water play, Claire sat them down before class began to explain exactly what her rules were and that they need to follow them. She also explained to them that it was their one and only chance to do well. If they misbehave they will not get a second chance. Also, her water play program was now structured with activities for them to complete. The students behaved well this time. Claire is overcoming her difficult situation with the Anchor Program by leaning from her past experiences working with the program. She has learned to give clear, specific, and consistent directions to the students. She believes that the students are most difficult to teach at the beginning of the year because they have not adapted to her rules and regulations. Once the students understand her rules and know the consequences of breaking the rules they misbehave less frequently. Throughout the years of Claires professional career, she has been involved in many situations. Some situations she was not able to overcome, such as working in the

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65 State Mental Health Institutions. Even so, she knew from the beginning when she took those jobs that she wanted to work in a public school setting. She was just using the two jobs at the State Mental Health Institutions to get experience. She has also experienced difficult work environments at the current public school she teaches. However, unlike other physical educators who have burned out she has overcome the difficult experiences and learned from them. She is a unique and extraordinary case because of this. What Support! What Innovation! A final theme is now discussed. This theme entails two sub themes that often reoccurred throughout the entire study. The subthemes are entitled Great Support and Innovation with Motivation. The first of the two presents the support that Claire receives at her current school. Not only does it explain all of her support groups within her current place of employment, but also details her support groups outside of her school. Next, the researcher displays how Claire remains innovative with her teaching methods. Her variety within her programs and need for creating new programs are given. Finally, a last look into Claires motivations for keeping innovative and persisting to remain on the cutting edge of her field will be exhibited. Great Support This section will begin its discussion by detailing Claires support groups within the community of her school and then will be expanded into all other support groups. Claire works at a school where everyone likes what he or she is doing. I work with a group of people that are, they all feel passionate about working with the kids, she states. Consequently, Claire is able to work closely with all of the teachers. Working directly with the teachers allows her to create close relationships that are vital to her

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66 students learning capabilities. This also allows for a comfortable environment for all employees to work in. A great example of Claires co-workers support involves the water play example of the misbehaving class. Two of her co-workers assisted her with the issue. The first was the class regular teacher. Claire stated, I went to the teacher and said what I want to do is Friday Im going to go in her room at some point and set up the wading pool so that water and were going to practice. The teacher was willing to comply and was readily available to assist. Also, the teacher sat down with the class on her own time to discuss the importance of following the rules while in Physical Education. The next time the students came to Physical Education the teacher brought them to a class period earlier so they could watch how the class before them behaves. The teacher sat next to her students and pointed out the things that the class was doing correctly. She encouraged her students to act the same. The second person that assisted Claire in the issue was a trained administrator who worked in the main office. This person voluntarily stated that he would assist Claire when the class comes in again. Claire spoke with the trained administrator before the next class period and told him what she expects from the class. When the class came the administrator assisted Claire with keeping the students behaving properly. Another example that not too many people would consider as part of a support group is her media specialist. Claire explains, Our media specialist is really good, and shell say, Oh [Claire] I got this flyer about this book, are you interested? And shell purchase it for me. In this example Claire was not seeking help; however, the Media Specialist approached her and offered her suggestions of a book.

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67 As Claires co-workers are supportive of her, she displays the same support for them. During the second interview the researcher probed into the issue by asking, How do you [Claire] support people? She responded: If somebody needs help with something, Oh [Claire] you know my aides not here and I got to go, I say bring them [students] on. You know, I have an open door policy and I always am telling people this does not belong to me, my old gym did not belong to me, it belongs to the school. My equipment does not belong to me, it belongs to the school. So, if anybody needs anything, its like, Ill, within reason, Ill help them or give them whatever they need, or whatever support they need or whatever equipment they need or that type of thing. Within Claires work support group there are two main people who are significantly involved. The first, and very importantly, is her principal, Susan. The second is a co-worker and teacher named Mark. Claire explains why they are important to her support group, Its really having two people who are in 2 totally different capacities that I know, support what I do one hundred percent. The principals continuing support is first discussed. The work environment that Susan creates is pleasant, as observed by the researcher. Claire states, Weve had only one person here in 22 years that has even had a grievance against our principal, which is unheard of. Later she discussed how the staff that gets employed at the school rarely leaves and how the school has the lowest turnover rate in the county. Susan is also open to new ideas. Claire states, Every idea I come up with, anything I want to do that is a little of the norm, I have never been told no. She continues, I have a principal who I have had for 18 years, um, who is extremely supportive of P.E. Throughout the interview Claire repeatedly stated that her principal was very supportive of her Physical Education programs. This prompted the researcher to probe the issue further. The following is an excerpt from the second interview:

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68 Researcher: Why is she [the principal] so supportive of P.E.? Claire: Because if I want to go swimming in September, shell make it happen for me. She supports the different types of diversity in the programs that I like to do. If I want to go off campus with kids, she makes that a priority. Researcher: Why do you think she supports P.E. so much? There are so many principals out there that dont support P.E. Claire: I really dont know. I always in my head thought that it was because I did a really good job and that, you know that, I was coming from the right place. You know, when I said I really want to show these kids what woods are about and the different parks are about and to learn about [the city], she knows thats what I really want to do; that I really want to teach kids about our community. She knows that Ill do it and that Ill do it, and do a good job of it. I dont know how else to say it. Ive always been very confident about what I do, when I make a decision to try something and I think that she knows that, you know, that I am coming from the right place. The above passage displays the continuing support that Claire believes her principal has with the Physical Education programs. It also recognizes Claires confidence and distinguishes her as an extraordinary Physical Education teacher who is a special and unique case. Outside of Claires workforce she has an immense network of people who play different roles in providing support. The support group consists of people in the community such as professors at a nearby University and teachers at local schools. Of the two listed, Claires biggest support group involves two professors at a local University. Claire has worked closely with a professor, Mrs. Smith, for nearly twenty years. When Claire first came to the school she teaches, there were not that many people teaching Special physical education around the country. Therefore, she had very few people she could go to for help. At first, her support group consisted of very few. She soon met a young professor at a local University who was teaching courses about the special populations. The two were similar in age, early in their careers, very passionate,

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69 and knowledgeable about individuals with disabilities. From the beginning they made a great connection. Since then, the two have remained great friends and often assist each other with support. Claire speaks of Dr. Smith, [Dr. Smith] is my sounding board. If I ever need help she always sends people out, theres always a constant flow of people in here, so Im not over here in my little world. Dr. Smith consistently sends her students to volunteer with Claire and help with her Physical Education programs. A prime example of their simultaneous support for each other is a program the two have developed over fifteen years ago. It entails Claire transporting a class of her students to the University for an off-site adapted physical education program. When the students arrive, a group of University students are waiting to provide help with the program. The University students consist of both undergraduate and graduate students who are volunteering their time to get experience in the field. When Claires students get off the bus they immediately pair with a University student for the entirety of the period. Next, each pairing runs a warm-up lap around a designated area and then, as a group, the students do stretching exercises. Once completed, the students go to a nearby workout room to do exercises on Med-ex (Nautilus type) equipment. Finally, when the students are done exercising on the equipment, they go to a nearby field and participate in a game or activity that has been chosen prior. If Claire ever has any questions on research or anything in the field, the majority of the time she asks Dr. Smith for assistance. In so, Dr. Smith plays a vital role in Claires great amount of resources. Within the last three years another professor, Dr. Thomas, has quickly become a major provider of Claires support. Claire recalls a time when Dr.

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70 Thomas visited her school and assisted her with a difficult class that she was continuously having trouble with: I mean with Anchor [program], I mean it was amazing to me. Im still blown away by the fact that he came here three or four days and actually took over my class so I could observe him. And then he watched me model his program and to me that was just incredible. And it made all the difference in the world because these kids were eating me up, the Anchor kids were. Ever since, Claire has been able to control her Anchor students. Dr. Thomas has also assisted greatly with Claires off-site adapted physical education program. He has assisted in keeping Claires programs fresh by providing his vast knowledge on Research in Teaching Physical Education (RTPE). Others who are among Claires support group consist of teachers at local schools. An example of several teachers assisting Claire in when she needed help is when she first started working with the Anchor program. At the time, Claire did not know how to control the students in the program. She states: When I got Anchor, I thought man I dont know what I am doing, and I went to [her principal], I need to go visit some PE teachers and have some days watching these people working with regular elementary kids. I went to [three schools] and spent time with them. I mean, I am more than happy to say I need help, I dont know what I am doing. And pull people in, just as much as I am willing to go out there. Show me what to do, or what kind of playground equipment do I need. The above passage displays how the other local teachers are willing to assist Claire in her difficult times. Their support helped Claire understand what she had to do in order to keep control of her classes. As Claire receives a lot of support from her resources outside of her workplace, she makes sure she gives her assistance to anyone who may need her help. The researcher asked Claire, Do you help support anybody else [other than co-workers]? Outside of school, absolutely. Yeah, I think I do it with Dr. Smith and Dr. Smith does it with me. Ive gone to programs and done a little bit with helping, I think

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71 [another local teacher] and I went to [another] county and helped set up a PMH program there. And you know, if people ask for my help I will give it to them if its within my scope, in or outside of this school. Support is a necessity when you are dealing with such a vast range of different types of students. The support given to Claire comes from her school and many people in the community. A very important support group involves her school where she teaches. With the continuing support of her principal and her co-workers it allows for the environment to be conducive for Claire to try new programs and be successful at them too. Also, the support she receives at the University level continues to strengthen her programs and provides guidance with building new programs. In the beginning she had few places to find support, but as the years progressed she established and utilized resources to build the network she has today; she states, I just have this phenomenal support group which developed over the years. In this wide range network of support she is able to find help when needed while providing her knowledge and support to others who may need it. This reiterates how Claire has become a special and unique case within her field Innovation with Motivation The final section of this chapter will now be presented. This section illustrates Claires persistence to maintain innovative teaching methods. Also, Claires continuous motivation in teaching Special physical education is discussed. Together, the two parts portray Claire as an extraordinary and unique teacher who remains on the cutting edge of her field. A unique characteristic that continuously arose throughout the study was how she keeps variety in her job. Moreover, she explains several different ways in how she keeps

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72 the variety in her job. The first involves her maintaining an active role in many school related functions. She states: I organize things really well, and so, I mean like this yearI am treasurer of PTA, I am the department chair person, I organize open house, I organize the class reunion, the family picnic; I like doing stuff like that. I like kind of being in charge of extra-curricular stuff outside of teaching the classroom. Claire wants to come to work and understand how everything works. She mentioned a story in her interviews that she came in one day and wanted to learn how the school bell rings. So she went into the school office and asked a co-worker to explain to her what needed to be done to ring the school bell. Throughout her career Claire has participated in many school functions. When one is finished she finds another one to take part in. She states that she has no stress but sometimes by doing so much it may become overwhelming, sometimes it gets a little overwhelming but at the same time I find it challenging and exciting and its trying to do new programs or create something new for the school... The programs she creates are another aspect of her variety in the job. Claire develops new programs to keep her job exciting. The following is an excerpt from the second interview discussing Claires variety in her Physical Education program: Researcher: Why do you want a program that has so much variety? Doesnt that make your job harder? Wouldnt you want your job to be easier? Claire: I think it keeps it excitingI dont want to be bored at work; done that, dont want to do that. I think it just keeps everything alive and fun and when you work with the same kids year after year after year, you want to do different things with them. Researcher: Wouldnt that make your job harder? Claire: I dont know if it does or not. I dont see it as making my job harder, Ive never thought about it making my job harder. I think of it more of planning these things and getting excited about doing different things. It probably makes it busier, but I dont think it makes it harder.

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73 When Claire first started as a teacher her programs rarely changed. Then after several years teaching she decided a change was necessary. She recalls: I remember around year six or seven thinking oh you know this is kind of the same, I need to do something different. I dont think I though of it as leaving, I saw that I needed to change my program and maybe try to create some new things and I think thats when the rec. room came about. She states about the recreation room, I think games are incredibly great way to teach kids, turn-taking, good sportsmanship. Claire has been adding and changing programs ever since. She believes that it keeps her students attentive and motivated to participate in class. She even thinks she may not have been here if she didnt have the programs, I think that if I didnt have all of those programs, if I was still running PE program 20 years ago, I would not be here. When asked to expand, she replied, I dont think I would have felt challenged. If you do the same thing year after year after year, it just becomes routine and not exciting and challenging. I like to stir things up, and to keep things busy. In doing so, When I started ever feeling burned out or stale or whatever I just re-created something new to get excited again, she states in the first interview. So, where does she find the ideas for the new programs she creates or changes? She thinks of the idea herself, reads about it in an article or book, or learns about the program from her resources within her support group. She states: There are times where if I feel like I kind of need something to spark, I will come up with something new. Other times its just people giving me ideas, or having talking to other people and just jumping on the bandwagon and doing what I think sounds exciting. Another aspect in Claires variety is that she changes her lesson plans every year. She states, At the end of the year I put my lesson plan book away, and I start over for the next year. The reason she does this is twofold; its for her and the students. I try to alternate what I teach each year because I have them [the PMH students] for 15 years,

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74 easily, she talks about how the students can be at the school until the age of twenty-two. When her lesson plans start as new plans it helps her stay fresh with ideas and allows for creativity in the plans. She can choose other activities that the students may not get the chance to do anywhere else other than Physical Education. She is already thinking of a future project and program to complete. She wants to build an exercise equipment room in an office that is not being utilized. She says: If the OT and PT are not going to move into that office, I want to move all that out of there and turn it into a weight room. I have an incredible weight set at home. They can take the furniture, open up that space and turn it into a weight room with exercise bikes and treadmills and I guess I have a universal machine at home. Its got like 8 stations on it. You know, we could get bikes and treadmills donated. Above is a great example of how Claire remains innovative and keeps the variety. She says that she will begin that project when she has completed some of the projects she is currently working on. Claires variety in her job allows her to stay fresh and is a large reason why she does not burn out. As stated earlier, she thinks that if the variety in her job was not present then she may have quit a long time ago. She also loves the challenges of trying new programs and getting involved in extra-curricular activities. At times, she may become overwhelmed, but that is because she continuously participates in school activities; however, she never becomes burned out. Claire was asked in the second interview, How do you see yourself different from other Special PE teachers? Her response is as follows: I see myself different because of the programs that I have. I dont know any other PE teachers that have a rec. room. I know a lot of them have a cart with games for rainy days, but to actually have a rec. room, I am the only PE teacher that gets to take kids swimming and bowling, I know that. I think the community-based program I do is very unique in this countyI know the schools that have, make these little field trips, but to have a program every Friday that take students off campus to visit the different sites in [the community] is unique. Going to the

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75 University and doing the weight program is unique. I think I am the only one that teaches roller-skating and roller-blading, too. I dont know anyone else. Is that what you were asking? So thats how I see myself different. She is different. She is unique because of her different programs she develops and implements. Her attitude remains positive because of the variety she creates. She can become very involved in one program, complete it and then get excited about starting another. A factor that supports Claires unique case is her character. She has the willingness to understand when she needs help from someone other than herself. Throughout the study Claire spoke of her network of support, in and outside of the school. A prime example is when she first started working with the Anchor program. The students were misbehaving and she could not get them to focus on her class. She says, I wasnt really sure what to do with Anchor kids. I really wanted to see how other people were running their elementary PE programI was just curious of what people were doing out there, out in the public schools. In the first interview Claire stated, I dont have a problem saying I need help. This prompted the researcher to probe further about the subject during the second interview, When you first started teaching was there a period of time when you thought you never needed any help? Claire replied: No. No When I first started out there was nobody else doing what I was doing, so there really wasnt anywhere to go. And then when [Dr. Smith] came along, we immediately formed a bond, because she was interested with what was going on here and had similar experiences. I think I am the type of person that, I would do that, I am self-motivated obviously; otherwise I wouldnt have been here for so long. But I always, since I work in a situation where I am only the person doing what I am doing in the setting I am in, if something new comes up that I feel really overwhelmed by or Im not really sure how to, I have no qualms about asking. Because I have such a great resource, the university and a couple of friends that are in PE classes, elementary PE programs.

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76 The fact that she is willing to go to others for help outside of her school is unique. Sometimes it can be rewarding because the help she receives occasionally fosters new ideas and new directions for her programs. Another factor of Claires unique character is that she knows when something isnt working correctly she changes it. For example: when working with the Anchor Program she learned to be consistent with her directions and class periods. After doing so for a while, she realized that she slowly backed off with her consistency. Moreover, she witnessed how consistent a co-worker (teacher) was with her students. When Claire recognized the differences of how the kids behaved with the teacher and herself, she decided that she needed to add more consistency in her instruction. Ultimately she created more structure in her program, which would promote more consistent behaviors. Another example is when Claire had the misbehaved class during water play she went to the students regular teacher for help. She asked the teacher what she did to keep the students well behaved. Together, Claire and the teacher discussed a solution to teach the students how to behave during water play. This was a difficult situation for Claire, but because she was able to ask for help she easily overcame the issue. She is able to ask other teachers if she can observe them and see how they teach. Then, she will take what she learned from the observation and apply it to her teaching methods. This is a great characteristic to possess. Claire started the Golden Sneaker program after observing a local Physical Education teacher. The Golden Sneaker program helps the students maintain good behavior. If the all of the students in a class period behave then the class gets a golden sneaker. After four Golden Sneaker awards the class can choose from playing in the recreation room or have a free period. She started the

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77 program because she was having difficulties controlling her Anchor students. Once she implemented the program she has seen much improvement from the students. She says, the kids are very motivated but we [the Anchor students] havent learned how to get it quite yet, on a continual basis. She noticed at the school she was observing that the students would get a Golden Sneaker every Physical Education period. At her school the students rarely get it once a week. So for me, theres a little frustration, because I want them to get it every time, but we just havent gotten there yet. So we are still working, she states. Not only does Claire remain innovative in her teaching methods but she also remains motivated with teaching. Her persistence to keeping her programs fresh helps her tremendously; she states, When I started ever feeling burned out or stale or whatever I just re-created something new to get excited again. A second time within the interviews she explains if it wasnt for the variety keeping her motivated, then she might not be here, If I just came in here everyday and just taught classes and didnt really contribute anything else at school I think I would not enjoy my job... I think if I just came here, just taught classes and just walked out the door, I would not be here. Therefore, the variety in her programs is a large factor that keeps her motivated. Another factor is her passion to work with the special populations. The following segment from the second interview unveils this in great detail. Researcher: This statement that you said, I think how much they need me is a big motivation, not that they wouldnt need anybody else if I wasnt here. Why do you feel, why do they need you? Claire: Because I am a person that can give them and teach them a way of playing and opportunity to play and opportunity to do things that we do in our program. Researcher: Does that make your job easier? Harder? Does it influence teaching?

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78 Claire: It definitely influences it. And it influences possibly some of the things that I do, you know and helped created over the years. It definitely keeps me motivated if I really felt that this is the only opportunity this kid had a chance to get on the air mattress and I didnt feel like putting him on, for example, then I would feel really guilty. So you know I definitely would be motivated by, I dont want the kids to leave the class and not feel good about what I did. Researcher: Ok, going on. I asked you about the relationship and you said you think that it is just human-to-human, and then I asked if it was fulfilling your needs and you said absolutely. How does it fulfill your needs? Explain. Claire: Because I feel needed here, you know, in lots of different ways. You know, my friends have expressed that to me a couple of times that you know I make a difference and I feel like I definitely make a difference with my students. I just I feel good about what I do there. Her passion for working with individuals with disabilities drives her to do the best she can. In so, it keeps her motivated because she wants to be there and do everything she can to help a student. She continues: I want them to come to my class wanting to come to my class because they know its going to be a good experience beyond just learning maybe you know some skills and activities. I want them to have a really good experience in the classroom. Again I dont think these kids have a lot of opportunities as great experiences that are normal or positive and so when they come to me thats what I want to give them I just want to create a very positive atmosphere for them. Because of her great motivations, she can create a positive environment for her students. Her motivations are not directed toward her students and herself, but also toward her co-workers. The following is a story Claire told about an Aide who came in to a class period with a negative attitude: I remember I was doing a dance unit and I was excited and I had the music going and the kids walked in and she [the Aide] goes Im not gonna do, Im not gonna do this, I dont want to do this dance again. Well. I mean it just kills the atmosphere of the classroom. You know its just like, you know Im sitting there going Im excited, Im ready and to have somebody come in just go boom it just made me think I need to make this good for every body. Because the minute she said that shes not working with the kids the way I feel the kids need to be worked with shes not excited about what Im doing, she doesnt want to do what Im doing. She immediately came in and set a negative tone, where if I change the

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79 program and got her excited before she even walked in the door, like oh Im glad youre here we are going to do this, its gonna be fun type thing. Then shes excited about it, wants to work with the kids and get them going. You know so its sort of like a trickle down effect I guess. I want people when they come to my room to feel good about coming to my room. And I hope that carries over to them working with the kids, that they are motivated to work with the kids when they come in. This story displays how she is a unique case in the field of Special physical education Shes not only keeping herself motivated with working with the students, but she also radiates her energy to her co-workers. She sets a positive tone surrounding her so that her students, her co-workers and she can remain motivated. Claires motivations arent only self-serving but are also for others. This section covered reasons why Claire has been an innovative and motivated special physical education teacher. Although others in her field may not, Claire persists to maintain variety in her environment that, subsequently, keeps her motivated. She knows when she needs to find help and has built a great network of resources she can approach. Enthusiasm fills her time at the workplace, yet can also be overwhelming. Even so, she chooses to keep busy because she enjoys the constant challenges that she is faced.

