P.E. Teachers Flex Their Thinking Muscles

Kathrynne Hester and A.J. Wang

Today’s students have gone from the gym to the living room, and for some, probably to the couch or their beds.

From pacer tests to neighborhood runs, extended walks to personal stashes of snacks, the P.E. transition from the gym to the computer screen has proved to be a radical shift in adolescent health. 

Remember, don’t take class and drive. Photo courtesy of Mr. O’Hara.

Even with limited public instruction and equipment, virtual P.E. classes continue to provide students with an opportunity for physical activity.

Needless to say, a virtual setting leaves a lot to be desired. Imagine if future students had to record their steps with Fitbits. Students could easily cheat by throwing their watch into the dryer or by strapping it to their dog or cat, therefore giving them a thousand steps. Now, their pet has run off with their homework. Literally. 

“[This year], online P.E. revolves around more personal responsibility,” said sophomore Gio LeeSing. “We aren’t being forced to perform in person, and we don’t have the option to see the progress of our classmates.” 

The teachers also had to adjust their own styles to fit with the online teaching schedules. 

All lessons had to be rewritten, power points redone, and new technology learned,” said Drivers Ed teacher, Mr. O’Hara.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Redmond.

For Mr. Redmond, one of the Health and P.E. teachers, this year was all about accommodating struggling students. “We have tried to simplify information as much as possible so as not to add any more stress to students during this stressful time,” he said.

It has been harder for students and teachers to connect personally while being in an online format. Due to the virtual circumstances, “being able to ask a question [and] then get[ting] an immediate response is not always possible and can be frustrating,” said O’Hara. 

While some people might enjoy online class, “many of the teachers in the department would much rather be teaching P.E. face to face,” said Redmond. 

Even during hard times, teachers are able to see the positive side of things. “I have gotten to learn more,” said O’Hara, “and hopefully, when we do come back to school, I will be an even stronger teacher.”