The Shortridge sixth and eighth graders knew that Butler education majors were presenting lessons in their physical education classes. But, apparently, no one mentioned that the tall guy who showed them how to serve a volleyball was pretty good at basketball, too.
When he worked with the Shortridge class in fall 2010, Butler Bulldog guard Zach Hahn already had one NCAA men’s basketball national championship game to his credit. While student-teaching at Shortridge the following semester, he played in a second NCAA Final Four game.
“We did not tell our students that Butler basketball players were teaching them,” said Shortridge teacher J.R. Nolan. “I am not sure if the Butler students mentioned this or not.”
Butler students taught health lessons to Nolan’s advisory class, and fitness, basketball and volleyball to physical education classes that Nolan team-taught with Linda Sutton. Assistant Professor Lisa Farley supervised the Butler students on site.
“They seem very knowledgeable,” Nolan said of his University collaborators. “I have not done a lot of coaching of them. I let Lisa do that.”
Hahn completed his bachelor’s degree in physical education in May and now teaches physical education and health at Ben Davis Freshmen Center in MSD Wayne Township.
“Working with Shortridge students helped me gain confidence in my knowledge base as well as power in my voice,” Hahn said. “When teaching 40 kids in one class, a teacher has to be demanding of students to achieve the excellence desired.
“Another thing I learned is the importance of planning and reflecting. Each day I plan a lesson and, if something doesn’t fall into place, then I’m flexible for the change, and reflect on what went well and what could have gone better.”
Hahn developed and presented a multi-part lesson on both underhand and overhead serving in volleyball. “The students were taught through incorporating learning cues and developmentally appropriate progressions through the serves,” he said.
“The first time the students practiced serving, only a few could serve the ball over the net consistently using either method. During their practical volleyball game at the end of the unit, several students could serve the ball over the net and in bounds underhand. Even a few could perform the more difficult skill of the overhead serve.”
Nolan noted how Hahn “adjusted on the fly” one day when a school convocation disrupted the usual class schedule. “When the convocation got out and my 8th period showed up with 15-20 minutes left in school, Zach did a great job teaching and adapting to the situation.”
Teachers rarely get “the privilege of deciding what occurs each day in their classroom,” Hahn said. “I simply made the changes I felt necessary for my students and fellow student-teachers to still learn something in the final 10 minutes of class that was provided.”