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CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION It is the intention of this chapter to directly answer the five research questions that drive this study. In doing so, each research questions will be asked followed by a brief explanation of the intentions of the question. Next, the answers will be briefly presented. The answers will not be discussed in great detail, as this has occurred in the previous chapter. The research questions and answers will be presented in the order they appear within the first chapter. First Research Question The first research question is as follows, Why does the participant continue teaching after a long career? This question was intended to probe into why has the participant taught special physical education for over twenty years, while at the same school. Prior research displays high burnout rates in the field (Fejgin, Ephraty, Ben-Sira, 1995). The answer involves several issues. One is the participants passion to working with individuals with disabilities. Also, she has known since the third grade that she wanted to be a special physical education teacher. Her life was devoted to the cause since she was a young child. She has a history in being athletic; recall she was a competitive tennis player. Another is because through the years she has built a great network of support she can turn to when in need of help. Her innovative teaching style provides for a great variety in her job. Finally, her self-motivations provide an environment that is conducive to motivate others. 80

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81 Second Research Question The second research question is as follows: Why has the participant not burned out, as many others in the field quickly do? This question was intended to probe deeper into the first research and to ensure the correct interview questions were asked. This question can be omitted due to the similarity of the first research question. The answers would be the same as the previous question. Third Research Question The third research question is as follows: What motivates the participant to teach children with disabilities? This question was intended to delve into the participants inner motivations as to why she wants to teach children with disabilities. Probing questions entailed her lifelong passion to work with the special populations. Ever since the participant was a young child she knew she wanted to work with individuals with disabilities. In the third grade she was involved in a program known as the Head Start program. This offered her a chance, at a young age, to work with the special populations. She immediately knew she wanted to be in the field. As she grew older, she developed a passion for physical education and sports. She put the two passions together and now is a special physical educator. Her motivations stay high because she keeps her changing her program around. This keeps her motivated in doing a variety of programs. As she keeps the students and her co-workers motivated, it also motivates herself. Fourth Research Question The fourth research question is as follows: How does the participant handle difficult situations in the classroom? This question was intended to discover how she overcomes difficult situations while teaching.

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82 Dealing with a wide range of students, it is evident that difficult situations will occur. The participant has built a great network of support from people in and outside of her work. The network consists of her principal, co-workers, local schoolteachers, professors at a nearby University, her family, and friends. With her bountiful amount of resources, she always has someone to ask for help. A most important factor is that she will ask for help when she needs it. In the past, she has observed other teachers because she wanted to in order to understand what the teachers were doing. Fifth Research Question The fifth research question is as follows: How does the participant cope with personal stressors while at work? This question was intended to discover how the participant kept a positive attitude while in the workplace. The participant stated a story about a boss for whom she once worked. The story exhibited a unique characteristic the participant possesses. She is able to go to work and forget about other things on her mind, even if it normally would bother her. She arrives at work 100% focused on what needs to be done while at work. Then, when she leaves work she doesnt focus on what she did during the day; she focuses on her family and her personal life. Application The present study is not intended for generalizations, as this is a qualitative study. The intentions of this study are to present the findings of the participants great successes to other special and general physical educators. With the guidance of this study, other educators may be able to utilize the data for their own purposes. The conclusions may have a positive influence within other programs outside of this study. Only then can other

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83 researchers complete similar studies to discover the longevities of other physical educators. Future, similar research should be conducted in order to assist educators in the field.

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APPENDIX A OUTLINE OF FIRST FORMAL INTERVIEW 1. Why does the participant continue teaching after a long career? 2. Why do you still teach Special Physical Education? 3. Why are you teaching at the same school for so long? 4. Have you ever wanted to stop teaching Special Physical Education? Explain. 5. Why has the participant not burned out, as many others in the field quickly do? 6. Why do you think you have not burned out as other teachers do? 7. Do you see yourself as an innovative Special Physical Education teacher who still wants to learn? Explain. 8. What do you do different from other teachers to not burn out? 9. What motivates the participant to teach children with disabilities? 10. What made you decide to teach Special Physical Education? 11. Why do you enjoy teaching Special Physical Education? 12. Did you enjoy Physical Education when you were in school? 13. Are your coworkers and administrators supportive of what you teach? Explain. 14. How does the participant manage difficult situations in the classroom? 15. If a difficult situation arises, do you recognize when you need help? Explain. 16. Who helps you? And, how do they help you? 17. How do you manage a child that does not listen to you? 18. How does the participant cope with personal stressors while at work? 19. Do you go to work when you are sick? Why? 20. How many days have you missed in the last year? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? 84

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85 21. How does your personal life affect your teaching? 22. Does you personal life influence your teaching? Explain. 23. How do you cope with personal stressors while at work?

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APPENDIX B OUTLINE OF SECOND FORMAL INTERVIEW 1. Explain in more detail this quote you stated, When I was in High School I had a really good friend who had a brother who had CP and was in a wheelchair and just thought he was the coolest kid. Why was he the coolest kid to you? What made him so cool? 2. I understand that you like kids with disabilities, especially the severe and profound populations, explain why you like them. 3. I understand that you never saw yourself doing anything else, can you explain to me why? What was the defining moment in your life that said Ann, you are made to be a Special PE teacher? 4. If you had chosen another career, what would it have been and why? 5. With all of the jobs that you worked at, how did you find out about the job openings? What made you apply for that specific job position? 6. What position did you like the best? Why? 7. What things have you not done with you students that you would like to? Why have you not done them? 8. How do you plan the activities you do? 9. You stated, it was really too institutionalized for me, I had a very difficult time with it because it was a hospital setting. What is too institutionalized for me mean? Explain institutionalized. 10. Compare and contrast difficult verses easy work settings. 11. You stated, You know, because they are the ones feeding them, changing their diapers, lifting them, just doing everything. I want them to come in and feel good. Explain that for me. 12. Does the amount of work you do impact how you feel about your job? Explain. 13. Do facilities influence how you feel about your work? Explain. 14. Can you give me more examples like this statement, And Ill tell you one more thing about the school going back is 90% of the people I mean it really is incredible anything you need I mean you know there is not one thing in this 86

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87 building that belongs to me you know and I believe this too, if anyone came in here and said Ann I need 10 bucks thats fine you know if you need it for your client and its reciprocal this whole school is so much you know I have asked for things and their like sure Ill do that for you or you know like [a teacher] came in here and said you know I really need your steering aid. Take it; if you need it take it. I mean you know thats theres no this is all my stuff and you cant have it type stuff and I think that its really nice, you can do a lot at a school that feels that way. 15. What did you mean when you stated, I think, I remember thinking while Ive been here 3 years which was a long time, I remember around year 6 or 7 thinking oh you know this is kind of the same, I need to do something different. 16. I know you are very passionate about you job and your students. Can you explain to me why you think you are so passionate? 17. Do you like working with the Anchor program? Why? 18. Do you feel working with the Anchor students helps your teaching skills? Why? 19. You have stated how much support the other teachers and others in the field give you. Where does the greatest amount of support come from? 20. Why do you want a program that has so much variety? Doesnt that make your job harder? Wouldnt you want your job to be easier? 21. You stated, I think that if I didnt have all of those programs, if I was still running the same PE program 20 years ago, I would not be here. Why would you not be here if things were the same? 22. A statement here says, I like challenges, like for example when I got anchor Im not, I have no problem admitting that I need help. Why do you like challenges? 23. Do you create challenges? Or are the challenges created for you? 24. You stated, So I took a couple days off to visit the area PE teachers and observe them and talk to them. What gives you ideas to go and talk to other teachers? 25. Are the teachers ok with you coming in and observing them? 26. Another statement from you, I dont get an opportunity to do a lot of PE workshops, but I read quite a bit. What do you read? Is it researched based? 27. You stated, and I dont have a problem saying I need help. When you first started teaching was there a period of time when you thought you never needed any help? 28. Was there a period of time when you said I am going to start asking for help, because I realize that I cant do it on my own?

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88 29. You stated, I think my program is innovative in the fact that it is always changing. Explain why you feel it is innovative. 30. When you take classes do you feel that those classes that you take actually help you in classroom settings? 31. You stated that you dont go to workshops in the summer because of family time. There are many people in this world that work themselves crazy, and dont give their family that much time, why do you give your family that time? 32. What do you think differentiates between you and other special PE teachers? 33. Why do you like being outside? Does that inspire you to have PE programs outside? 34. You stated, I am a person that who does not and will not spend time alone. Why do you not like spending time alone? 35. Why are you a big people person? 36. You stated, All of the other things that youve done are your treasurer of PTA, department of chairperson, organize open house, organize class reunion, family picnic, that you like being in charge of extra curricular stuff outside of teaching in the classroom. Why are you involved in so many different things? What makes you want to be involved in so many things? 37. You stated, all of my friends are school involved, 90% of my friends are school involved, not necessarily Lanier but in the public school system. Why do you choose those friends? 38. Does you family life influence you teaching? 39. You mentioned when you went to elementary school the presidential fitness program had just begun. When you were growing up were you always physically fit? Did you always want to be athletic? 40. Did that have any influence on you wanting to become a PE teacher, and what you do in a PE classroom? 41. Explain to me a little bit more about your high school PE teacher. 42. When you were young and you had your games you have played, did any of these games or experiences influence your programs? 43. What made you decide that you wanted a recreation room? How did it begin? 44. You stated that your programs are a lot more relaxed at the end. Is there a reason why you make your programs relaxed at the end?

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89 45. About a teacher you state that, you know it took me awhile for me to kind of go its alright you know she uses a lot of sarcasm and I have a real problem with that. Why do you have a problem with the teacher using sarcasm? 46. Does equipment influence your teaching? If so, how does it influence your teaching? 47. Do you feel that you can adapt to just about any setting or any person? 48. Why did you start the golden sneaker program? 49. Is the golden sneaker program working well with your anchor program? 50. You stated, I think how much they need me is a big motivation, not that they wouldnt need anybody else if I wasnt here. Why do you feel they need you? 51. Does the students needing you influence your teaching? 52. I asked you about your relationship between you and the students and you said you think that it is just human to human. Then I asked if it was fulfilling your needs and you said absolutely. How does it fulfill your needs? Explain. 53. You stated, If I just came in here everyday and just taught classes and didnt really contribute anything else at school I think I would not enjoy my job. Explain why. 54. You stated, And I was thinking about it the other day I dont use humor as much as I used to and I need to get back into that. Why do you need to get back into that? 55. You stated, So I try to do it on a more positive note than I would on a negative, punishing. Why would you do it more positive than negative? 56. You talked about how many years ago you had the friend here that was very negative and you stopped talking with her. Why do you not like being around someone who is in such a negative setting? 57. If there was another person who was negative, like the one in the past, would you separate yourself from that person also? 58. Is there anything that you think I need to know or anything that you need to explain in more detail from any of our interviews or observations that I have made?

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APPENDIX C THEMES, SUBTHEMES, AND CATEGORIES I. For the love of kids and the career 1. Liking special populations. a. Like special kids. b. Caring. c. Sympathy. 2. A career meant for life. a. Focused career decision. b. Passion for Job. c. Multiple Experiences. d. Facilities. e. School Setting. f. Age groups. II. Growing up to having a family. 1. When she was a child. a. Child life. b. Childhood PE experiences. c. Tennis player. 2. Family and Personal Life. a. Personal life. b. Leave time. c. Family time. d. Family. III. Of all the hard settings 1. Hard working environments. a. Difficult work settings. b. Reason for leaving. c. Friend and negativity. d. Anchor. e. Manage difficult kids. 90

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91 IV. What support! What innovation! 1. Great support. a. School Communication. b. Support staff. c. Encouraging. d. Trained helpers. 2. Innovation with motivation. a. Variety in job. b. Need of a change. c. Amount of work. d. Innovative. e. Motivation factors. f. Teaching methods. g. Activities. h. Other PE teachers.

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LIST OF REFERENCES Ball, S. & Goodson, I. (1985). Teachers lives and careers. London: Falmer Press. Becker, H. (1952). Career of the Chicago public schoolteacher. American Journal of Sociology, 57, 470-477. Behets, D. (2001). Value orientations of physical education preservice and inservice teachers. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 20, 144-154. Brown, D. (1999). Complicity and reproduction in teaching physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 4, 143-159. Danziger, K. (1971). Socialization. Baltimore: Penguin. Denzin, N. K. (1997). Coffee with Anselm. Qualitative Family Research,11, 16-18. Dewar, A. M. (1983). The subjective warrant and recruitment into physical education. Unpublished masters thesis, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Doolittle, S., Dodds, P., & Placek, J. H. (1993). Persistence of beliefs about teaching during formal training of preservice teachers. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 12, 355-365. Doolittle, S. & Schwager, S. (1989). Socialization and inservice teacher education. In T. Templin & P. Schempp (Eds.), Socialization into physical education (pp. 105-121). Indianapolis, IN: Benchmark Press, Inc. Erlandson, D. A., Harris, E. L., Skipper, B. L., & Allen, S. D. (1993). Doing Naturalistic Inquiry: a Guide to Methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Fejgin, N., Ephraty, N., & Ben-Sira, D. (1995). Work environment and burnout of physical education teachers. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education 15, 64-78. Folsom-Meek, S. (1998). Licensure of adapted physical education teachers and undergraduates' attitudes toward students with disabilities. Perceptual and MotorSkills, 86, 1117-1118. 92

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93 Folsom-Meek, S., Groteluschen, W., & Nearing, R. (1996). Influence of academic major and hands-on experience on college students' attitudes toward learners with disabilities. Brazilian International Journal of Adapted Physical Education Research, 3, 47-66. Folsom-Meek, S., Nearing, R., Groteluschen, W., & Krampf, H. (1996). Effects of academic major, gender, and hands-on experience on attitudes of pre-service professionals. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 16, 389-402. Folsom-Meek, S. & Rizzo, T. (2002). Validating the Physical Educators' Attitude Toward Teaching Individuals With Disabilities III (PEATID III) survey for future professionals. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 19, 141-154. Fry, J. M. (1997). Dealing with the powers that be. Sport, Education, and Society, 2 ,141-162. Glaser, B. G. (1978). Theoretical Sensitivity: Advances in the Methodology of Grounded Theory. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press. Glaser, B. G. (2000). The future of grounded theory. Grounded Theory Review, 1, 1-8. Glaser, B. G. & Strauss, A. I. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine. Goodson, I. (1981). Life history of schooling. Interchange, 11, 62-76. Goodson, I. (1988). The Making of Curriculum: Collected Essays. New York: Falmer Press. Graber, K. C. (1989). Teaching tomorrows teachers: Professional preparation as an agent of socialization. In T. Templin & p. Schempp (Eds.), Socialization into Physical Education (pp. 59-80). Indianapolis, IN: Benchmark Press, Inc. Graber, K. C. (1993). The emergence of faculty consensus concerning teacher education: The socialization process of creating faculty agreement. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 12, 424-436. Hardy, C. (1999). Pre-service teachers' perceptions of learning to teach in a predominantly school-based teacher education program. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education,18, 175-198. Hodge, S., Davis, R., Woodard, R., & Sherrill, C. (2002). Comparison of practicum types in changing pre-service teachers' attitudes and perceived competence. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 19, 155-171. Hodge, S. & Jansma, P. (1997). Attitude change of physical education majors toward teaching students with varied disability types. Clinical Kinesiology, 51, 72-79.

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94 Hodge, S. & Jansma, P. (1999). Effects of contact time and location of practicum experiences on attitudes of physical education majors. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 16, 48-63. Hollingsworth, S. (1989). Prior beliefs and cognitive change in learning to teach. American Education Research Journal, 26, 160-189. Hutchinson, G. (1993). Prospective teachers perspectives on teaching physical education: An Interview study on the recruitment phase of teacher socialization. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 12, 344-354. Karp, G. & Williamson, K. (1993). PETE faculty at work: The reciprocal nature of organizational structures and identity. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 12, 413-423. Kelly, L. & Gansneder, B. (1998). Preparation and job demographics of adapted physical educators in the United States. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 15, 141-154. Kowalski, E. & Rizzo, T. (1996). Factors influencing pre-service student attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 13, 180-196. Krueger, D., DiRocco, P., & Felix, M. (2000). Obstacles adapted physical education specialists encounter when developing transition plans. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 17, 297-309. LaMaster, K., Gall, K., Kinchin, G., & Siedentop, D. (1998). Inclusion practices of effective elementary specialists. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 15, 64-81. Lawson, H. A. & Stroot, S. A. (1993). Footprints and signposts: Perspectives on socialization research. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 12, 437-446. Lincoln, Y. S. & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Locke, L. (1977). Research on teaching physical education: New hope for a dismal science. Quest, 28, 2-26. Lortie, D. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Lytle, R. (1999). Adapted physical education specialists' perceptions and role in the consultation process. Eugene, Or., Microform Publications, University of Oregon, 2 microfiche (167 fr.) : negative. Lytle, R. & Collier, D. (2002). The consultation process: adapted physical education specialists' perceptions. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 19, 261-279. Maeda, J., Murate, N., & Hodge, S. (1997). Physical educators' perceptions of inclusion: a Hawaii school district perspective. Clinical Kinesiology, 51, 80-85.

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96 Stroot, S. A. & Williamson, K. M. (1993). Issues and themes of socialization into physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. 12, 337-343. Tabachnick, R. & Zeichner, K. (1985). The teacher perspectives project: Final Report. Madison, WI: Center for Education Research. Templin, T. (1989). Running on ice: A case study of the influence of workplace conditions on a secondary school physical educator. In T. Templin & P. Schempp (Eds.), Socialization into physical education (pp. 165-195). Indianapolis, IN: Benchmark Press, Inc. Templin, T. & Schempp, P. (1989). Socialization into Physical Education. Indianapolis, IN: Benchmark Press, Inc. Templin, T. J., Sparkes, A., Grant, B., & Schempp, P. (1994). Matching the self: The paradoxical case and life history of a late career teacher/coach. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 13, 274-294. Waller, W. (1932). The Sociology of Teaching. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Wenworth, W. (1980). Context and understanding: An inquiry into socialization theory. New York: Elsevier. Wright, B. & Tuska, S. (1968). From dreams to life in the psychology of becoming a teacher. School Review, 26, 183-193. Zeichner, K. & Gore, J. (1990). Teacher socialization. In W. Houston (Ed.), Handbook of research on teacher education (pp. 329-348). New York: Macmillan. Zhang, J., Joseph, D., & Horvat, M. (1999). Marketable features of the adapted physical education career in higher education. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 16, 178-186. Zhang, J., Kelly, L., Berkey, D., Joseph, D., & Chen, S. (2000). The prevalence-based need for adapted physical education teachers in the United States. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 17, 297-309.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jonathan M. Richards was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, on May 12, 1976. In December 1999, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise and sport sciences from the University of Florida. In the year 2001, he decided to attend graduate school at the University of Florida, to pursue a Master of Science in Exercise Sport Sciences, with special physical education as his specialty. During graduate school, he worked as an intern in the University Athletic Association with the title of Assistant Tutorial Coordinator. He has since chosen to complete a second graduate degree, Master of Science in Recreational Sciences, with therapeutic recreation as his specialty. With closely linked degrees, he will have great knowledge in both fields, and will then pursue employment within the community and public school sectors. 97


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QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE OCCUPATIONAL LONGEVITY
OF A LATE-CAREER ADAPTED PHYSICAL EDUCATOR















By

JONATHAN MICHAEL RICHARDS


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN EXERCISE AND SPORT SCIENCES

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004

































Copyright 2004

by

Jonathan Michael Richards


































This thesis is dedicated to my family, who has never gone a day without supporting me.
Also, this thesis is dedicated to all my friends present, past and, beyond.
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

There are several individuals I would like to acknowledge and thank for their great

support throughout my career as a student. First, I would like to thank my chair (Dr.

Todorovich) for his continuing commitment, encouragement, and patience with this

proj ect and throughout my graduate studies. I appreciate his complete support. Next, I

would like to thank Dr. Stopka my professor and mentor since 1998. She is truly the

reason why I am completing a master' s degree with a specialization involving individuals

with disabilities. I would also like to thank Dr. Fleming for his continuing support and

great insights. Lastly, words of encouragement from my girlfriend helped me

tremendously in completing this proj ect. I am grateful to all of these people.





















TABLE OF CONTENTS


page


ACKNOWLEDGMENT S .............. .................... iv


AB STRAC T ................ .............. vii


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............1.......... ......


Qualitative Rationale .............. ...............2.....
Purpose of the Study ................. ...............3.......... .....
D efinitions .............. ...............3.....
Limitations ................. ...............4.................
A ssum options ................... ...............4..

Significance of the Study ................. ...............4................
Personal Interest ................. ...............5.................


2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................. ...............6.......... .....


Socialization .............. .. ... ..... ..............

Defining Teacher Socialization ................. ...............7............ ....
Pre-Service Training............... ...............8
Adapted Physical Education ................. ................. 13......... ....
Life History Approach ................. ...............16........... ....


3 METHODS ................. ...............19.......... .....


Participant ................ ...............19.......... ......
Procedure .............. .... ...............20..
Interview Procedures .................. .. ......... ...............21.......

Data Preparation and Analytical Procedures ................. ......... ................25
Issues of Trustworthiness .............. ...............27....


4 RE SULT S .............. ...............29....


Interviews and Observations............... ..............2
First Formal Interview............... ...............2
Second Formal Interview .............. ...............30....
Third Formal Interview ................ ...............31........... ....












Daily Observations and Informal Interviews .............. ..... ............... 3


5 DI SCUS SSION ................. ...............36................


For the Love of Kids and the Career ................. ......... ......... ..........3
Liking Special Populations ................. ...............37........... ....
A Career Meant for Life ................. ...............38........... ...
Growing Up to Having a Family .............. ...............45....
When She Was a Child............... ...............46.
Family and Personal Life................ ...............50.
Of All the Hard Settings ................ ............... ........ ......... ........ ...58
What Support! What Innovation! ............. ...............65.....
Great Support................. ...............6
Innovation with Motivation............... ...............7


6 CONCLUSION............... ...............8


First Research Question............... ...............80
Second Research Question .............. ...............81....
Third Research Question .............. ...............8 1....
Fourth Research Question............... ...............8
Fifth Research Question .............. ...............82....
Application .............. ...............82....


APPENDIX


A OUTLINE OF FIRST FORMAL INTERVIEW ................ ................. ........ 84


B OUTLINE OF SECOND FORMAL INTERVIEW ................. ........................86


C THEMES, SUBTHEMES, AND CATEGORIES ................... ...............9


LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............92........... ....


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............97....
















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science In Exercise And Sport Sciences.

QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE OCCUPATIONAL LONGEVITY
OF A LATE-CAREER ADAPTED PHYSICAL EDUCATOR

By

Jonathan Michael Richards

August 2004

Chair: John Todorovich
Major Department: Health Education and Behavior

According to recent research, physical educators have a high burnout rate while

teaching physical education. It is also known that when physical education involves the

inclusion of individuals with disabilities, more difficulties (along with fear) arise for

many. Although research has been completed on assisting physical educators with

teaching methods for individuals with disabilities, research has yet to be completed

examining how special physical educators resist burnout.

Most of the research completed on the issue has focused on the negative reasons for

burning out. This study's intentions are to display the positive reasons of why a special

physical education teacher is still teaching after 22 years of employment. Once presented,

the findings may be transferable to help develop environments conducive to regular

physical education teachers.

A single case study, along with a life history approach, was the basis for the present

study. Four themes, consistent within the data, were analyzed and discussed using









qualitative methods. The discussion reveals how the participant remains innovative and

motivated during the course of her career. Also, the discussion illustrates the participant' s

lifelong passion to work with individuals with disabilities.

Conclusions specifically answer the following research questions: Why does the

participant continue teaching after a long career? Why has the participant not burned out,

as many others in the field quickly do? What motivates the participant to teach children

with disabilities? How does the participant handle difficult situations in the classroom?

How does the participant cope with personal stressors while at work? Results showed the

following: the participant has a passion for working with individuals with disabilities; the

participant knew from an early age that she wanted to be a physical educator working

with individuals with disabilities; the participant separates her work from her home life;

the participant has a large network of support; and the participant maintains variety in her

job settings. It is noted that generalizations cannot be made.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Research on teaching in physical education (RTPE) has significantly improved how

teachers teach physical education. This type of research has been conducted in a variety

of ways. In 1977, Locke completed a study titled Research on Teaching Physical

Education: New Hope for a Dismal Science. In the article, Locke expressed his belief that

researchers in the field of teaching physical education needed some help to put more

meaning into their research. Locke pointed out that many articles published at the time

were written more for researchers and graduate students to get to the next level (e.g.,

graduate, tenure, promotion) than to improve teaching. Once published, the research

often ended. Thus, studies were completed only at a one-dimensional level, and

replication or strong lines of research were not developed. Therefore, Locke (1977) called

for stronger research on teaching in physical education (with replicated studies and clear

research lines).

Seemingly in response to this need, Silverman (1991) published an article titled

Research on Teaching Physical Education indicating that research on teaching physical

education had flourished. Silverman suggested that current research was better and more

effective in helping physical education teachers teach than the research presented in

Locke's 1977 article. Furthermore, Silverman argued that research completed by 1991

included streams of research that should continue to be explored. The acceptance of new

research paradigms and methods (i.e., qualitative research) has resulted in much-

improved studies and research outcomes.










Qualitative Rationale

Since the study by Silverman (1991), qualitative research has become accepted as

valid and important research. Thus, researchers have widely implemented qualitative

methods into their designs. Indeed, many new researchers in the physical education area

are trained in the qualitative paradigm.

When conducting qualitative research, researchers complete studies within natural

settings and environments where they originate. Patton (2002) explains that qualitative

researchers do not manipulate the settings or people studied; therefore, the research is

conducted in the natural sense. In addition, there are no predetermined outcomes, results,

or hypotheses made before a study begins. A qualitative study follows its natural course

and conclusions emerge from the truest sense, with the data collected.

Researchers sometimes find a specific case or a single person that appeals to them

in regard to their unique characteristics. If intrigued enough, the qualitative researcher

proposes a question about the subj ect (participant). With enough motives, the researcher

will conduct a qualitative analysis and the subj ect will become a single case study.

The present study is a qualitative case study design. This qualitative study includes

a single case study design, and a sampling strategy referred to as Extreme or Deviant case

sampling (Patton, 2002). Patton describes extreme or deviant cases as "a strategy that

involves selecting cases that are information rich because they are unusual or special in

some way, such as outstanding successes or notable failures" (Patton, 2002, p.231).

Using extreme or deviant case sampling (Patton, 2002), I investigated the

outstanding successes of an experienced adapted physical educator. Since the sample size

of the study includes only one participant, generalizations have not been made beyond the

scope of the study. Rather, findings may transfer and influence similar situations.










Purpose of the Study

My purpose was to examine an individual case study of a successful and unique

late-career adapted physical education teacher. The following research questions have

been addressed using qualitative research methods.

* Why does the participant continue teaching after a long career?
* Why has the participant not burned out, as many others in the field quickly do?
* What motivates the participant to teach children with disabilities?
* How does the participant handle difficult situations in the classroom?
* How does the participant cope with personal stressors while at work?

Definitions

* Extreme or deviant case sampling: "A strategy that involves selecting cases that are
information rich because they are unusual or special in some way, such as
outstanding successes or notable failures" (Patton, 2002, p.231).

* Grounded theory: Strauss and Corbin's meaning behind grounded theory is to
"...build theory rather than test theory...," "...provide researchers with analytical
tools for handling masses of raw data...," "...consider alternative meanings of
phenomenon...," for a researcher to be "...systematic and creative
simultaneously...," and it clarifies "...the concepts that are the building blocks of
theory..." (1998, p. 13).

* In-service teacher socialization: Primarily concerned with the influence of the
school setting and related education agencies (Templin & Schempp, 1989).

* Life History Approach: A process to explore the socialization amongst an
individual and his/her surrounding environments over one' s life history of teaching.

* Pre-service teacher socialization: Any preparation before being a teacher; primarily
concerned with recruitment into teaching and professional preparation (Templin &
Schempp, 1989).

* Recruitment phase: Consists of the 12-15 years of an individual's life before any
college teacher education courses have been taken (Hutchinson, 1993).

* Socialization: ..the process by which people selectively acquire the values and
attitudes, interests, skills and knowledge in short, the culture-current in groups to
which they are, or seek to become, a member" (Merton, Reader, & Kendall, 1957,
p. 278).

* Teacher socialization: The domain where individuals who work as teachers become
a collaborating member in their society of teachers (Danziger, 1971).










* Successful physical education teacher: Evidenced when students show increased
learning outcome, through exercises or drills, taught by the teacher.

Limitations

* Since the sample size of the study includes only one participant, generalizations
have not been made beyond the scope of the study. Rather, findings may transfer
and influence similar situations.

* The personal relationship between the participant and the researcher had the
potential to bias the study.

* Data collection depended on the operation of the audio taping equipment and the
researcher writing the occurrences in the observations.

Assumptions

* The researcher and participant had an open relationship during the study.
* The participant was truthful.
* The methodology used in the study did answer the research questions.

Significance of the Study

Teaching adapted physical education is a profession faced by many challenges that

negatively influence teacher retention and career length (Templin, Sparkes, Grant, &

Schempp, 1994). Unfortunately, there are few successful and innovative late-career

adapted physical education teachers. Because it is a goal of teacher educators to prepare

teachers for long teaching careers, it is important to understand the processes that help to

assist teachers in maintaining their enthusiasm and love of teaching. A study done by

Fejgin, Ephraty, and Ben-Sira (1995) shows that burn out rates for physical educators are

high. If researchers can discover factors that may influence the burn out rate, then

physical educators will prosper, and so will the children being taught.

This study is significant because it provides insight into the factors that influenced

the career history of a late-career, innovative, and successful adapted physical education

teacher. Thus, the potential exists for using the findings from this research to begin










learning how to influence the career of pre-service and early career adapted physical

education teachers.

Personal Interest

I have personal interest in completing this study because once I complete my

education I will be a Certified Adapted Physical Educator (CAPE). While enrolled, I was

involved in many adapted physical education programs. In some instances, I see the need

for change. Some teachers are highly motivated and very enthusiastic about teaching,

while other teachers do not show the same motivation and enthusiasm. Perhaps there are

hidden reasons that cause the lack of motivation and enthusiasm. Perhaps the reasons are

not so hidden. The possibilities can involve the administration, funding, other faculty, or

maybe the teacher is just burned out.

In this study, I discovered the foundation involving one particular case that can be

used as a model for other cases to improve teaching environments. Not only will other

teachers be able to use this information for their careers, but so too, should I.















CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

It is the purpose of this chapter to facilitate the researcher in becoming familiar

with past research completed in the Hield of adapted physical education. In doing so, this

review of literature will delve into several important areas that, after acknowledging, will

help drive the present study. For that reason it is necessary to define and discuss the

following areas: Teacher Socialization, Pre-service Training, Adapted Physical

Education, and the Life History Approach. Components are reviewed in relation to

teaching adapted and regular physical education. A review of these components reveals

the theoretical perspective and background relative to the present study.

Socialization

Although one can look back into time to read Waller's 1932 classic study, The

Sociology of TeacI hring. socialization studies involving teaching started to show up in the

literature in the 1950s. Since then, its prevalence has increased significantly since then

(Becker, 1952; Lortie, 1975; Tabachnik & Zeichner, 1985; Templin & Schempp, 1989;

Wright & Tuska, 1968). Even so, socialization studies involving teaching physical

education have evolved more slowly (Hutchinson, 1993; Lawson & Stroot, 1993; Stroot

& Williamson, 1993; Templin & Schempp, 1989). Familiarity with socialization and

reviewing studies conducted in physical education helps one to understand the role of

socialization in influencing teacher practices.










Defining Teacher Socialization

Since socialization theory has existed for quite some time, many different

definitions have emerged. Templin and Schempp state the following about Wenworth's

1980 article:

"Definitions range from socialization as the moral obligation to uphold societal
norms to socialization as a Freudian conception to socialization as a training
phenomenon to socialization as learning whereby an individual moves into
behavioral alignment with societal norms or the expectations of a given social
system" (1989, p. 2).

In addition, teacher socialization is defined as the domain where individuals who

work as teachers become a collaborating member in their society of teachers (Danziger,

1971). Whereas Merton, Reader, & Kendall define socialization as "...the process by

which people selectively acquire the values and attitudes, the interests, skills and

knowledge-in short, the culture-current in groups to which they are, or seek to become, a

member" (1957, p. 278). Dewar argues, "Becoming socialized involves more than

learning the appropriate scripts, it is an active process whereby individuals negotiate not

only what they learn but how they interpret what is necessary to be a successfully

socialized teacher" (Templin & Schempp, 1989, p. 3). The rationale is the individual

(teacher) takes an active part of his or her own life, in society. The individual then

decides how to create a successful level of socialization at school, while teaching. The

opposite of this, a functionalist type of framework, such as what Wenworth uses, says

"individuals are products of society; that is, historical social structures" (1980, p.2).

As one can see there are different points of views within the socialization context.

However, both points of view agree that socialization involves people in society in all

aspects of their lives. Furthermore, it is a process in which an individual either affects, or

is affected by the environment that surrounds them.









Pre-Service Training

Presently, many studies have been completed on pre-service physical education

training (Behets, 2001; Doolittle, Dodds, & Placek, 1993; Graber, 1989, 1993; Hardy,

1999; Karp & Williamson, 1993; Mitchell, 1993; Solman & Ashey, 1995; Stroot &

Williamson, 1993). Pre- service socialization processes are primarily concerned with

recruitment into teaching and professional preparation (Templin & Schempp, 1989).

Templin and Schempp further explain that pre-service socialization "... represents

important socializing experiences that occur before one actually enters the service of

teaching" (1989, p.4). The two are important to understand because they will assist with

the identification of the processes in which the participant was exposed before she

decided to be a teacher. Later in this review, the Life History Approach will be discussed.

Understanding pre-service processes, and with the use of the Life History Approach, the

researcher will have a solid foundation for developing questions to probe the participant

throughout the study.

Recruitment Phase. Within the teacher socialization context, is the recruitment

phase of physical education teachers. The recruitment phase consists of the 12-15 years

of an individual's life before any college teacher education courses have been taken. This

is the time when all of the "knowledge, values, attitudes, beliefs, skills, and interests" of

the individuals evolve (Hutchinson, 1993, p.344). These evolutions come from personal

experiences within sport and physical education (Dewar, 1983; Doolittle, et al., 1993;

Pooley, 1972). Lortie' s (1975) research explains five themes that captivate individuals

toward the realm of teaching:

* Interpersonal: The passion for working with youth.

* Service: Wanting to make contributions to society by working with youth.










* Continuation: Needing to work in an environment that is comfortable and familiar,
such as school settings.

* Time compatibility: Wanting many holidays along with extensive vacations in the
summer.

* Material benefits: Needing money and job security.

It has been known for some time that the recruitment phase of teacher socialization

depends on past experiences of pre-service and experienced physical educators (Dewar,

1983; Doolittle, et al., 1993; Hutchinson, 1993; Lortie, 1975; Pooley, 1972). In so,

Hutchinson (1993) and Doolittle et al. (1993) proposed, "It is unclear how this

information has been influenced by individuals' experiences during formal teacher

training and teaching in schools" (Hutchinson, 1993, p. 344). Therefore, in 1993

Hutchinson completed a study that researched "the perspectives that prospective physical

educators have about the physical education teacher role prior to entering college teacher

training programs" (p. 344). Ten high school students, who showed interest in pursuing a

career in teaching physical education, participated in the study. Hutchinson's findings

were that the group had three common speculations about physical education: (a)

physical education provides sports and athletic participation, (b) having fun in physical

education is a goal, and (c) anyone, with enough determination, can successfully

complete a skill. She describes them as having "narrow perspectives on teaching physical

education" (p. 353). Furthermore, she discusses:

If the perspectives of teaching held by these would be teachers cannot be expanded
and improved through teacher training, they will emerge as physical educators who
(a) continue to uphold the attitude that physical education accommodates athletics,
(b) remain bound to a custodial orientation, (c) endorse a shallow approach to
curriculum, (d) perceive planning as unnecessary, and (e) regard student
participation as student learning. Unchanged perspectives will potentially
perpetuate a teaching force already stereotyped as 'rolling out the ball', particularly
at the secondary level (Hutchinson, 1993, p. 353).









This study and similar studies display that pre-service and in-service teaching programs

play a vital role in the making of a good physical education teacher (Doolittle, et al.,

1993; Hollingsworth, 1989).

Pre-service Professionals. Pre-service professionals will now be discussed. A study

conducted by Hardy (1999) concluded that pre-service teachers situate their emphasis on

the gathering of experience with the realities of teaching, learned at the university they

attended. While attending school, pre-service professionals have not gained significant

experience working in the field. Therefore, their knowledge only comes from what they

have learned in the classroom. A look into pre-service professionals' attitudes is

necessary in order to fully understand the effects that hands on experience has on

physical education students.

Recent research displays pre-service professional preparation should include hands

on experience with individuals with disabilities. Moreover, with the use of the Physical

Educators' Attitude Toward Teaching Individuals With Disabilities III (PEATTD-III)

(Rizzo, 1993) studies display that the attitudes of pre-service professionals significantly

change after participating with hands on experience (Folsom-Meek, Groteluschen, &

Nering, 1996; Folsom-Meek, Nering, Groteluschen, & Krampf, 1999; Hodge, Davis,

Woodard & Sherrill, 2002; Hodge & Jansma, 1997, 1999; Kowalski & Rizzo, 1996). The

PEATTD-III survey (Rizzo, 1993) is an instrument that measures physical education

professionals' attitudes toward working with individuals with disabilities. In 2002,

Folsom-Meek and Rizzo validated the PEATTD-III survey for future professionals.

Results indicate three measurements, "outcomes of teaching students with disabilities in










regular classes, effects on student learning, and need for more academic preparation to

teach students with disabilities" (Folsom-Meek & Rizzo, 2002, p. 141).

Hodge and Jansma (1997) studied students' enrollment in introductory Adapted

Physical Education (APE) courses that did, did not, require practicums. The study

utilized the PEATTD-III survey for future professionals (Rizzo, 1993). Conclusions

report, "strong conformational evidence was shown for the effectiveness of introductory

APE courses" (p. 72). Furthermore, the study indicated introductory APE courses that

required a semester long practicum had the highest rate of attitudinal change concerning

pre-service professionals' attitudes toward individuals with disabilities.

A similar study completed by Folsom-Meek, Groteluschen, et al. (1996) had equal

results to Hodge and Jansma's 1997 study. The study compared physical education

maj ors and other academic maj ors' attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. The

PEATTD-III survey (Rizzo, 1993) was employed during the study. Findings display no

significant difference between maj ors; however, significance was found between hands

on experience versus no hands on experience. In addition, non physical education maj ors

with hands on experience showed more favorable attitude toward individuals with

disabilities rather than physical education maj ors with hands on experience. Finally, the

study concluded, despite the maj or, hands on experience increases attitudes toward

individuals with disabilities.

Variations of the above studies, utilizing the PEATTD-III survey (Rizzo, 1993),

have been completed to further validate the need of hands on experience for pre-service

physical education professionals (Folsom-Meek, Nering, et al., 1999; Hodge, Davis, et

al., 2002; Hodge & Jansma, 1999). In 1999, a study revealed non-physical education










maj ors displayed more positive attitudes toward individuals with disabilities, women

presented more of a positive attitude compared to men, and pre-professionals with hands

on experience displayed more positive attitudes than pre-professionals without hands on

experience (Folsom-Meek, Nering, et al.). The vast range of studies completed on the

topic present the importance of pre-service training. Furthermore, the studies call for

hands on experience in order to increase the attitudes of pre-professionals toward

individuals with disabilities. Then, pre-professionals will move into the workforce

prepared to work with individuals with disabilities (Maeda, Murate, & Hodge, 1997).

Lastly, a study was completed on how states with licensing for adapted physical

education has pre-service students with increased positive attitudes as a whole compared

to states working toward licensure or without (Folsom-Meek, 1998). This study displays

that with the proper education and hands on experience, attitudes of pre-service

professionals will maintain a higher positive attitude toward working with individuals

with disabilities than others without the appropriate education.

In-service Professionals. Whereas pre-service teaching is concerned with situations

before stepping into a classroom to teach, in- service teaching is primarily concerned with

the influence of the school setting and related education agencies (Doolittle & Schwager,

1989; Templin & Schempp, 1989). Templin and Schempp further explain that in-service

socialization "...represents socializing experiences that occur after one enters the

teaching ranks" (1989, p.4). Only after in-service professionals begin to gain experiences

outside of the classroom settings, is when their knowledge-based education is put to the

test. It is at this time when they begin to gain significant experiences influenced by school

settings and education agencies.









Adapted Physical Education

This portion of the review will discuss studies involving adapted physical

educators. The topics will discuss the need, the attitudes of regular versus adapted

physical educators, and support versus lack of support from co-workers. It is not the

intentions of this section to discuss what and how adapted physical educators teach, for it

is assumed this is already known. Researching this section of literature will assist with

understanding why the participant (in the present study) is a unique case in the field of

physical education and adapted physical education.

In 1999, a study completed on adapted physical education job openings for first and

second priorities compared the years 1975-1976 and 1997-1998 (Zhang, Joseph &

Horvat). The conclusions state that the field is a growing employment market. However,

those who specialized in the field are encouraged to minor in other areas and those who

specialize in other areas are encouraged to minor in adapted physical education. The

reasoning is that the market shows adapted physical education second priority job

openings are increasing more quickly rather than first priority job openings. This study

displays that the need is high for professionals who are trained in adapted physical

education, but the school systems may not make it a first priority to hire those specialized

in the field. However, one who is specialized in other forms of teaching and also has little

training in adapted physical education is more of a priority to hire.

Another study completed on the need for adapted physical educators is presented.

This study takes a different approach to presenting the need. The study used findings

from a prior study that looked at a similar question. The prior study's findings were that

4% of United States schools required adapted physical education services and overall the

adapted physical education student-teacher ratio was 104 students to every educator










(Kelly & Gansneder, 1998). The findings of the later study revealed that the nationwide

need for adapted physical educators is 22, 116 additional educators (Zhang, Kelly,

Berkey, Joseph, & Chen, 2000). The number given can be used to advocate for the need

of trained adapted physical educators across the country and more specifically in local

school communities.

To understand how current educators feel toward working with individuals with

disabilities, research on educators' attitudes must be addressed. Recent studies concluded

that current teachers feel they lack the education and experience to work with individuals

with disabilities (LaMaster, Gall, Kinchin, & Siedentop, 1998; Russell, 1997). A study

completed by Russell in 1997 asked teachers if they feel if they needed more training in

adapted physical education. Of the returned surveys, 81% stated that they did need

additional training. Another study completed in 1998 found similar results (LaMaster et

al.). This study indicated that little support was given to Adapted Physical Educators

while the educators feel they were not adequately prepared for teaching inclusive classes.

Furthermore, the study states, "These teachers had strong feelings of guilt and inadequacy

as they continued to try to be effective for all children" (p. 64). As indicated earlier in this

review, research displays positive attitudes in teaching individuals with disabilities

correlates with hands on experience and appropriate coursework at the pre-professional

level (Folsom-Meek, Groteluschen, et al., 1996; Folsom-Meek, Nering, et al., 1999;

Hodge, Davis, et al., 2002; Hodge & Jansma, 1997, 1999).

A final discussion in adapted physical education literature will look at the support

for adapted physical educators. Throughout the review of literature many studies describe

different levels of support. Several studies display great support for their participants









while others focused solely on lack of support. The following study was discovered and

is utilized in this review to show how adapted physical educators may not even be asked

to j oin a student' s Transitional Plan team (Krueger, DiRocco, & Felix, 2000). Looking

into this study will assist the present study in that it will display different ways an adapted

physical educator may not be supported. The study comprised of mailing a survey to

Wisconsin adapted physical educators on the subj ect of Leisure Transition Plans (LTP).

In the state of Wisconsin, there is a public law that mandates adapted physical educators

to develop an LTP. The surveys return rate was 75%. The results show that of the 75%

returned, only 21% of the adapted physical educators had developed an LTP.

Astoundingly, 64% of the educators were never asked to be a part of the transition

planning team. Therefore, one can assume that there is little support throughout the

school system for the adapted physical educators. The assumptions include little support

from the principals and co-workers of the schools, too. This study shows that in some

cases such little support is given that adapted physical education teachers may not even

be asked to j oin the student' s mandatory transition team, part of the nationally mandated

Individual Transition Plan (ITP).

On the other side lies an approach where school systems are asking adapted

physical educators for consultation advice. Two studies have been researched on this

issue. The first describes how adapted physical educators feel about providing

consultation and also indicates the prevalence (Lytle, 1999). The results indicate that the

need for adapted physical educators consultation is more prevalent at middle and high

school levels. Also, the results state that consultation as a means of support to general

physical educators is increasing through the nation. The surveyed participants concluded









that the effectiveness of the consultation depended on the attitude of the general educator,

the skills of the APE specialist, and the amount of administrative support given. A similar

study was completed on the consultation of adapted physical educators (Lytle & Collier,

2002). This study expanded upon the first and had like results. The study concluded that

the consultation's effectiveness was also dependent upon the general educator' s attitude,

like the first study. However, the study went further to explain that the consultant' s

communication skills and competencies were also a factor regarding effective

consultation. It shows that it takes both a good attitude from the general educator but also

the consultant must be highly knowledgeable on how to assist.

Life History Approach

For many years, researchers have used a Life History Approach as a process of

exploring the vitality of a single case study. During the last two decades, studies

emerging with this approach have increased significantly (Ball & Goodson, 1985;

Goodson, 1981, 1988; Naess, 1996; Sparkes, 1993; Sparkes & Templin, 1992; Sparkes,

Templin, & Schempp, 1990, 1993; Templin, 1989; Templin, Sparkes, et al., 1994). In the

past, researchers conducting single case studies mostly paid attention to factors that had

negative impacts on the individual (Naess, 1996; Templin, 1989; Templin, Sparkes, et al.,

1994; Sparkes, Templin, & Schempp, 1993). The studies focused on cases where the

participants were in situations in the workplace that caused hardships in teacher

socialization processes, and through those hardships, teaching itself. Such opposition

came from positions in the administration advocating for less physical education and

more "book" teaching in the classroom, low funding for physical education programs,

lack of support from other faculty and administration, personal conflicts of wanting to

coach but having to teach physical education in order to do so, and other personal issues









such as family problems, and issues dealing with sexual orientations (Templin, Sparkes,

et al., 1994). The literature suggests that because of the above situations, burn out rates in

physical education teachers are high (Fejgin et al., 1995). Studies like these show no

direct assistance for helping physical education teachers because they do not model

"wanted" programs. However, the studies do prove that there are many factors that exist

which can affect physical education teachers, either for the bad or for the good. Future

research needs to examine the other side of teaching physical education, the side in which

conflicts and opposition are less apparent. These programs can be used as a model for

programs that have negative forces working against them. This will better assist

administrators and teachers to find an environment to receive the best results in physical

education programs.

The participant's case is one that shows the other side. Her environment, along with

the faculty and administration with which she works with is supportive where most are

not. In 1988, Goodson discussed in his book, The Making of Curriculum, that researchers

must explore and explain what teachers may not even be aware of. This is done through

multiple interviews and direct observations. With the purpose of understanding

everything that affects the participant's teaching adapted physical education, the

researcher has taken a life history approach to reveal the known and unknown aspects of

the participant's essence in teaching.

Researchers use the life history approach as a way to better understand all aspects

of the person' s life. It is a process to explore the socialization amongst an individual and

his/her surrounding environments. With physical educators as an example, the

investigator will research the person's life at work (facilities, classroom settings,










motivations, students, parents, co-workers, and administrators), life at home (relaxing

techniques, relatives, motivations, etc.), current and past education (courses taken,

courses interested in taking, continuing education, etc.), and related jobs and experiences.

Brown (1999) explains that there is an interface within the life history approach.

Furthermore, Brown says it is an interaction that occurs between two social dimensions,

those of an individual and the society. Templin, Sparkes, et al. (1994) discuss Zeichner &

Gore's 1990 article and state that:

"The life history approach explores the subj ective realities of individuals in a way
that both respects their uniqueness and allows them to speak for themselves.
Equally, life histories are able to provide rich and textured information about the
ways in which teachers' perspectives are rooted in the variety of personal, familial,
religious, political, and cultural experiences they bring to teaching" (1994, p. 276).

In reference to the life history approach Naess states "...we are able to see not only how

various social, psychological, economic and religious factors influence the teacher's life

choices, but we also are afforded the opportunity to reveal the social structures in which

such choices are made" (1996, p. 314).

Fry (1997) discusses that the life history approach is not story telling, but merely an

interpretation of an individual's experiences, in the case of this study, teaching

experiences. Furthermore, Fry explains about her study, "other researchers with different

ideological positions could well produce alternate interpretations" (1997, p. 145). This is

true in all studies; therefore, accurate data collection processes must be taken.















CHAPTER 3
METHOD S

This study is a single case study and used a sampling strategy referred to as

Extreme or Deviant case sampling (Patton, 2002). Patton refers to extreme or deviant

cases as "a strategy that involves selecting cases that are information rich because they

are unusual or special in some way, such as outstanding successes or notable failures"

(Patton, 2002, p.231). In this case, the researcher looked at an outstanding success in the

experiences of an adapted physical educator. Other sampling strategies make

generalizations of the area studied. This specific case cannot be used as a generalization

for other adapted physical educators because it is unique in its own way.

Participant

For the purposes of this paper, the participant studied is named Claire. Claire is an

experienced teacher of adapted physical education. Currently, she has taught for over

twenty-two years in the public school system and worked in several other positions in her

field before that. In 1975, she graduated college with a degree in physical education.

After college life, she took a job in a state mental health institute (hospital) where over

300 residents lived. She worked there for only ten months, explaining that the living

conditions for the residents were horrific. With much disgust for the living conditions of

the clients, she quit the job. (Eight years late in 1983, the facility closed down

permanently due to a class action lawsuit). Her next j ob, in 1977, was in a similar facility

located in the same state. At the time, the facility housed over 2,000 residents. After three

years of working there as a special physical educator in a state school program, she









decided to find another job. From there, she worked with the Association for Retarded

Citizens (ARC). She became the Recreation Director while also teaching special physical

education as half of her duties. While working at the ARC she was being paid through a

grant. After two years of employment (1979-1981), the grant ran out and she had to find

another job.

Six years after receiving her college degree, Claire decided to give the public

school system a chance. In 1981, she started working full-time as an adapted physical

educator at a school (in this paper, called Marshville School for students with

disabilities). This school is for the local community and is referred to as an "anchor"

school. While taking on the full-time position, she also worked, part-time or split-time,

with a few other schools in the physical impairment units. While working these part-time

jobs, she also worked as an adapted physical education teacher. She has remained at

Marshville School ever since. Twenty-two years later she remains on the cutting edge of

her field, teaching adapted physical education.

Procedure

In order for this study to be conducted in the true naturalistic and qualitative sense

there were two procedures the researcher followed. Neither of the two is more important

than the other. The two procedures consisted of multiple interviews and observations.

The multiple interviews included three formal and daily informal interviews that

coincided with daily observations. The length of the data collection processes lasted for a

period of two months. Nearly fifty hours, in twenty-seven episodes, were logged in the

field while collecting data. This is discussed in further detail in the next several

paragraphs.









Interview Procedures

One of the procedures used to collect data was interviewing. There are two

variations of interviewing that were adopted for this study, they are: standardized, open-

ended, formal interviews and informal conversational interviews (Patton, 2002). Multiple

interviews between Claire and the researcher occurred throughout the data collection

process.

Formal interviews. The standardized open-ended interview "...approach requires

carefully and fully wording each question before the interview" (Patton, 2002, p.344).

The questions for the interviewing process were written and evaluated thoroughly before

they were selected for application. The interviews were open-ended to allow flexibility in

Claire's answers and are arranged so there is no error in receiving one-word answers. In

addition, valuable data were collected from Claire's answers, in that the answers are the

own thoughts and words from her.

There were three formal interviews arranged by the researcher. The first was

conducted at the beginning of the study within the first week of data collection. These

questions were written with the thoughts of the original research questions of why the

researcher is doing the case study. The questions were in reference to her education, work

experiences, students, co-workers, community, motivations, time off, and home life

(Appendix A). Answers from the first formal interview were the foundation of the entire

study. Within forty-eight hours after the first interview the researcher transcribed the

entire interview onto a computer with the use of a data transcriber. Once transcribed, the

researcher analyzed the data and sorted them into categories. With this method, thirty-

three categories emerged from the data (Appendix C).









The second formal interview occurred in the middle of the study during the fifth

week of data collection. While the first interview was the primary step into learning about

the participant, the second interview was developed to probe further in detail about the

participant. The questions were written during the fourth week of data collection with the

understanding that many things were known about the participant but not much known as

to why they occurred. This interview asked the participant to explain her actions and her

feelings on various topics. Writing the questions late into the study also allowed the

researcher to analyze data in the first half of the study and then to develop questions that

arose from the data analyzed. This method was useful because it allowed the researcher

to pinpoint questions that still needed to be answered (Appendix B). Within forty-eight

hours after the second interview the researcher transcribed the entire interview onto a

computer with the use of a data transcriber. Once transcribed, the researcher analyzed the

data and sorted them into the thirty-three categories, which emerged from the first formal

interview. There were no new categories that emerged from the second formal interview.

Once the data were sorted into the categories, the researcher developed four themes and

seven subthemes in which the categories were placed (Appendix C). This is the basis for

the discussion section in this paper.

The third and Einal formal exit interview occurred after all data were collected and

analyzed. It was an exiting, formal interview. A key point of the final interview was to

have the participant review the researchers interpretations of the data. In the interview the

participant decided that the researcher interpreted all of the data correctly. Also, the

researcher asked the participant to add any data that she felt was missing. The participant

then gave feedback letting the researcher know that she agrees with the findings. The










interview concluded with the researcher thanking the participant for allowing the

opportunity to research her as a special case of an Adapted physical educator.

Informal Interviews. An informal conversational interview is a variation of the

open-ended interviewing process and was assessed for this study. Patton conveys, "this

interview offers maximum flexibility to pursue information in what ever direction

appears to be appropriate, depending on what emerges from observing a particular setting

or from talking with an individual of that setting" (Patton, 2002, p.342). There were no

pre-determined questions asked. The reason so is once in the setting the researcher did

not know what would happen next. When different students are present Claire may

handle them in different ways; therefore, provoking a question from the researcher. The

researcher then asked her in an open-ended, yet informal question the reason for her

actions.

The informal conversational interview was conducted on a daily basis. This

allowed data collection on a regular basis. It also allowed for questions and answers to

arise spontaneously. The interviews were either written down in a notebook or tape

recorded with the permission of the participant. After completion of the interviews, the

researcher transcribed the data onto a computer using a data transcriber.

Observation Procedures. Another procedure completed was multiple observations.

The observations were completed on twenty-four occasions for approximately two hours

each time. Subsequently, the observations coincided with the daily informal

conversational interviews. The observation approaches are discussed in the following few

paragraphs.









The researcher chose to conduct daily observations for several reasons. One was to

describe the settings, the activities that take place, the people who participate in the

activities, and the observations of the participant' s perspectives. Second, as a result of

being present in the setting, the researcher did not have to rely on prior

conceptualizations of similar settings; therefore, firsthand experience allowed the

researcher to be open, discovery oriented, and inductive. A third reason for conducting

observations was that sometimes the participant may not be aware of certain situation

occurring in the setting. In the interviewing process, a question may be asked, but if the

participant is not aware that it is occurring in the settings, then the participant cannot

answer the proposed question. It was the researcher' s responsibility to decipher when the

participant is aware of situations and when she is not. In addition, this was an opportunity

to discover things to which others have paid little attention. A fourth reason was that by

conducting direct observations it was an opportunity for the researcher to find

information that the participant may have been unwilling to discuss in the interviewing

process. The participant may be sensitive to some topics and not willing to talk about

those situations in person. A fifth reason is that while interviews are a vital source of

data, they are also the perceptions of the participant. While the researcher observed the

participant, the researcher will not have to rely on what the participant says, by listening

second handedly, but can observe what the participant says is true. Finally, the researcher

was able to use personal knowledge of the settings during the formal interpretation stage

of the analysis (Patton, 2002).

There are a few variations in observation approaches. An observer can be a

participant, an onlooker, or both. Patton describes a participant observer as "one who










employs multiple and overlapping data collection strategies: being fully engaged in

experiencing the setting (participation) while at the same time observing and talking with

other participants about whatever is happening" (Patton, 2002, p. 265). In this study, the

researcher was a participant observer, a participant, and an onlooker, as Patton describes

above. In doing so, this combined daily observations with daily informal interviews and

supplied the researcher with regular data collection.

The observations did occur daily throughout the study. Along with observing the

participant in the classroom settings, the researcher subsequently wrote Hield notes in a

notebook or tape-recorded the thoughts of the researcher and/or actions of the participant.

After completion of the observations each day, the researcher transcribed the data onto a

computer using a data transcriber. Written Hield notes were also used in the observations.

When utilized, the researcher later typed the Hield notes and placed them with the other

data types.

Data Preparation and Analytical Procedures

Data gathered through formal and informal interviews and observations, discussed

earlier, was conducted by using the individual-case analysis procedure (Patton, 2002).

The individual-case analysis procedure refers to what is happening to an individual in a

particular setting and how the setting affects the individual.

The researcher implemented the grounded theory as a process of generating theory

rather than concentrating on particular theoretical content (Patton, 2002). By applying the

grounded theory, the researcher utilized "the most influential paradigm for qualitative

research in the social sciences today" (Denzin, 1997). Strauss & Corbin (1998, p. 13)

refer to grounded theory as a way for researchers to connect with data through the data

analysis. The framework they offer is a series of "coding procedures" which "help










provide some standardization and rigor" within the analytical process. Strauss and

Corbin's (1998, p. 13) meaning behind grounded theory is to "build theory rather than

test theory," "provide researchers with analytical tools for handling masses of raw data,"

"consider alternative meanings of phenomenon," for a researcher to be "systematic and

creative simultaneously," and it clarifies "the concepts that are the building blocks of

theory." With this application of theory, a more inductive strategy will occur.

Subsequently, using a constant-comparative approach the researcher will connect

inductive strategies with deductive strategies (Glaser, 1978, 2000; Glaser & Strauss,

1967; Patton, 2002; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). A constant comparative approach involves

"systematically examining and refining variations in emergent concepts" (Patton, 2002,

p.239). It is necessary to sample the variations in order to compare and contrast them.

The researcher applied this technique by categorizing the data.

Data were categorized into themes that represented common discourse with the

actions, feelings, and the affect on the participant from the settings of the participant. The

researcher developed the themes by using the emergent category designation (Erlandson,

Harris, Skipper & Allen, 1993). This technique involved taking the data and separating

them into categories of ideas. The categories evolved from the following rules: The

researcher read and defined the first unit of data. This became the first entry into the first

category. Next, the second unit of data was read. If the content had the same tacit feel as

the first then it became the second entry in the first category. If the data were not the

same tacit feel of material then it became the first entry in the second category. The

researcher followed these steps, of separating and joining data where appropriate, until all

of the units of data were delegated to their categories. If there were units of data that did










not apply to a given category then the researcher placed these data into a miscellaneous

category. These data units were looked at again to see if they were a part of any of the

existing categories. If there was no additional information that each datum provided to

the study, then each inappropriate datum was discarded. The researcher then defined a

title to distinguish each category established. The titles were written on a separate sheet

of paper where all titles can be seen at the same time. The last step was for the researcher

to start the whole process over again; however, he used the titles as a basis. The purpose

of this was so the researcher would not be fixed on the categories presented, but could

keep an open mind to either allow new categories to emerge or to get rid of those

categories unnecessary. There were no categories discarded or no new categories that

emerged from repeating the process. Once completed, the researcher felt that all data

were appropriately categorized.

Issues of Trustworthiness

Three primary approaches were implemented for establishing trustworthiness for

this study (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Themes and categories that emerged from the data

were cross-checked (Patton, 2002) and compared across data sources to confirm or

disconfirm assertions made by the researcher. This process, referred to as triangulation,

is a well-used qualitative technique for ensuring trustworthiness and validity of the

assertions. Here the researcher sought after several different sources for insight about the

spoken events or relationships the participant incurred (Patton, 2002). Second, the

participant was asked to review the interpretations made by the researcher and to correct

any inaccuracies. The participant requested no changes to be made. If the participant did

request for changes to be made, then the recommended changes would have been

discussed with the participant and any changes deemed necessary would have occurred.









Next, peer debriefing was utilized and assisted in evaluating the quality of the assertions

made by the researcher (Patton, 2002). This process involved three researchers

knowledgeable of both achievement goal theory and qualitative research methods.

The three researchers periodically reviewed the assertions made by the researcher.















CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The purpose of this section is to explain in detail the processes, settings, and time

into the study when the interviews and observations were conducted.

Interviews and Observations

Three formal interviews were conducted throughout the study. All three were

administered by the researcher and executed at specific points within the study. Also, the

researcher conducted daily informal interviews that coincided with daily observations.

The researcher spent nearly fifty hours in the Hield (over a period of two months)

completing interviews and observations within several different settings. The following

settings were at the school where the participant teaches: the participant' s onfce, the

school gymnasium, a field next to the school gymnasium, lunchroom, and through out the

school's hallways. Other settings included rides on school buses, the participants'

vehicle, and a municipal swimming pool facility.

First Formal Interview

The first formal interview occurred at the beginning of the study. This interview

was completed within the first week of data collection. The researcher confronted the

participant and together they decided a time and place to carry out the interview. The

interview occurred in the participant' s onfce at the school where the participant worked.

The two people involved, the researcher and participant, sat down in a formal setting and

completed the interview. The researcher administered predetermined questions that were

well thought of before the interview occurred (Appendix A). The predetermined










questions allowed no error in receiving one-word answers but gave the participant open-

ended questions that required explanations. Interview questions were established in order

to have the participant express situations such as previous experiences, feelings, child life

issues, work ethics, family life, and other personal issues. The first formal interview

lasted approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.

The data collected from this interview provided the researcher with the entire basis

of what the study became. Once the interview was complete, the researcher then

transcribed the entire interview. Next, the researcher analyzed the data and sorted them

into categories that became apparent. From this, thirty-three categories were developed

and separated into themes and subthemes (Appendix C).

Second Formal Interview

The second formal interview occurred within the fifth week of the data collection

period. Where the purpose of the first formal interview was to give a broad explanation of

the participant over personal issues with work, family, and other experiences, the purpose

of the second formal interview was for the participant to explain in great detail issues the

researcher needed clarified. Again, this interview required predetermined questions that

were essential to receive the answers needed (Appendix B). Once the questions were

written the researcher confronted the participant and together they decided a time and

place to carry out the second interview. The interview occurred in the participant' s office

at the school where the participant worked, the same place where the first formal

interview transpired. The two people involved, the researcher and participant, sat down in

a formal setting and completed the interview. Because this interview was vital in

explaining the study in great detail, the length of the interview was approximately two

hours and thirty minutes. The participant, still involved with teaching in the school year,









did not have enough time to complete the interview in one session; therefore, a second

session was needed to finish the process. A second session occurred two days later and

lasted for approximately one hour, whereas the first session lasted for approximately one

hour and a half, totaling two hours and thirty minutes for the two sessions. Upon

completion of the second formal interview, the researcher asked the participant if there

was anything that needed to be added. The participant stated that everything was covered

and there wasn't anything left out. Then the researcher thanked the participant for taking

time to complete the interview.

Next, the researcher transcribed the interview and sorted the data into the categories

from the first interview. There were possibilities of new categories arising from the

second interview; however, there were no new categories that emerged. After the data

were sorted into categories the researcher formed themes and subthemes for the

categories to be sorted into (Appendix C). This will be addressed in great detail after a

discussion of the observations that occurred in the study.

Third Formal Interview

The third formal interview was administered after all data were analyzed and

placed into themes, subthemes, and categories. The setting of the third interview occurred

at the participant's house. This was a formal interview and both, the participant and the

researcher, sat down at a table to carry out the interview. The interview lasted for nearly

one hour. There were two obj ectives for this interview. One was for the researcher to

explain to the participant what was established in the data. The second obj ective was for

the participant to give her opinions on the researcher' s interpretations of the data. The

researcher clearly explained both obj ectives to the participant at the beginning of the

interview in the following manner: First, the researcher described how the categories,









subthemes, and themes were created from data within the first two interviews. Before the

researcher discussed each theme, he told the participant to interrupt at any time if she

wanted to add something or if she wanted something clarified. The researcher then

discussed each theme as how he interprets the data. As the data were presented, the

participant acknowledged that the researcher interpreted each theme correctly. Even so,

on a few occasions the participant asked for clarification and also opted to add her

thoughts on the situation, but always agreed with how the researcher depicted each

theme. At the end of the third interview the researcher asked the participant to look over

the first section of the discussion so the participant could understand how the researcher

is going to portray what was talked about in the interview. This gave the participant a

good understanding as to how the researcher writes his interpretations of the data. About

the interview and everything the researcher has discussed, the participant stated, "I think

you have covered it extremely well."

Daily Observations and Informal Interviews

The daily observations and informal interviews will be discussed together because

of their closely natured processes. Their processes are closely natured because the two

coincide with each other. This is explained in the following few paragraphs.

There were several incentives for the researcher to conduct daily observations. One

was to describe the settings, the activities that take place, the people who participate in

the activities, and observations of the participant' s perspectives. With the use of Hield

notes the researcher later could recall what occurred in the daily observations. The Hield

notes took place in the form of writing in a notebook and talking into a tape recorder. The

researcher would record his own thoughts or the participant' s actions or words in the

settings. Therefore, everything that occurred while the researcher observed, the










participant, was recorded and later transcribed. This method gave the researcher the

ability to re-enact each day that was observed. Second, as a result of being present in the

setting the researcher did not have to rely on prior conceptualizations of similar settings;

therefore, firsthand experience allowed the researcher to be open, discovery oriented, and

inductive. This allowed the researcher to make new conceptualizations about this

particular setting. The conceptualization the researcher made was that this setting was

specific to its own. Therefore, no biases were formed because of other setting's

influences. A third reason for conducting observations was that sometimes the participant

may not be aware of certain situations that occur in the setting. It was the researcher' s

responsibility to decipher when the participant was aware of situations and when she was

not. In addition, this was an opportunity to discover material that no one else has paid

attention to, including the participant. A fourth reason was that by conducting direct

observations it was an opportunity for the researcher to find information that the

participant may have been unwilling to discuss in the interviewing process. The

participant may have been sensitive to some topics and not willing to talk about these

situations in person; therefore, observations would bring an understanding to these topics.

A fifth reason is that while interviews are a vital source of data, they are also the

perceptions of the participant. While the researcher observed the participant, the

researcher did not have to rely on what the participant said, by listening second handedly,

but can observe what the participant said was true. This was a process that crosschecked

or confirmed statements made by the participant. Finally, the researcher was able to use

personal knowledge of the settings during the formal interpretation stage of the analysis

(Patton, 2002).









After completing an observation, the researcher developed specific questions that

related to what he recently observed. This is when the researcher conducted informal

interviews. The informal interviews clarified what was happening right after it happened.

For example: there were instances when a student was being told to sit out and was not

allowed to participate. This brought up questions such as, "When do you tell a student to

sit out?" Or "Do you allow certain students more opportunities than others to misbehave

without sit out time?" The researcher employed informal interviews to gain information

about the settings as they occurred. The questions were not predetermined as were formal

interviews. The researcher developed questions while observing that needed clarification

about a situation. In addition, the answers that the participant declared prompted other

questions from the researcher in order to probe further in detail. This process provided

good, detailed data in that the researcher conducted interviews with no boundaries, but

could let the interview's poise lead the direction.

The settings of the observations and informal interviews occurred in several places.

Most of the observations occurred in a gymnasium. Within this setting, the participant led

many different activities, such as: basketball, roller-skating, and roller-blading, parachute

activities, in-door running races, dance activities, and assorted ball games. Another

setting includes a field next to the gymnasium where the participant directed "water play"

and gave students who were not dressed out for the activity an opportunity to play

outdoor ball games. Water play involved five aboveground, kiddy pools and students

were told to dress in a bathing suit or another pair of clothes that were allowable to get

wet. Four of the pools were smaller and were for free-play while the largest pool was big

enough for the students to practice swimming skills with the participant. An off-campus









setting that the students were transported by bus was a municipal swimming pool facility.

The participant traveled with the students there in the last few weeks of school and

summer school to teach them swimming skills. The school in which the participant

worked paid for lifeguards to be on duty and in the water while the students were at the

facility. Therefore, safety was not an issue. At the end of the school year the participant

hosted an awards ceremony for the students. The awards ceremony occurred in the

lunchroom. Informal interviews occurred in several settings, including bus rides to other

facilities, the gymnasium, school hallways, the field next to the gymnasium, and the

participant' s office.















CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

The obj ective of this chapter is twofold. The first is to discuss the findings from

the data. The second obj ective answers the five research questions that drive the purpose

of this study. In doing so, discussing the findings will subsequently answer the research

questions. Once again, the research questions are as follows:

* Why does the participant continue teaching after a long career?
* Why has the participant not burned out, as many others in the field quickly do?
* What motivates the participant to teach children with disabilities?
* How does the participant handle difficult situations in the classroom?
* How does the participant cope with personal stressors while at work?

This chapter discusses four themes that emerged from the data. The themes are as

follows: "For the Love of Kids and the Career," "Growing Up to Having a Family," "Of

all the Hard Settings," and "What Support! What Innovation!" There are a total of seven

subthemes, they are as follows: "Liking Special Populations," "A Career Meant for Life,"

"When She was a Child," "Family and Personal Life," "Hard Working Environments,"

"Great Support," and "Innovation with Motivation." A representation of how the themes

relate is illustrated in Appendix C. From the order listed above, the themes are now

presented.

For the Love of Kids and the Career

The first theme is entitled "For the Love of Kids and the Career." The relevance of

this theme entails two important topics, considered subthemes. The two subthemes are

"Liking Special Populations" and "A Career Meant for Life." As the section progresses,

the subthemes are discussed in further detail. The first topic, "Liking Special










Populations" involves the participant's life devotion to individuals with disabilities.

Furthermore, the participant has stated on numerous occasions that she likes working

with special populations. The next topic is "A Career Meant for Life." This entails

situations that continuously occurred throughout the participant' s life to prepare her for

the career that she has chosen. The course of the participant' s life was directed by what

she always wanted to do, ever since she was in third grade. The entire theme plays a key

role in what the participant is and does today.

Liking Special Populations

"Liking Special Populations" represents a few different categories. Together the

categories display how the participant cares for the special populations. The feeling

Claire demonstrates comes out in her testimonial within the interviews. Within the next

few paragraphs Claire' s testimonial of how she likes special populations will be

discussed.

Throughout the interviews Claire consistently states her feelings toward the special

populations. Such statements include: "I just really like working with special population

kids" and "I happen to really like the severe population." Statements like these occurred

often in the interviews. In addition, her feelings toward the special population make

going to work easy for her. She states in an interview about why she likes the special

population:

Well I think that has a lot to do with, my kids love being in school. They want to be
here. They're like, 'oh no, it's not vacation time, they don't want vacation. I think
the willingness to try to do things, the honesty, the innocence, the playfulness, most
of my kids. I think I honestly, I have this motor instinct that I know that I am a very
important person in their lives, because not only am I their teacher but sometimes I
make a lot of big decisions for them. You know like I might be the only person to
teach them how to swim or might be the only person to ever take them bowling,
and to introduce them to a park. And it' s just I enj oy giving people new
experiences. And that' s sort of beyond the teaching part.









The researcher agrees that Claire's feelings do go beyond "the teaching part." Such

statements validate that the participant does truly care about the special populations.

Furthermore, Claire reflects on a time when she was working in a mental health institute:

And I remember that was the first time that I really felt that I was beyond being a
teacher, that I was their parent, I was their friend. I mean what ever we did is what
they got, because these were guys that were in the institution. Most people looked
at them and didn't think that they could do much because that they weren't verbal
or they couldn't walk or that type of thing. And we just had tons of fun.

More about Claire's working experiences is discussed in the next section; however,

the above statement displays passion and respect toward the special populations. Claire

not only understands the special populations but also lives her life to serve this

population. This makes her an exception compared to others who serve the special

populations for a short period of time.

A Career Meant for Life

The next subtheme focuses on how Claire's life long devotion to the special

populations involves a career that she is dedicated to. Her devotion isn't a feeling that

came with her j ob, but it is a feeling that Claire noticed as early as the third grade. The

following is a statement made by Claire during the first formal interview:

In the third grade I've mentioned to you I worked with Head Start kids when the
program first came about in the sixties, and at that point on I just always known
that I wanted to be a PE teacher. But I just have never seen myself do anything else.
I've never seen myself in another setting. I have never visualized myself in another
setting but working with mentally handicapped students.

This statement is a bold statement in that Claire said she always wanted to be a

physical education teacher and nothing else. Therefore, the researcher asked Claire

during the second formal interview a follow-up question that involved the above

statement. The following is an excerpt from the second formal interview:









Researcher: I understand that you never saw yourself doing anything else. Can you
explain to me why? What was the defining moment in your life when you
said, 'Claire, this is what I want to do, I want to teach special physical
education? '

Claire: I did Head Start in third grade and I volunteered with the Head Start
program when they had just developed the program and I spent a summer with
little kids... They were probably 4 and 5 years old and I was nine or ten years
old and we did outdoor activities and I just thought that was great...

Researcher: Before the Head Start program that you worked with, you had no clue?

Claire: No, I had no clue. No, I don't know if I really even thought about it. Well
you know I had pictures of me as a little girl and there are some clues to it... I
really, I mean, it was a very defining moment in third grade, I'll never forget
it, just going, ok, I'm going to be a P.E. teacher and that was that.

Often when children are at a young age they fantasize with professions that they

want to "grow up" and do. However, at age nine or ten it is not often that a child knows

what they want to do and then as they grow older they enter into that profession. In

Claire's case it was at a very young age, around nine or ten, when she knew what she

wanted to do in her life and then proceeded to do it. This is an example of Claire' s life-

devotion to the special populations.

Throughout Claire's extensive career as a special physical educator, she has

acquired a respectable resume of work experiences. This makes way for the next

category, involving multiple experiences. In 1975 she obtained a college degree in

physical education, at that time there were no degrees offered in special physical

education. Her first job lasted for a short period of time, ten months. The j ob was

working at a mental and physical health institution. There, Claire was involved in a

recreation program that took the clients on field trips. In an earlier interview Claire

described the facility as "too institutionalized." This invoked the researcher to ask Claire









to describe what is "too institutionalized." She describes the setting in the following

passage:

I worked on a ward with 23 clients that were in cribs and my job was to get them
out of the crib. I drove a school bus and took them on, it was part of recreation
program, and I took them on field trips and it just, the institute, they had just, they
had just taken the cages off the cribs. I mean it was your hard-core institution and I
just, it wasn't for me. Not the environment that I wanted to work in. You know, a
little too cold, very intense, it was just kind of sad. I wanted to be with kids that
were in a public school.

After working in the setting of her first j ob, Claire decided to leave and move to

another city for employment. Her second j ob was in similar setting as the first j ob, a

mental and physical health institution. She worked at this facility for three years. Her

duties entailed working in a cottage on the facility through a state school program where

she taught special physical education to the clients. The first year at the facility she

worked with very severely profound, non-ambulatory kids. Then from there she worked

in one of the cottages through the state school program where she worked with another

teacher. Her last year working at the facility Claire became the physical education teacher

for the state school program. Claire reflects on her last year in the institution setting:

By the end of the third year I was ready to get out of the institution setting. I got
really, I remember thinking, you know that environment at that time before the
federal government came in, it would be winter time when the kids didn't have
jackets and coats and you know the care on the cottages was not really good and I
just got burned down trying to fight for kids lives and be their teacher. I mean it
was just, you were just, this is too much. I don't know how else to explain it. I
mean, you're always just trying to get their shoes on their feet and trying to get
jackets so they can come to school and I mean you're always just beating your head
against the institution type setting and it' just, I just got burned out on it.

Claire gained more experience with her next j ob at the Association of Retarded

Citizens (ARC). While working at the ARC, her title was Recreation Director. She stated

in an interview that before she worked at the ARC, they had never had a person who

conducted physical education full-time. She was the first. Therefore, she was able to









develop a lot of programs rather than take over programs that were already in effect.

Another aspect of her j ob was to travel to a local high school and to a business center to

conduct physical education to the special populations. The position was financed through

a federal grant. The grant lasted for only two years while the ARC employed Claire.

About the j ob, she stated:

It turned out to be a great j ob. I probably would still be there if it hadn't been on a
grant position. But, I'm glad I'm not, I'm glad I am where I am. I was just
devastated when I had to leave that j ob.

After the ARC, Claire came to the school where she currently works. Now, she has

been working at this school for over twenty-two years. While employed, Claire has taken

on multiple tasks that are not included within the school. Thus, she has earned more

experience outside of the school settings. After leaving the ARC, Claire became a

member of the board for the ARC and the county coordinator for the Special Olympics

for ten years. Therefore, not only was she involved with the special populations during

her workday but also after hours. While she was working as the county coordinator for

the Special Olympics her j ob duties included, but were not limited to, raising funds for

the events, organizing the events, and making sure that all of the athletes went to all of

the events for the state and county games. In an interview Claire spoke of her work as the

county coordinator for the Special Olympics:

It was a lot of fun. It' s a lot of work...I called in meetings and had maybe thirty or
forty people there that were willing to help with the different aspects of Special
Olympics and volunteer. You know when we started we had huggers, which they
don't do anymore. At every Einish line there was someone to hug the athlete when
they crossed the finish line. We used to feed them with McDonalds and Burger
King and the different places in town. We have our games with about 300
participants, now it' s more like a regular track [event]. There' s no food. There's
huggers, you know you give the ribbons out, you run the event. It' s still a lot of
work and a lot of planning; but it' s been fun to watch it evolve to what it is now.









She stopped working as the county coordinator for the Special Olympics so she

could raise her son. She stated, "it was taking too much time away from home." Her son

was one year old and she needed more time away from the extra-curricular activities that

she was participating in, other than school. Today she gives advice, helps a little with the

Special Olympics, and she still takes kids to participate.

Other activities that she is involved in along with school consist of the following:

treasurer of the PTA, the department chair person (at school), organizing open house,

organizing the class reunion, and the family picnic. She states, "I like doing stuff like

that, I like kind of being in charge of extra-curricular stuff outside of teaching in the

classroom."

As one can see, Claire has taken many opportunities to be involved in and gain

experiences within the field of Special Physical Education for nearly thirty years, with the

last twenty-two years at the same place of employment. This, alone, has given her the

knowledge and aptitude to become the fine special physical educator she is today.

The researcher believes that another element, which involves special physical

education as the career meant for Claire' s life, comes out in her passion for her j ob. As

discussed in an earlier section, Claire demonstrates great passion for the special

populations. Furthermore, in this section the researcher displays Claire's passion for her

job in relation to her passion for the special populations. Within the interviews Claire

repeatedly states how she enjoyed each j ob she has obtained.

Claire cherished working with the clients at her first j ob but did not like the setting

it was in, as discussed in an earlier section on how the setting was "too institutionalized."









While working there she did many activities with the clients, as Claire reflects in this next

passage:

I was in the department of recreation and my j ob was working with non-
ambulatory, very severely profound adults and I took them on fieldtrips. So
everyday I loaded kids, or young adults on a school bus and we'd take them to
different parks and bowling allies.

Furthermore, with the next passage she exhibits her passion for working with the

special populations at the institution, but explains how it was difficult for her to see the

clients mistreated:

I worked at the j ob in [the institution] for 10 months, and it was really too
institutionalized for me. I had a very difficult time with it because it was a hospital
setting and I wanted something, I didn't really care for the way the kids were cared
for and that type of thing, so I moved...

As explained in an earlier discussion, the next place Claire worked was similar to

the first; however the settings were not as horrific. In the following extract Claire

discusses the activities she did with the clients and how some people looked down upon

them while she had "tons of fun" with them.

[About Claire's second year at the second institution] ...I went to the classroom
and worked with PI [physical impairment] kids, and that was probably the greatest
classes I've ever had. I worked with another teacher. It wasn't PE, we did
classroom activities. They were kids who were more PI than mentally handicapped.
We used to do all kinds of stuff with these guys. We took them to Disney World,
we took them home for Christmas, we use to take them trick or treating. We just
did everything with these kids. And I remember that was the first time that I really
felt that I was beyond being a teacher, that I was there parent, I was there friend. I
mean, what ever we did is what they got, because these were guys that were in the
institution. Most people looked at them and didn't think that they could do much
because they weren't verbal or they couldn't walk or that type of thing. And we just
had tons of fun.

Her feelings express a genuine passion for the kids and the job that she did. As

Claire' s j obs change, her passion for each j ob grows. It is not that she ever disliked any of

her experiences, however in the first couple of settings [the institutions] she felt that she









was not in the correct setting she would have liked o have been in. She wanted to be in a

setting where she had freedom to work with the kids rather than in a setting with many

regulations, like an institution. Freedom, along with passion, came with her next j ob as

the Recreation Director for the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC). Claire explains

her feelings toward the job:

Absolutely loved that j ob. I had it for two years on a grant. I worked with adults in
a j ob, sheltered j ob setting. And I was a full-time PE person and I would just, when
I think back of it I really didn't work real hard. I had 40 kids and I would do PE
activities with 40 kids once a day but I would work all day. I wrote a lot of
programs, we did a lot of field trips and that type of thing...

When the grant ran out, the ARC could not afford to pay anyone to be employed

for the position. Claire had to leave the position. She states, "When that grant went out, I

was very upset, because I could have stayed at that j ob forever."

With the next position, Claire displays great passion. The next position is also the

same position she currently holds, special physical educator, for the last twenty-two

years. This is her life, and her life is her passion. In the second interview the researcher

asked Claire, "I know you're very passionate about your j ob and your students, can you

explain to me why you are so passionate?" In response Claire stated:

Because I like what I do. Well...this is what I do. This is my life. I mean you know,
I have a choice, I can come to work happy or I can come to work bummed out. I
much rather live my life feeling good about what I do and happy about what I do.
This is, I just think that it is the choice of the way I choose to live my life. It sounds
so dramatic. I do this at home, I do this with my friends and I want things to be
upbeat.

In addition, Claire tells a story about a boss she had at the ARC, while she was

working there. The researcher asked her a question that invoked her story, "How do you

cope with personal stressors while at work? What do you do while you are here?" She

answered with the following:









I can very easily put aside things. Put it out of my head. I learned it when I worked
at ARC, I'll never forget this. I had a boss and I went in to talk to him about
something and he hung up the phone when I walked in and he said, 'Oh one of my
best friends just got diagnosed with Leukemia,' and we talked about it for about 2-3
minutes and he said, 'ok, I got to put it aside because I've got to do my job.' And
he was able to do that. I was so impressed with that and it just really, I thought you
know that is really a great skill to have. And I can come to work and put aside, and
then my husband hears all about it. But I mean you know, I don't think you will
ever see my carry over from things from home to here. Because that' s not how, my
job is where I come here every single day, this is where I know I am going to be
and I want it to be a great place. I want to have fun here I want to enj oy what I do. I
get frustrated, I get angry or disappointed, you know that type of thing with my j ob,
but I want it to be a good place because I know this is where I am going to be.

Another feature that makes Claire unique is that she not only comes to work happy,

it is her intent to make everyone around her feel the same. She includes everyone who is

involved with her. In the following segment Claire is discussing how she wants pre-

service physical education students to feel when they come to visit her class:

Every time a university student comes here either to do a practicum or internship, I
want them to leave here feeling excited about the job because maybe they'll go out
and be a teacher for special kids and feel good about it. It' s not so much as going
out and being an advocate, it's just feeling good about what you are doing.

This uniqueness also carries over with how Claire wants to give the classroom

aides a good experience, as she states in the following:

When I have PlVH [Profound Mentally Handicapped] classes come in here I'm
doing it just as much for the kids, what ever program, as I am for the aides that
come in here, because I want them to feel good about it too. Because those guys
work really hard for those kids and sometimes making them feel good is giving
them a break. Or you know, letting them say, 'you know I can do this.' You know,
because they are the one's feeding them, changing their diapers, lifting them, just
doing everything. I want them to come in and feel good. It's about the kids and it's
also about the staff that works with them.

Growing Up to Havinn a Family

This section incorporates Claire's childhood experiences and present family life as

inspirations in her teaching. In so, the influence of Claire' s family as she was a child to as

she is now an adult, her childhood physical education, and her athletic experiences are










presented in the following paragraphs. The two parts of this section are entitled "When

She was a Child" and "Family."

When She Was a Child

From the day she was born until about the age of six, Claire was a sick child. She

explains, "Because I was a premature baby, very unhealthy, very skinny, always cold,

every time my lips would turn purple I would have to get out of the pool, type thing." As

a sick child Claire reminisces how her parents were overprotective of her and wouldn't

allow her to do the same things as others her age. In addition, she remembers that around

the age of six or seven is when things changed for the better and she, mysteriously,

became healthy. From this point on in her childhood years she lived a very playful and

energetic life with the other children in her neighborhood. She revisits her childhood in

this next passage:

I don't know what happened but around age 6 or 7 I became a healthy person. I
think that I was kind of over protected. I've just always liked being, I think of my
childhood as playing outside, being outside. I grew up in a very nice neighborhood
that had tons of kids. I think of my summers as playing kick the can, one
neighborhood verses another neighborhood... anywhere from jacks, I used to make
my mom take me to school early so we could be at the bus loop playing j acks, and
jump roping, bicycle riding. My childhood was spent playing outside. We live by a
lake, so there was always water stuff going on and it' s just kind of the way [my
childhood was spent].

If you have ever spent any time in Claire' s classroom observing her teaching methods

and activities she chooses to use, you would understand that her childhood experiences

have been brought into the classroom setting and are being utilized for teaching purposes.

As Claire continues to discuss her childhood experiences and love for playing games, this

next passage delves into how she now uses the past experiences and incorporates them

into how she teaches in the classroom.









Yeah I just, I have always been a kid who really liked to play. We were the kids in
the neighborhood who had the ping-pong table, the pool table at the house. We had
during the summer time, a couple summers, I remember Wednesday night was
poker night at our house, and we had monopoly going. We always had, my family
moved a lot when I was younger. My dad was in the military, and we were games
people, we always played games, Russian bank, we always had games, boxes and
boxes of games. [I] loved j acks, pogo sticking, jump roping, foursquare; we were
always playing games. And I think that has really carried over with my job here.
That is why I feel like having a rec. room and stuff. I think games are an incredibly
great way to teach kids, turn-taking, good sportsmanship. I mean, if I had "Anchor"
more, I would love to really do a unit on board games with "Anchor" because it is
amazing watching kids who don't have those skills playing board games, what you
could teach.

The following is an excerpt from the second interview that was prompted from the above

passage.

Researcher: Did that [her childhood experiences] have any influence on you
wanting to become a P.E. teacher, and what you do in a P.E. classroom?

Claire: Yeah, definitely I wanted to be outside... I love teaching kids how to play
games and doing things. If you look at my equipment room, I have pogo sticks
and jump ropes and j acks, and some of the things that I had when I was a kid.
And I am developing more of that with the Anchor kids because they don't
have these things. One of the things I love teaching kids is how to play
foursquare. It's just something that every kid can do in the street. To play
foursquare is something I loved doing when I was a kid.

Researcher: Is that a big factor that influences what kind of equipment you bring in,
because you think they may never have a chance to do it?

Claire: Yes, I think so, absolutely, especially with the roller-skating and the
swimming, and the bowling. Absolutely.

Researcher: Is it safe to say that you want to give them the opportunity?

Claire: Yeah, I would say that 90% of my program is that. You hit it on the head
with that one. Doing the CBI trips, we used to do a lot of camping, my
husband and I, really appreciate being out in the wilderness, you know that' s
why I like taking the kids to the different parks, to Devils Millhopper, the
Hammocks, we're in parks because it' s what it' s like walking in the woods.

Claire has made it quite clear that when she was a child she loved playing games

with other children and loved being outside. Furthermore, unquestionably she states that









her childhood experiences have greatly assisted in her choices of activities to utilize in

the classroom. Next, Claire's childhood Physical Education experiences and her athletic

experiences are presented.

The influence of past Physical Education experiences to inspire Claire's drive to

become a Physical Education teacher began in elementary school. In the earlyl960's,

President Kennedy began endorsing a nationwide push for the implementation of

Physical Education classes within the public school sector. This endorsement targeted

many schools, particularly the elementary school that Claire attended. With the school

required to have structured Physical Education courses, she attended them on a daily

basis. She explains:

The elementary school I went to in the 60's, president Kennedy was starting the
fitness program for youth, the elementary school I went to was one of the schools
they targeted and we had structured PE everyday it was my most favorite time of
the day.

Her love for Physical Education classes did not stop at the elementary school level

but increased in her high school years. During her years in high school, Claire became a

favored student of the Physical Education teacher. The teacher lived in the same

neighborhood as Claire and they would occasionally see each other throughout the

neighborhood. Claire rediscovers her high school Physical Education teacher:

I just remember, Miss. Holcombe... I guess she was just a really positive person. I
remember that she put me in charge of a lot of things, which I liked. And then she
also did something, like we did archery, which I thought was very cool. I remember
her keeping me after school, and a painting that I did is still there, because I went
back there not too long ago, painted the shuffleboard thing [outline] in the hallway.
And I thought that was neat as a kid that she gave me that to do. You know, so I
think that she definitely favored me in a certain way... I was with her for last period
everyday...all of the athletes had that period, so we got to do a lot of special things.
It was fun. I don't remember, I can sort of visualize her but I just remember liking
going to that class.










Another experience, which was a concurrent influence with her high school physical

education classes, is that Claire grew up playing tennis. As stated in the above passage,

all athletes that played sports in her high school had physical education during the last

period everyday. It was time used for bonding amongst the school athletes. In addition,

after class each would stay to practice their sport.

Claire was born in Oklahoma, but moved to England a few years after. She lived in

England for her first, second, and part of the third grade. She began playing tennis while

living in England because her mom and her cousins played the game, she states in the

next passage:

My mom played tennis and she wanted me to play. So I think around eight I had
my first tennis lesson. At that time we were living in England and, my cousins, we
all played tennis. One of my cousins had a tennis court in the back yard, and that' s
just sort of what we did...and when we moved [back] here [United States], we were
in New York for a while. That was just for a very short time and then we moved to
Lake City and they had one tennis court where they had a chained fence as a net.
Lake City was a very small town and there wasn't really a whole bunch to do, so
that' s what we did as a family, my sister played, my brother played, my mom
played.

The game of tennis became a large role in her life. She describes, "I played tennis all

through High School and I was a very successful tennis player for the time. So that was

my connection with the world, and it was a very positive connection." She even recalls

using tennis as a means for a first date, "...It [tennis] was a big social part of my life. I

mean, you know, I remember having dates playing tennis, meeting people to play

tenni s... "

The high school Claire attended was newly built with several tennis courts adding

to its amenities. With the tennis courts in place, in order to have a tennis team, all the

school needed was a tennis coach. Claire speaks of the tennis coach and the team:









...When I reached high school I got lucky, because we had a history teacher in high
school that loved the game of tennis, he wasn't very good but just really loved the
game. And he formed a girl's team. We had a really good team. So, he picked us up
and we played tennis for 4 years and did really well and it was just tons of fun.

After Claire's tennis experiences in high school she continued to play competitively in

community college and finally played with the team at the University of West Florida.

Lastly, about her tennis career, she states, "It was just a really nice connection with the

school and the community."

Claire became a successful athlete in her career as a tennis player. Recall that she

was a premature baby and as a child was very sick. In so, she wasn't able to do

participate in play, as other children her age were able to do. When she turned six or

seven years old she became healthy and eventually became a successful athlete.

Experiencing the first six or seven years of her life gave her the motivation and strength

of character to become athletic and to love the outdoors. Now she conveys the passions of

her childhood experiences in the classroom where she teaches other children physical

education. As a child she loved playing board games and now has a recreation room that

has many board games and different activities that she can use as a means to teach

different skills to her students. Also, when she was growing older she loved to be

outdoors and to play different sports. Now, as a teacher she takes her children outdoors

and gives them the opportunity they wouldn't normally have to play sports. It is apparent

that Claire has masterfully conj oined her childhood experiences with how she teaches in

the classroom.

Family and Personal Life

Now, Claire' s personal and family life will be presented. In life it seems as if many

teachers become so involved in their work that they put their family values aside. In this









fast paced world the intentions of the teachers may not be to put so much time and effort

into their work that they forget about spending time with their family, but this may occur.

The researcher believes that this is a reason why people can become burned out within

their places of employment. Moreover, this may explain why some teachers do not take

time out of their lives to "stop and smell the roses" and enj oy their lives and families.

This segment will display how Claire strives to enj oy her life and her family. In doing so,

this section will detail her personal and family life and how her family is the backbone of

her life support.

While conducting the interviews, the researcher noticed a specific trend that Claire

kept repeating; she does not like to spend time alone. She states, "I am a person that who

does not and will not spend time alone... I just think its just having people around me and

I like touching and hugging and, you know my [school] kids are into that." Noticing the

trend in the first interview, the researcher was prompted to ask Claire to go into more

detail about the subj ect during the second interview. Claire explains:

I like being around people. I like talking, laughing, and having a good time. I have
always been very social. I just think that it' s just my personality. I just like being
around people. And I just enj oy being around people and having a good time. I
don't know how to answer that, it' s just who I am.

That is exactly who she is, and that is what makes her a special case. Claire is an active

person and generally chooses to immerse herself around other people. However, there are

times when she can be alone but she must be involved in a proj ect or doing something to

keep her busy, about her energetic self she states, "I just have energy, that I, I read late at

night to go to sleep." She continues:

Now, I go home at 5:00 or whatever time I get home at, and I crash. Because I put
all of my energy here [at work], you know. I will get bursts of energy. But I told
my husband and as I've gotten older it' s gotten better, but it's a good thing they









didn't have all of the labels when I was growing up because I would have definitely
had a lot of the labels as they give kids now [She laughs].

While Claire is very involved in her school and community she does not let her

involvement take her away from her family and friends. She speaks of her involvement:

I think, I organize things really well, and so, I mean like this year, I think I
mentioned some of this to you, I am treasurer of PTA, I am the department chair
person, I organize open house, I organize the class reunion, the family picnic, I like
doing stuff like that, I like kind of being in charge of extra-curricular stuff outside
of teaching the classroom.

When asked about her extra-curricular activities in the second interview she states:

To fill my time I enjoy being in charge of things, and having my hand in different
parts of the school. I like knowing how everything works. I like walking into the
front office and knowing how the intercom works. This sounds trivial, but I just
like knowing how everything works. If I am going to spend every day here for
basically my life, you know I want to be a real integral part of what' s going on. I
feel like I have the talent to carry these on, to carry these activities on.

With her involvement in many things surrounding the school where she teaches one

might think she would never have any time to spend with her family and friends. But on

the contrary, when she is away from work she devotes most of her time and energy with

her family and friends. This is what makes her a special case, unlike other teachers

discussed earlier in this section. She is a special case because she can keep her personal

life and her job separate from each other, as displayed within the next segment of

conversation that occurred in the second interview:

Researcher: How do you cope with personal stressors while at work? What do you
do while you are here?

Claire: .. I am very easy, I can very easily put aside things. Put it out of my head.

Researcher: Really?

Claire: Yeah, really easy. I learned it, when I worked at ARC. I'll never forget this,
I had a boss and I went in to talk to him about something and he hung up the
phone when I walked in and he said, 'Oh one of my best friends just got
diagnosed with Leukemia,' and we talked about it for about 2-3 minutes and









he said ok, I got to put it aside because I've got to do my job. And he was able
to do that, I was so impressed with that and it just really, I thought you know
that is really a great skill to have. And I can come to work and put aside, and
then my husband hears all about it. But I mean you know, I don't think you
will ever see my carry over from things from home to here. Because that not
how, my job is where I come here every single day, this is where I know I am
going to be and I want it to be a great place. I want to have fun here I want to
enj oy what I do. I get frustrated, I get angry or disappointed, you know that
type of thing with my j ob, but I want it to be a good place because I know this
is where I am going to be.

Claire has learned the skill of putting her personal stressors aside when she is at work and

her school stressors aside when she is at home. This is a unique skill to acquire and to

master. Because of this she can continue to be productive while working and to enj oy her

life outside of work. This makes her a special and unique case.

About her personal life with her friends, Claire speaks:

...I mean you know there are discussions that go on at home but well my personal
life is very, very separate from my j ob even though a couple of teachers at this
school are my best friends and we do things outside of school, and we talk a little
about school, but not a whole bunch.

One point to be mentioned about her friends is that most of her friends that she spends

time with out of work are also teachers, some at the same school. In the second interview

this intrigued the researcher to ask, "Why do you choose these friends?"

Simply, Claire replied, "I do that because that' s who I meet. You know, those are

the people that I've met over the years and it' s common interest."

Claire has stated numerous times throughout the interviews how she loves the

outdoors and being active with her friends and family. Furthermore, there are a group of

her close friends that she spends a lot of time with along with her family. She reminisces

of her outings with the group:

...We have really good friends ... who we've been friends with for 20 years. We
spend every Christmas together. We spend every spring break together, we, every
Sunday we get together and have meals together; we take turns cooking. I mean









we're very, I'm probably as close to them as I would be my own family. We both
have a son their 6 months apart... mines adopted she had hers. I mean it just was a
fluky thing. Our two families do camping trips, we do summer vacations. Because
we do so much with other people all the time and we like that and that' s what we
chose, um we're part of a group of six couples that do everything together
basically. And each month we try to have something different so we can all get
together and we have been doing this for quite a few years. And then we have lots
of traditions, um, Memorial Day weekend season we go to their beach house and
you know we just have lots of great traditions.

This leads the discussion into another topic, Claire's use of taking time off. From the

researchers experience in the work field, often employees take advantage of their

employer by taking time off and may even use sick time when they are not actually sick.

This thought prompted the researcher' s next set of questions, listed in the conversation

below:

Researcher: Do you go to work when you are sick?

Claire: Yes, I am sick today.

Researcher: Aren't you allowed time off for sick days?

Claire: I take my time, every once in a while I will allow myself and be sick and
just go home and stay in bed. I don't like being home by myself, I like being
home, I love my family. I don't want to be home and do nothing. The only
time I take a day off is when I really feel like I can't get out of bed. I use my
time and I use, I rarely have, my husband worked 7 years with out taking a
day off. I don't think that I have had a year where I don't think that I had any
time really left over at the end of the year. I don't carry over my personal
leave. I take time off to really do fun things. When I take time off I am not
staying in town. I have a really nice group of friends and we do things over,
like I have this 3 weekends out of the year, that I have this group of girlfriends
that we go on, we go out of town. I always take that Friday off because I am
doing something with my friends...I don't take off just to take off, and I don't
take off when I am sick. I take off when I know I am going to do something
really fun. You know, I do it mainly, I like to travel, so usually it's always
trips...I will take off to meet my brother or my sister if they are coming into
town. You know I take off to do things that are really fun things to do.

As one can understand, Claire uses her time off wisely. She doesn't take off in order to

have a day off, but only if she has plans to do something with her friends or family. Most










of the time she even goes into work when she is sick; this shows true dedication. This

also displays in further detail her passion for being active. Claire continues with

explaining her summer vacations:

...When it' s summertime, which is why I don't go and do some of the maj or
Physical Education workshops, because it's during my vacation time and my time
away. I don't want to do work related stuff during my vacation time. I like getting
really bored before I come back to work; so then I am excited about going back to
work.

When she takes her time off from work for traveling with her friends and family, she

comes back refreshed and ready to continue her life's devotion to her teaching. She

returns excited and ready for the challenge of being a Special physical education teacher.

Yet, the above statements continue to explain how she keeps her work separated from her

personal life. As stated earlier, this is a reason why she is a special case and she does not

become burned out as many other physical education teachers do.

In the second interview, the researcher probed to find out more about Claire's

family life. He understood the importance of her family but still wanted to hear what she

had to say about her family. A familiar theme arose once again. The following is an

excerpt from the interview:

Researcher: ... You just stated that you don't go to workshops in the summer
because of family time. There are many people in this world that work
themselves crazy, and don't give their family that much time, why do you
give your family that time?

Claire: I totally separate, I would say, when I go home throughout the school year, I
probably do maybe an hour worth of work at home, maybe for the whole
school year. And that' s usually the first week of school when I try putting my
lesson plans book together. When I leave work, work is done. Then I go home
and have fun...

Researcher: Why?

Claire: Why? Because I want to separate, I don't, work is not my life, it' s a big part
of my life, but my home life is just as important and I do what I do when I am










here, and I put all of my energy into it and when I go home, I stop this and I
do my home stuff.

Researcher: Does that keep it fresh for you?

Claire: Yeah, I think so. I don't feel overwhelmed by it or burned out by it. Now
my first, I would say my first 3 years working here, I would come in
weekends just because I was still learning what to do. I was a beginner
teacher. But after that I felt very comfortable and I learned how to manage my
time and do what I need to do within the work setting, and. The demand for
the job is only what I put on it. And I don't put so much on that I have to take
it home with me. I stay very busy while I'm at work because I don't want to
not be busy; I like being busy.

The familiar theme of keeping work separate from home arose in the above conversation.

Therefore, the researcher concludes that Claire' s action of keeping work separate from

home life is a maj or factor in her not becoming burned out. She even states that herself in

the above passage. Her family life is also an important factor and influence in her

teaching, as evident above and more specifically in the following section discussing her

family. This is a large reason why she keeps her work and home life separated. Below,

Claire begins with talking about her Mother:

I grew up with a mother. My dad died when I was young, and my mother never
remarried. I grew up with a mother who never worked, that was extremely involved
in the community that we lived in. She did outrageous stuff, started daycare
centers for underprivileged people, she not only did the daycare stuff, she would
bring in the mothers and teach them how to cook and how to go to the grocery
store... she belonged to the garden club and the women's club, but she was very,
very community oriented. Which I think, I grew up watching that and really
respecting that and liking that part of what she did. Um, and my mother' s also
British and was not from this country and lived the life of her and my brother and
my sister and I, my dad died of a heart attack unexpectedly when I was 9 and so she
stayed in this country and learned how to cook and she learned how to write bills
and you know I just had a tremendous amount of respect for her. She's a very
strong woman. I grew up in a matriarchal family, in other words, I mean I've, my
sister is the oldest and she's a very strong woman too and I just lived with strong
people...










The influence of her family as she was growing has a solid correlation to what she has

grown to be today, a strong woman. She continues on with her family and now discusses

her connections with her husband:

...My husband, who we're getting ready to celebrate our 21st anniversary Thursday
which is also my graduation, grew up in a totally different family, which is you
know entertainers, a very quiet mother, you know the father rules the house... So, I
remember when Mark and I first met we both talked a lot about our family and I
thought this is really cool. He feels as close to his family and his family is as
important to him as my family is to me. You know and that was definitely one of
the maj or attractions when we first met... I was looking at our photo book the
other day we were laughing at how all our pictures look the same, we're just a little
older because we do all these fun things. I mean we have a great life. We really
do.

Above displays how Claire's family life and her husband do play a positive role in her

life. This makes it easy for her to forget about work. She can come home from work and

want to have fun with her family and friends. Then in the morning go to work prepared

for another day as a Special physical education teacher. Below is a final question and

answer segment from the second interview:

Researcher: Does you family life influence you teaching? Maybe how you interact
with them, or...

Claire: I think that when you teach and you don't have children and then you do,
things shift a little bit. Because you know you start thinking about how your
child might interact or how you want teachers to interact with your child. So, I
think there is a little shift that, you know, I think you become a little more
aware that you are working with other people's children... I mean I have a
husband that is very supportive and you know if I have questions about some
things that I am doing I can always talk to him about it.

A final conclusion and thought on Claire's separation from work and her personal

life is that it keeps her fresh, well prepared to start another day, it is a meaning of

finishing a long day at work, she can spend time with her friends and family, she can

have fun, and most importantly, she does not become burned out and want to quit.









Of All the Hard Settings

Discussing the next theme involves the difficult settings that Claire has worked in.

This does not describe what her positions were in her previous and current place of

employment, as this was discussed in an earlier section of this chapter. The obj ective of

this section is to describe the difficult work settings she has worked in and how she has

overcome them or why she chose to leave them. There is one common theme that arose

in this section; it is entitled "Hard Working Environments."

Hard Working Environments. The first segment to be discussed involves Claire's

working environments that were or are currently difficult to handle. The difficult work

settings will be discussed in the order from the day she began working to the present day.

In doing so, her reasoning for why she relinquished her duties from two of her past places

of employment will also be presented. Also, this section will discuss how Claire manages

difficult students and co-workers who have negative attitudes in the workplace.

A previously mentioned difficult environment that Claire has worked in is the

institutional settings. When she decided to work at the first mental health institution the

year was 1975 and she was fresh out of college and looking to make an impact in the

lives of her patients. Shortly after starting her j ob, she began to realize that the institution

and the employees were working against her beliefs and were hindering her j ob

performance. When the researcher asked, "Why was it difficult to work there [the first

State Mental Health Institute she worked at] for you and why was it a difficult work

setting?" Claire replied:

The key things that were difficult at [the State Institute] was one you were dealing
with a huge bureaucracy...your also dealing with people that, I was the teacher, I'd
go to the cottage where the kids lived and they were taken care of by people who
were paid minimum wage, they had no education, they were very defensive, that
had a very yucky job. They were the ones changing diapers, feeding kids; you









know a job with very little reward. And you know here I'd come going this kid
doesn't have the shoes he needs to have or this kid' s got to have a jacket on...or
this kid is not clean or this kid has been abused or you know, I'm the teacher trying
to work with the kids in the class and really cares about the kids and I'm also
having to be like a parent, um, trying to get what I could of the basic needs for this
kid. But I'm dealing with people who are already overwhelmed and underpaid. You
know, so it just didn't lead to a really happy environment because if I wasn't the
advocate for that student nobody was. You know I think that' s just what kind of
gets you so frustrated...I had to go through all these channels and you just felt like
nothing got done and you know the morale wasn't always that great. So, that made
it a very difficult situation and I mean you reach a point where you're like their
teacher, their parent, their everything. You know you were the person in their life
that really cared about them and you might have been the only person. It really was
that dramatic, working in a state setting you know. Um, so I think that' s what made
it very difficult...

Within Claire's discussions about the difficult work settings at the State Mental

Health Institutes, her passions for the students and her good work ethics arise once again.

This displays her devoted love for her career and the students she works with. In the

above discussion her difficult work settings are flaunted and the researcher can feel her

passions come alive in her words. In an earlier interview Claire described the facility as

"too institutionalized." This invoked the researcher to ask Claire to describe what is "too

institutionalized." She describes the setting in the following passage:

I worked on a ward with 23 clients that were in cribs and my job was to get them
out of the crib. I drove a school bus and took them on, it was part of recreation
program, and I took them on field trips and it just, the institute, they had just, they
had just taken the cages off the cribs. I mean it was your hard-core institution and I
just, it wasn't for me. Not the environment that I wanted to work in. You know, a
little too cold, very intense, it was just kind of sad. I wanted to be with kids that
were in a public school.

This is when she decided to leave the Institution setting and wanted to work in a public

school setting. However, working in a public school setting would not happen right away.

After only working in the first Institution for six months she soon found herself

employed by the same State Institution but in another city. The second State Institution

was running in a little more favorable conditions than the first that she worked at, but still










not up to par for Claire. She worked there for three years and had this to say about why

she decided to leave:

By the end of the third year I was ready to get out of the institution setting. I got
really, I remember thinking, you know that environment at that time before the
federal government came in, it would be winter time when the kids didn't have
jackets and coats and you know the care on the cottages was not really good and I
just got burned down trying to Eight for kids lives and be their teacher. I mean it
was just, you were just, this is too much. I don't know how else to explain it. I
mean, you're always just trying to get their shoes on their feet and trying to get
jackets so they can come to school and I mean you're always just beating your head
against the institution type setting and it' just, I just got burned out on it...I wasn't
stimulated there. I didn't have the opportunity to, have, create the programs I like
to have.

With such difficult environments for the patients to be living in and Claire doing

everything in her power, on top of teaching, to help the patients live comfortably she

couldn't take it anymore. She couldn't handle the State Institution settings anymore. As

much as she tried to get her patients the necessary treatments and basic needs for living

the institution and the employees seemed to deny with complying. The employees were

underpaid, under educated, and overwhelmed with work that they often did what ever

they had to do just to get by. Moreover, the employees did the bare minimum and often

didn't seem like they cared about the patients. They were just doing it for the money, for

their paychecks. This was not a conducive environment for Claire to work in. She is an

exceptional case because she was working there for all of the opposite reasons as stated

about the above employees.

Since this discussion is focusing on the negative attitudes of other employees that

Claire has worked with, a particular case needs to be addressed. This case entails an

employee who once worked with Claire about fifteen years ago. The two were teachers

together at the same school where Claire currently works (Marshville). This case displays

how Claire does not and will not involve herself in a negative environment.










When Claire first started working at Marshville she quickly made many friends. As

well, there was one teacher who she became really good friends with. This person was

the school's music teacher. Often the two would sit around during free moments and talk

with each other. At first, it seemed to Claire that her friend was "real high energy" and

that "she enjoyed her j ob." Yet, a couple of years later Claire noticed a change in her

friend' s attitude about her j ob. Claire illustrates, "After about the 4th or 5th year [of their

friendship], her husband is going through medical school, she knew she wasn't going to

work here anymore and she became really negative." Claire quickly decided that she

needed to do something. So, she quit being friends with her. After some time went by, her

"old" friend noticed that the two were not talking anymore. Claire states about the

occurrence:

One day she came up and she said [Claire] how come we are not friends anymore?
And I said, you know I am going to be here for the next twenty years, this was
quite a long time ago. If I am going to be here I have to feel good about where I am
working, and you don't like this place anymore, and I can't deal with it everyday. I
don't want to be around people who are whining and complaining and griping
about stuff constantly. You know, I just can't do it, I cannot be your friend and
work here and feel good about working here. And because I don't want to hear
everyday that you're out of here and you don't like it, when I really care about what
goes on here.

After the confrontation, Claire spoke of their relationship, "It was strange, our

friendship was strange after that." Eventually her colleague's husband Einished medical

school and the teacher and her husband moved to a different location.

In the second interview, the researcher asked Claire once again about the negative

situation she once was in, "[This category] talks about how many years ago you had the

friend here that was very negative and you stopped talking with her. Why do you not like

being around someone who's in such a negative setting?" Claire responded:









Because I know that this is where I'm going to be and that' s basically what I told
her at the time is this is where I've chosen to be and this is where I want to be and I
don't want to be somewhere I don't feel good about it and be around people who
don't feel good about it. I want to be lifted up and come in here and just have a
good feeling about it. I don't want to hear bitching and complaining and whining.

This is an exceptional example displaying Claire's positive attitude in the workplace. She

says, "... I just want to be upbeat, I want to be positive I want [to] feel good about why

I'm here and what I'm doing and so I surround myself with people that feel the same

way."

A final difficult setting, that Claire is currently experiencing, includes managing

difficult students will now be presented. While discussing this issue, the researcher will

detail how Claire manages her difficult students. But first, a preface to the issue arises

and must be explained.

In the past few years a new program has come to her school. This program is

referred to as an Anchor Program. Claire briefly describes what an Anchor Program is:

...It' s a regular elementary school. But it' s for kids that are very transient. When
they started the program they realized that there was over 200 hundred kids that by
the time they hit second grade, were hardly ever in school because they were
constantly being moved around from school to school because their parents or who
ever never stayed in the same zoned area and these kids were just missing out of
more than a half of a year of school. So they developed this program because we
had busses that went all over the county...It didn't matter where they lived; they
didn't have to be in a zoned area or neighborhood school...

The importance of this program is that most of her misbehaved students are in this

program. Before the Anchor Program, Claire rarely had students who misbehaved on a

regular basis. However, now that she teaches the students in the Anchor Program,

students in the program misbehave on a regular basis. It is a different teaching

environment due to the fact of what she is teaching the students. Claire explains

I'm used to working with kids [with disabilities] in teaching them how to do a skill,
where Anchor kids I am having to teach them on how to behave and what my










expectations are on how they behave in class to do a skill on that they probably
already know how to do. I can break down how to teach you to kick a ball, in a
heartbeat, the Anchor kids I have to explain how I want them to sit, watch, walk,
stand and move to kick that ball which they already know how to kick.

Teaching skills of how to behave while in class is a new talent Claire is learning to

perfect. "I try to do it more on a positive note than I would on a negative punishment,"

she states. However, often during class Claire has to sit an Anchor student off to the side

because of misbehaving. She uses a cone to assign a place for the students to go. She

describes, "...I will say you need to go and sit by the cone, with your legs folded and

your hands folded in your lap. When you are doing that then I know you are ready to

come back to class and your eyes are on me." She later states, Ninety percent of the

time, the kid is going to sit by the cone, and say can I come back in, can I come back in,

because they want to be part of the class." The researcher can account that this procedure

does occur consistently. While the researcher was observing Claire, on several occasions

she had to sit a student out from participating in class due to misbehaving. In doing so,

Claire gave precise and consistent instructions to the students who misbehaved.

While observing Claire one day, the researcher witnessed most of the students in a

class period misbehaving. The activity that day was called "water play" and involved

several kiddy pools and water toys. She began the class with explaining her rules,

"...Couple of rules. I'm gonna be very, very strict. If you break my rule, you will come

over here and you will sit down. I'm going to be watching closely..." Often during the

class period Claire had to sit several students out. The class was wildly out of control and

needed to be corrected regularly. After class, Claire told the students that they would not

be able to have "water play" the following class period they come to and she was going

to have a regular, very strict physical education class with them. When the class left









Claire and the researcher discussed what occurred. Claire said, "I really didn't explain to

them well enough what they need to do, what my expectations were. I just thought they

could handle it, just getting out of the pool, just getting out there and just play, and they

can't." A couple of days went by when Claire and the researcher spoke again about the

class. Claire stated that she met with her troubled class about misbehaving during water

play. She went to their class while their teacher was present and explained very clearly

her rules of water play. She brought the class to observe another class while they

participated in water play. The other class was well behaved and did everything she

wanted them to do. The misbehaved class sat still with their teacher while observing the

other class following the rules. The next time the misbehaved class came for water play,

Claire sat them down before class began to explain exactly what her rules were and that

they need to follow them. She also explained to them that it was their one and only

chance to do well. If they misbehave they will not get a second chance. Also, her water

play program was now structured with activities for them to complete. The students

behaved well this time.

Claire is overcoming her difficult situation with the Anchor Program by leaning

from her past experiences working with the program. She has learned to give clear,

specific, and consistent directions to the students. She believes that the students are most

difficult to teach at the beginning of the year because they have not adapted to her rules

and regulations. Once the students understand her rules and know the consequences of

breaking the rules they misbehave less frequently.

Throughout the years of Claire' s professional career, she has been involved in

many situations. Some situations she was not able to overcome, such as working in the









State Mental Health Institutions. Even so, she knew from the beginning when she took

those jobs that she wanted to work in a public school setting. She was just using the two

jobs at the State Mental Health Institutions to get experience. She has also experienced

difficult work environments at the current public school she teaches. However, unlike

other physical educators who have burned out she has overcome the difficult experiences

and learned from them. She is a unique and extraordinary case because of this.

What Support! What Innovation!

A final theme is now discussed. This theme entails two sub themes that often

reoccurred throughout the entire study. The subthemes are entitled "Great Support" and

"Innovation with Motivation." The first of the two presents the support that Claire

receives at her current school. Not only does it explain all of her support groups within

her current place of employment, but also details her support groups outside of her

school. Next, the researcher displays how Claire remains innovative with her teaching

methods. Her variety within her programs and need for creating new programs are given.

Finally, a last look into Claire's motivations for keeping innovative and persisting to

remain on the cutting edge of her field will be exhibited.

Great Support

This section will begin its discussion by detailing Claire's support groups within

the community of her school and then will be expanded into all other support groups.

Claire works at a school where everyone likes what he or she is doing. "I work with

a group of people that are, they all feel passionate about working with the kids," she

states. Consequently, Claire is able to work closely with all of the teachers. Working

directly with the teachers allows her to create close relationships that are vital to her










students' learning capabilities. This also allows for a comfortable environment for all

employees to work in.

A great example of Claire's co-workers support involves the water play example of

the misbehaving class. Two of her co-workers assisted her with the issue. The first was

the class' regular teacher. Claire stated, "I went to the teacher and said what I want to do

is Friday I'm going to go in her room at some point and set up the wading pool so that

water and we're going to practice." The teacher was willing to comply and was readily

available to assist. Also, the teacher sat down with the class on her own time to discuss

the importance of following the rules while in Physical Education. The next time the

students came to Physical Education the teacher brought them to a class period earlier so

they could watch how the class before them behaves. The teacher sat next to her students

and pointed out the things that the class was doing correctly. She encouraged her students

to act the same.

The second person that assisted Claire in the issue was a trained administrator who

worked in the main office. This person voluntarily stated that he would assist Claire when

the class comes in again. Claire spoke with the trained administrator before the next class

period and told him what she expects from the class. When the class came the

administrator assisted Claire with keeping the students behaving properly.

Another example that not too many people would consider as part of a support

group is her media specialist. Claire explains, "Our media specialist is really good, and

she'll say, 'Oh [Claire] I got this flyer about this book, are you interested?' And she'll

purchase it for me." In this example Claire was not seeking help; however, the Media

Specialist approached her and offered her suggestions of a book.









As Claire's co-workers are supportive of her, she displays the same support for

them. During the second interview the researcher probed into the issue by asking, "How

do you [Claire] support people?" She responded:

If somebody needs help with something, 'Oh [Claire] you know my aide's not here
and I got to go,' I say bring them [students] on. You know, I have an open door
policy and I always am telling people this does not belong to me, my old gym did
not belong to me, it belongs to the school. My equipment does not belong to me, it
belongs to the school. So, if anybody needs anything, it' s like, I'll, within reason,
I'll help them or give them whatever they need, or whatever support they need or
whatever equipment they need or that type of thing.

Within Claire's work support group there are two main people who are

significantly involved. The first, and very importantly, is her principal, Susan. The

second is a co-worker and teacher named Mark. Claire explains why they are important

to her support group, "It' s really having two people who are in 2 totally different

capacities that I know, support what I do one hundred percent." The principal's

continuing support is first discussed.

The work environment that Susan creates is pleasant, as observed by the researcher.

Claire states, "We've had only one person here in 22 years that has even had a grievance

against our principal, which is unheard of." Later she discussed how the staff that gets

employed at the school rarely leaves and how the school has the lowest turnover rate in

the county.

Susan is also open to new ideas. Claire states, "Every idea I come up with, anything

I want to do that is a little of the norm, I have never been told no." She continues, "I have

a principal who I have had for 18 years, um, who is extremely supportive of P.E."

Throughout the interview Claire repeatedly stated that her principal was very supportive

of her Physical Education programs. This prompted the researcher to probe the issue

further. The following is an excerpt from the second interview:









Researcher: Why is she [the principal] so supportive of P.E.?

Claire: Because if I want to go swimming in September, she'll make it happen for
me. She supports the different types of diversity in the programs that I like to
do. If I want to go off campus with kids, she makes that a priority.

Researcher: Why do you think she supports P.E. so much? There are so many
principals out there that don't support P.E.

Claire: I really don't know. I always in my head thought that it was because I did a
really good j ob and that, you know that, I was coming from the right place.
You know, when I said I really want to show these kids what woods are about
and the different parks are about and to learn about [the city], she knows that' s
what I really want to do; that I really want to teach kids about our community.
She knows that I'll do it and that I'll do it, and do a good job of it. I don't
know how else to say it. I've always been very confident about what I do,
when I make a decision to try something and I think that she knows that, you
know, that I am coming from the right place.

The above passage displays the continuing support that Claire believes her principal has

with the Physical Education programs. It also recognizes Claire's confidence and

distinguishes her as an extraordinary Physical Education teacher who is a special and

umique case.

Outside of Claire' s workforce she has an immense network of people who play

different roles in providing support. The support group consists of people in the

community such as professors at a nearby University and teachers at local schools. Of the

two listed, Claire's biggest support group involves two professors at a local University.

Claire has worked closely with a professor, Mrs. Smith, for nearly twenty years.

When Claire first came to the school she teaches, there were not that many people

teaching Special physical education around the country. Therefore, she had very few

people she could go to for help. At first, her support group consisted of very few. She

soon met a young professor at a local University who was teaching courses about the

special populations. The two were similar in age, early in their careers, very passionate,









and knowledgeable about individuals with disabilities. From the beginning they made a

great connection. Since then, the two have remained great friends and often assist each

other with support. Claire speaks of Dr. Smith, "[Dr. Smith] is my sounding board. If I

ever need help she always sends people out, there' s always a constant flow of people in

here, so I'm not over here in my little world." Dr. Smith consistently sends her students

to volunteer with Claire and help with her Physical Education programs. A prime

example of their simultaneous support for each other is a program the two have

developed over fifteen years ago. It entails Claire transporting a class of her students to

the University for an off-site adapted physical education program. When the students

arrive, a group of University students are waiting to provide help with the program. The

University students consist of both undergraduate and graduate students who are

volunteering their time to get experience in the field. When Claire' s students get off the

bus they immediately pair with a University student for the entirety of the period. Next,

each pairing runs a warm-up lap around a designated area and then, as a group, the

students do stretching exercises. Once completed, the students go to a nearby workout

room to do exercises on Med-ex (Nautilus type) equipment. Finally, when the students

are done exercising on the equipment, they go to a nearby field and participate in a game

or activity that has been chosen prior.

If Claire ever has any questions on research or anything in the field, the maj ority of

the time she asks Dr. Smith for assistance. In so, Dr. Smith plays a vital role in Claire's

great amount of resources. Within the last three years another professor, Dr. Thomas, has

quickly become a maj or provider of Claire' s support. Claire recalls a time when Dr.









Thomas visited her school and assisted her with a difficult class that she was

continuously having trouble with:

I mean with Anchor [program], I mean it was amazing to me. I'm still blown away
by the fact that he came here three or four days and actually took over my class so I
could observe him. And then he watched me model his program and to me that was
just incredible. And it made all the difference in the world because these kids were
eating me up, the Anchor kids were.

Ever since, Claire has been able to control her Anchor students. Dr. Thomas has

also assisted greatly with Claire's off-site adapted physical education program. He has

assisted in keeping Claire's programs fresh by providing his vast knowledge on Research

in Teaching Physical Education (RTPE).

Others who are among Claire' s support group consist of teachers at local schools.

An example of several teachers assisting Claire in when she needed help is when she first

started working with the Anchor program. At the time, Claire did not know how to

control the students in the program. She states:

When I got Anchor, I thought man I don't know what I am doing, and I went to
[her principal], 'I need to go visit some PE teachers and have some days watching
these people working with regular elementary kids.' I went to [three schools] and
spent time with them. I mean, I am more than happy to say I need help, I don't
know what I am doing. And pull people in, just as much as I am willing to go out
there. Show me what to do, or what kind of playground equipment do I need.

The above passage displays how the other local teachers are willing to assist Claire

in her difficult times. Their support helped Claire understand what she had to do in order

to keep control of her classes.

As Claire receives a lot of support from her resources outside of her workplace, she

makes sure she gives her assistance to anyone who may need her help. The researcher

asked Claire, "Do you help support anybody else [other than co-workers]?

Outside of school, absolutely. Yeah, I think I do it with Dr. Smith and Dr. Smith
does it with me. I've gone to programs and done a little bit with helping, I think










[another local teacher] and I went to [another] county and helped set up a PMH
program there. And you know, if people ask for my help I will give it to them if it' s
within my scope, in or outside of this school.

Support is a necessity when you are dealing with such a vast range of different

types of students. The support given to Claire comes from her school and many people in

the community. A very important support group involves her school where she teaches.

With the continuing support of her principal and her co-workers it allows for the

environment to be conducive for Claire to try new programs and be successful at them

too. Also, the support she receives at the University level continues to strengthen her

programs and provides guidance with building new programs. In the beginning she had

few places to find support, but as the years progressed she established and utilized

resources to build the network she has today; she states, "I just have this phenomenal

support group which developed over the years." In this wide range network of support

she is able to Eind help when needed while providing her knowledge and support to others

who may need it. This reiterates how Claire has become a special and unique case within

her Hield

Innovation with Motivation

The Einal section of this chapter will now be presented. This section illustrates

Claire's persistence to maintain innovative teaching methods. Also, Claire's continuous

motivation in teaching Special physical education is discussed. Together, the two parts

portray Claire as an extraordinary and unique teacher who remains on the cutting edge of

her Hield.

A unique characteristic that continuously arose throughout the study was how she

keeps variety in her j ob. Moreover, she explains several different ways in how she keeps










the variety in her j ob. The first involves her maintaining an active role in many school

related functions. She states:

I organize things really well, and so, I mean like this year...I am treasurer of PTA, I
am the department chair person, I organize open house, I organize the class
reunion, the family picnic; I like doing stuff like that. I like kind of being in charge
of extra-curricular stuff outside of teaching the classroom.

Claire wants to come to work and understand how everything works. She

mentioned a story in her interviews that she came in one day and wanted to learn how the

school bell rings. So she went into the school office and asked a co-worker to explain to

her what needed to be done to ring the school bell. Throughout her career Claire has

participated in many school functions. When one is finished she finds another one to take

part in. She states that she has no stress but sometimes by doing so much it may become

overwhelming, "...sometimes it gets a little overwhelming ... but at the same time I find

it challenging and exciting and it' s trying to do new programs or create something new

for the school..."

The programs she creates are another aspect of her variety in the j ob. Claire

develops new programs to keep her j ob exciting. The following is an excerpt from the

second interview discussing Claire's variety in her Physical Education program:

Researcher: Why do you want a program that has so much variety? Doesn't that
make your j ob harder? Wouldn't you want your j ob to be easier?

Claire: I think it keeps it exciting...I don't want to be bored at work; done that,
don't want to do that. I think it just keeps everything alive and fun and when
you work with the same kids year after year after year, you want to do
different things with them.

Researcher: Wouldn't that make your j ob harder?

Claire: I don't know if it does or not. I don't see it as making my j ob harder, I've
never thought about it making my j ob harder. I think of it more of planning
these things and getting excited about doing different things. It probably
makes it busier, but I don't think it makes it harder.










When Claire first started as a teacher her programs rarely changed. Then after several

years teaching she decided a change was necessary. She recalls:

I remember around year six or seven thinking oh you know this is kind of the same,
I need to do something different. I don't think I though of it as leaving, I saw that I
needed to change my program and maybe try to create some new things and I think
that' s when the rec. room came about.

She states about the recreation room, "I think games are incredibly great way to

teach kids, tumn-taking, good sportsmanship." Claire has been adding and changing

programs ever since. She believes that it keeps her students attentive and motivated to

participate in class. She even thinks she may not have been here if she didn't have the

programs, "I think that if I didn't have all of those programs, if I was still running PE

program 20 years ago, I would not be here." When asked to expand, she replied, "I don't

think I would have felt challenged. If you do the same thing year after year after year, it

just becomes routine and not exciting and challenging. I like to stir things up, and to keep

things busy." In doing so, "When I started ever feeling burned out or stale or whatever I

just re-created something new to get excited again", she states in the first interview.

So, where does she find the ideas for the new programs she creates or changes? She

thinks of the idea herself, reads about it in an article or book, or learns about the program

from her resources within her support group. She states:

There are times where if I feel like I kind of need something to spark, I will come
up with something new. Other times it' s just people giving me ideas, or having
talking to other people and just jumping on the bandwagon and doing what I think
sounds exciting.

Another aspect in Claire's variety is that she changes her lesson plans every year.

She states, "At the end of the year I put my lesson plan book away, and I start over for the

next year." The reason she does this is twofold; it' s for her and the students. "I try to

alternate what I teach each year... because I have them [the PlVH students] for 15 years,









easily," she talks about how the students can be at the school until the age of twenty-two.

When her lesson plans start as new plans it helps her stay fresh with ideas and allows for

creativity in the plans. She can choose other activities that the students may not get the

chance to do anywhere else other than Physical Education.

She is already thinking of a future proj ect and program to complete. She wants to

build an exercise equipment room in an office that is not being utilized. She says:

If the OT and PT are not going to move into that office, I want to move all that out
of there and turn it into a weight room. I have an incredible weight set at home.
They can take the furniture, open up that space and turn it into a weight room with
exercise bikes and treadmills and I guess I have a universal machine at home. It' s
got like 8 stations on it. You know, we could get bikes and treadmills donated.

Above is a great example of how Claire remains innovative and keeps the variety.

She says that she will begin that proj ect when she has completed some of the proj ects she

is currently working on.

Claire' s variety in her j ob allows her to stay fresh and is a large reason why she

does not burn out. As stated earlier, she thinks that if the variety in her j ob was not

present then she may have quit a long time ago. She also loves the challenges of trying

new programs and getting involved in extra-curricular activities. At times, she may

become overwhelmed, but that is because she continuously participates in school

activities; however, she never becomes burned out.

Claire was asked in the second interview, "How do you see yourself different from

other Special PE teachers?" Her response is as follows:

I see myself different because of the programs that I have. I don't know any other
PE teachers that have a rec. room. I know a lot of them have a cart with games for
rainy days, but to actually have a rec. room, I am the only PE teacher that gets to
take kids swimming and bowling, I know that. I think the community-based
program I do is very unique in this county...I know the schools that have, make
these little field trips, but to have a program every Friday that take students off
campus to visit the different sites in [the community] is unique. Going to the










University and doing the weight program is unique. I think I am the only one that
teaches roller-skating and roller-blading, too. I don't know anyone else. Is that what
you were asking? So that' s how I see myself different.

She is different. She is unique because of her different programs she develops and

implements. Her attitude remains positive because of the variety she creates. She can

become very involved in one program, complete it and then get excited about starting

another.

A factor that supports Claire's unique case is her character. She has the willingness

to understand when she needs help from someone other than herself. Throughout the

study Claire spoke of her network of support, in and outside of the school. A prime

example is when she first started working with the Anchor program. The students were

misbehaving and she could not get them to focus on her class. She says, "I wasn't really

sure what to do with Anchor kids. I really wanted to see how other people were running

their elementary PE program...I was just curious of what people were doing out there,

out in the public schools." In the first interview Claire stated, "I don't have a problem

saying I need help." This prompted the researcher to probe further about the subj ect

during the second interview, "When you first started teaching was there a period of time

when you thought you never needed any help?" Claire replied:

No. No... When I first started out there was nobody else doing what I was doing,
so there really wasn't anywhere to go. And then when [Dr. Smith] came along, we
immediately formed a bond, because she was interested with what was going on
here and had similar experiences. I think I am the type of person that, I would do
that, I am self-motivated obviously; otherwise I wouldn't have been here for so
long. But I always, since I work in a situation where I am only the person doing
what I am doing in the setting I am in, if something new comes up that I feel really
overwhelmed by or I'm not really sure how to, I have no qualms about asking.
Because I have such a great resource, the university and a couple of friends that are
in PE classes, elementary PE programs.









The fact that she is willing to go to others for help outside of her school is unique.

Sometimes it can be rewarding because the help she receives occasionally fosters "new

ideas and new directions" for her programs.

Another factor of Claire's unique character is that she knows when something isn't

working correctly she changes it. For example: when working with the Anchor Program

she learned to be consistent with her directions and class periods. After doing so for a

while, she realized that she slowly backed off with her consistency. Moreover, she

witnessed how consistent a co-worker (teacher) was with her students. When Claire

recognized the differences of how the kids behaved with the teacher and herself, she

decided that she needed to add more consistency in her instruction. Ultimately she

created more structure in her program, which would promote more consistent behaviors.

Another example is when Claire had the misbehaved class during water play she

went to the students' regular teacher for help. She asked the teacher what she did to keep

the students well behaved. Together, Claire and the teacher discussed a solution to teach

the students how to behave during water play. This was a difficult situation for Claire, but

because she was able to ask for help she easily overcame the issue.

She is able to ask other teachers if she can observe them and see how they teach.

Then, she will take what she learned from the observation and apply it to her teaching

methods. This is a great characteristic to possess. Claire started the Golden Sneaker

program after observing a local Physical Education teacher. The Golden Sneaker program

helps the students maintain good behavior. If the all of the students in a class period

behave then the class gets a golden sneaker. After four Golden Sneaker awards the class

can choose from playing in the recreation room or have a free period. She started the










program because she was having difficulties controlling her Anchor students. Once she

implemented the program she has seen much improvement from the students. She says,

"the kids are very motivated but we [the Anchor students] haven't learned how to get it

quite yet, on a continual basis." She noticed at the school she was observing that the

students would get a Golden Sneaker every Physical Education period. At her school the

students rarely get it once a week. "So for me, there's a little frustration, because I want

them to get it every time, but we just haven't gotten there yet. So we are still working,"

she states.

Not only does Claire remain innovative in her teaching methods but she also

remains motivated with teaching. Her persistence to keeping her programs fresh helps her

tremendously; she states, "When I started ever feeling burned out or stale or whatever I

just re-created something new to get excited again." A second time within the interviews

she explains if it wasn't for the variety keeping her motivated, then she might not be here,

"If I just came in here everyday and just taught classes and didn't really contribute

anything else at school I think I would not enj oy my j ob... I think if I just came here, just

taught classes and just walked out the door, I would not be here." Therefore, the variety

in her programs is a large factor that keeps her motivated.

Another factor is her passion to work with the special populations. The following

segment from the second interview unveils this in great detail.

Researcher: This statement that you said, 'I think how much they need me is a big
motivation, not that they wouldn't need anybody else if I wasn't here.' Why
do you feel, why do they need you?

Claire: Because I am a person that can give them and teach them a way of playing
and opportunity to play and opportunity to do things that we do in our
program.

Researcher: Does that make your j ob easier? Harder? Does it influence teaching?









Claire: It definitely influences it. And it influences possibly some of the things that
I do, you know and helped created over the years. It definitely keeps me
motivated... if I really felt that this is the only opportunity this kid had a
chance to get on the air mattress and I didn't feel like putting him on, for
example, then I would feel really guilty. So you know I definitely would be
motivated by, I don't want the kids to leave the class and not feel good about
what I did.

Researcher: Ok, going on. I asked you about the relationship and you said you
think that it is just human-to-human, and then I asked if it was fulfiling your
needs and you said absolutely. How does it fulfill your needs? Explain.

Claire: Because I feel needed here, you know, in lots of different ways. You know,
my friends have expressed that to me a couple of times that you know I make
a difference and I feel like I definitely make a difference with my students. I
just I feel good about what I do there.

Her passion for working with individuals with disabilities drives her to do the best

she can. In so, it keeps her motivated because she wants to be there and do everything she

can to help a student. She continues:

I want them to come to my class wanting to come to my class because they know
it' s going to be a good experience beyond just learning maybe you know some
skills and activities. I want them to have a really good experience in the classroom.
Again I don't think these kids have a lot of opportunities as great experiences that
are normal or positive and so when they come to me that' s what I want to give
them... I just want to create a very positive atmosphere for them.

Because of her great motivations, she can create a positive environment for her students.

Her motivations are not directed toward her students and herself, but also toward

her co-workers. The following is a story Claire told about an Aide who came in to a class

period with a negative attitude:

I remember I was doing a dance unit and I was excited and I had the music going
and the kids walked in and she [the Aide] goes 'I'm not gonna do, I'm not gonna
do this, I don't want to do this dance again.' Well. I mean it just kills the
atmosphere of the classroom. You know it' s just like, you know I'm sitting there
going I'm excited, I'm ready and to have somebody come in just go "boom" it just
made me think I need to make this good for every body. Because the minute she
said that she's not working with the kids the way I feel the kids need to be worked
with she's not excited about what I'm doing, she doesn't want to do what I'm
doing. She immediately came in and set a negative tone, where if I change the










program and got her excited before she even walked in the door, like oh I'm glad
you're here we are going to do this, it' s gonna be fun type thing. Then she's excited
about it, wants to work with the kids and get them going. You know so it's sort of
like a trickle down effect I guess. I want people when they come to my room to feel
good about coming to my room. And I hope that carries over to them working with
the kids, that they are motivated to work with the kids when they come in.

This story displays how she is a unique case in the Hield of Special physical

education She' s not only keeping herself motivated with working with the students, but

she also radiates her energy to her co-workers. She sets a positive tone surrounding her so

that her students, her co-workers and she can remain motivated. Claire's motivations

aren't only self-serving but are also for others.

This section covered reasons why Claire has been an innovative and motivated

special physical education teacher. Although others in her Hield may not, Claire persists to

maintain variety in her environment that, subsequently, keeps her motivated. She knows

when she needs to Eind help and has built a great network of resources she can approach.

Enthusiasm fills her time at the workplace, yet can also be overwhelming. Even so, she

chooses to keep busy because she enj oys the constant challenges that she is faced.















CHAPTER 6
CONCLUSION

It is the intention of this chapter to directly answer the five research questions that

drive this study. In doing so, each research questions will be asked followed by a brief

explanation of the intentions of the question. Next, the answers will be briefly presented.

The answers will not be discussed in great detail, as this has occurred in the previous

chapter. The research questions and answers will be presented in the order they appear

within the first chapter.

First Research Question

The first research question is as follows, "Why does the participant continue

teaching after a long career?" This question was intended to probe into why has the

participant taught special physical education for over twenty years, while at the same

school. Prior research displays high burnout rates in the field (Fejgin, Ephraty, Ben-Sira,

1995).

The answer involves several issues. One is the participant' s passion to working

with individuals with disabilities. Also, she has known since the third grade that she

wanted to be a special physical education teacher. Her life was devoted to the cause since

she was a young child. She has a history in being athletic; recall she was a competitive

tennis player. Another is because through the years she has built a great network of

support she can turn to when in need of help. Her innovative teaching style provides for a

great variety in her j ob. Finally, her self-motivations provide an environment that is

conducive to motivate others.









Second Research Question

The second research question is as follows: "Why has the participant not burned

out, as many others in the field quickly do?" This question was intended to probe deeper

into the first research and to ensure the correct interview questions were asked. This

question can be omitted due to the similarity of the first research question. The answers

would be the same as the previous question.

Third Research Question

The third research question is as follows: "What motivates the participant to teach

children with disabilities?" This question was intended to delve into the participants inner

motivations as to why she wants to teach children with disabilities. Probing questions

entailed her lifelong passion to work with the special populations.

Ever since the participant was a young child she knew she wanted to work with

individuals with disabilities. In the third grade she was involved in a program known as

the Head Start program. This offered her a chance, at a young age, to work with the

special populations. She immediately knew she wanted to be in the field. As she grew

older, she developed a passion for physical education and sports. She put the two

passions together and now is a special physical educator. Her motivations stay high

because she keeps her changing her program around. This keeps her motivated in doing a

variety of programs. As she keeps the students and her co-workers motivated, it also

motivates herself.

Fourth Research Question

The fourth research question is as follows: "How does the participant handle

difficult situations in the classroom?" This question was intended to discover how she

overcomes difficult situations while teaching.









Dealing with a wide range of students, it is evident that difficult situations will

occur. The participant has built a great network of support from people in and outside of

her work. The network consists of her principal, co-workers, local schoolteachers,

professors at a nearby University, her family, and friends. With her bountiful amount of

resources, she always has someone to ask for help. A most important factor is that she

will ask for help when she needs it. In the past, she has observed other teachers because

she wanted to in order to understand what the teachers were doing.

Fifth Research Question

The fifth research question is as follows: "How does the participant cope with

personal stressors while at work?" This question was intended to discover how the

participant kept a positive attitude while in the workplace.

The participant stated a story about a boss for whom she once worked. The story

exhibited a unique characteristic the participant possesses. She is able to go to work and

forget about other things on her mind, even if it normally would bother her. She arrives at

work 100% focused on what needs to be done while at work. Then, when she leaves work

she doesn't focus on what she did during the day; she focuses on her family and her

personal life.

_Application

The present study is not intended for generalizations, as this is a qualitative study.

The intentions of this study are to present the findings of the participant' s great successes

to other special and general physical educators. With the guidance of this study, other

educators may be able to utilize the data for their own purposes. The conclusions may

have a positive influence within other programs outside of this study. Only then can other






83


researchers complete similar studies to discover the longevities of other physical

educators. Future, similar research should be conducted in order to assist educators in the

field.















APPENDIX A
OUTLINE OF FIRST FORMAL INTERVIEW

1. Why does the participant continue teaching after a long career?

2. Why do you still teach Special Physical Education?

3. Why are you teaching at the same school for so long?

4. Have you ever wanted to stop teaching Special Physical Education? Explain.

5. Why has the participant not burned out, as many others in the field quickly do?

6. Why do you think you have not burned out as other teachers do?

7. Do you see yourself as an innovative Special Physical Education teacher who still
wants to learn? Explain.

8. What do you do different from other teachers to not burn out?

9. What motivates the participant to teach children with disabilities?

10. What made you decide to teach Special Physical Education?

11. Why do you enj oy teaching Special Physical Education?

12. Did you enj oy Physical Education when you were in school?

13. Are your coworkers and administrators supportive of what you teach? Explain.

14. How does the participant manage difficult situations in the classroom?

15. If a difficult situation arises, do you recognize when you need help? Explain.

16. Who helps you? And, how do they help you?

17. How do you manage a child that does not listen to you?

18. How does the participant cope with personal stressors while at work?

19. Do you go to work when you are sick? Why?

20. How many days have you missed in the last year? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? 20
years?






85


21. How does your personal life affect your teaching?

22. Does you personal life influence your teaching? Explain.

23. How do you cope with personal stressors while at work?















APPENDIX B
OUTLINE OF SECOND FORMAL INTERVIEW

1. Explain in more detail this quote you stated, "When I was in High School I had a
really good friend who had a brother who had CP and was in a wheelchair and just
thought he was the coolest kid." Why was he the coolest kid to you? What made
him so cool?

2. I understand that you like kids with disabilities, especially the severe and profound
populations, explain why you like them.

3. I understand that you never saw yourself doing anything else, can you explain to
me why? What was the defining moment in your life that said "Ann, you are made
to be a Special PE teacher?

4. If you had chosen another career, what would it have been and why?

5. With all of the j obs that you worked at, how did you Eind out about the j ob
openings? What made you apply for that specific job position?

6. What position did you like the best? Why?

7. What things have you not done with you students that you would like to? Why have
you not done them?

8. How do you plan the activities you do?

9. You stated, "it was really too institutionalized for me, I had a very difficult time
with it because it was a hospital setting". What is too institutionalized for me
mean? Explain institutionalized.

10. Compare and contrast difficult verses easy work settings.

11. You stated, "You know, because they are the one's feeding them, changing their
diapers, lifting them, just doing everything. I want them to come in and feel good."
Explain that for me.

12. Does the amount of work you do impact how you feel about your j ob? Explain.

13. Do facilities influence how you feel about your work? Explain.

14. Can you give me more examples like this statement, "And I'll tell you one more
thing about the school going back is 90% of the people I mean it really is
incredible anything you need I mean you know there is not one thing in this









building that belongs to me you know and I believe this too, if anyone came in here
and said Ann I need 10 bucks that' s fine you know if you need it for your client and
it' s reciprocal this whole school is so much you know I have asked for things and
their like sure I'll do that for you or you know like [a teacher] came in here and said
you know I really need your steering aid. Take it; if you need it take it. I mean you
know that' s there's no this is all my stuff and you can't have it type stuff and I
think that it' s really nice, you can do a lot at a school that feels that way."

15. What did you mean when you stated, "I think, I remember thinking while I've been
here 3 years which was a long time, I remember around year 6 or 7 thinking oh you
know this is kind of the same, I need to do something different."

16. I know you are very passionate about you job and your students. Can you explain
to me why you think you are so passionate?

17. Do you like working with the Anchor program? Why?

18. Do you feel working with the Anchor student' s helps your teaching skills? Why?

19. You have stated how much support the other teachers and others in the field give
you. Where does the greatest amount of support come from?

20. Why do you want a program that has so much variety? Doesn't that make your j ob
harder? Wouldn't you want your j ob to be easier?

21. You stated, "I think that if I didn't have all of those programs, if I was still running
the same PE program 20 years ago, I would not be here." Why would you not be
here if things were the same?

22. A statement here says, "I like challenges, like for example when I got anchor I'm
not, I have no problem admitting that I need help." Why do you like challenges?

23. Do you create challenges? Or are the challenges created for you?

24. You stated, "So I took a couple days off to visit the area PE teachers and observe
them and talk to them." What gives you ideas to go and talk to other teachers?

25. Are the teachers ok with you coming in and observing them?

26. Another statement from you, I don't get an opportunity to do a lot of PE
workshops, but I read quite a bit." What do you read? Is it researched based?

27. You stated, "...and I don't have a problem saying I need help." When you first
started teaching was there a period of time when you thought you never needed any
help?

28. Was there a period of time when you said I am going to start asking for help,
because I realize that I can't do it on my own?










29. You stated, "I think my program is innovative in the fact that it is always
changing." Explain why you feel it is innovative.

30. When you take classes do you feel that those classes that you take actually help you
in classroom settings?

31. You stated that you don't go to workshops in the summer because of family time.
There are many people in this world that work themselves crazy, and don't give
their family that much time, why do you give your family that time?

32. What do you think differentiates between you and other special PE teachers?

33. Why do you like being outside? Does that inspire you to have PE programs
outside?

34. You stated, "I am a person that who does not and will not spend time alone." Why
do you not like spending time alone?

35. Why are you a "big people person?"

36. You stated, "All of the other things that you've done are your treasurer of PTA,
department of chairperson, organize open house, organize class reunion, family
picnic, that you like being in charge of extra curricular stuff outside of teaching in
the classroom." Why are you involved in so many different things? What makes
you want to be involved in so many things?

37. You stated, "all of my friends are school involved, 90% of my friends are school
involved, not necessarily Lanier but in the public school system." Why do you
choose those friends?

38. Does you family life influence you teaching?

39. You mentioned when you went to elementary school the presidential fitness
program had just begun. When you were growing up were you always physically
fit? Did you always want to be athletic?

40. Did that have any influence on you wanting to become a PE teacher, and what you
do in a PE classroom?

41. Explain to me a little bit more about your high school PE teacher.

42. When you were young and you had your games you have played, did any of these
games or experiences influence your programs?

43. What made you decide that you wanted a recreation room? How did it begin?

44. You stated that your programs are a lot more relaxed at the end. Is there a reason
why you make your programs relaxed at the end?









45. About a teacher you state that, "you know it took me awhile for me to kind of go
it' s alright you know she uses a lot of sarcasm and I have a real problem with that."
Why do you have a problem with the teacher using sarcasm?

46. Does equipment influence your teaching? If so, how does it influence your
teaching?

47. Do you feel that you can adapt to just about any setting or any person?

48. Why did you start the golden sneaker program?

49. Is the golden sneaker program working well with your anchor program?

50. You stated, I think how much they need me is a big motivation, not that they
wouldn't need anybody else if I wasn't here." Why do you feel they need you?

51. Does the students "needing you" influence your teaching?

52. I asked you about your relationship between you and the students and you said you
think that it is just human to human. Then I asked if it was fulfilling your needs and
you said absolutely. How does it fulfill your needs? Explain.

53. You stated, If I just came in here everyday and just taught classes and didn't
really contribute anything else at school I think I would not enj oy my job." Explain
why.

54. You stated, "And I was thinking about it the other day I don't use humor as much
as I used to and I need to get back into that." Why do you need to get back into
that?

55. You stated, "So I try to do it on a more positive note than I would on a negative,
punishing." Why would you do it more positive than negative?

56. You talked about how many years ago you had the friend here that was very
negative and you stopped talking with her. Why do you not like being around
someone who is in such a negative setting?

57. If there was another person who was negative, like the one in the past, would you
separate yourself from that person also?

58. Is there anything that you think I need to know or anything that you need to explain
in more detail from any of our interviews or observations that I have made?
















APPENDIX C
THEMES, SUBTHEMES, AND CATEGORIES

I. For the love of kids and the career

1. Liking special populations.
a. Like special kids.
b. Caring.
c. Sympathy.

2. A career meant for life.
a. Focused career decision.
b. Passion for Job.
c. Multiple Experiences.
d. Facilities.
e. School Setting.
f. Age groups.

II. Growing up to having a family.

1. When she was a child.
a. Child life.
b. Childhood PE experiences.
c. Tennis player.

2. Family and Personal Life.
a. Personal life.
b. Leave time.
c. Family time.
d. Family.

III. Of all the hard settings

1. Hard working environments.
a. Difficult work settings.
b. Reason for leaving.
c. Friend and negativity.
d. Anchor.
e. Manage difficult kids.










IV. What support! What innovation!

1. Great support.
a. School Communication.
b. Support staff.
c. Encouraging.
d. Trained helpers.

2. Innovation with motivation.
a. Variety in job.
b. Need of a change.
c. Amount of work.
d. Innovative.
e. Motivation factors.
f. Teaching methods.
g. Activities.
h. Other PE teachers.
















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