Ok I’m wrapping up my back to school series of blogs with another topic/class that gets a lot of controversy and scars children for life: gym class.
Physical education was not my forte growing up since I wasn’t very athletic. I didn’t get picked first for any teams, often last. And it seemed like not many of the kids wanted to play even HORSE with me in gym.
P.E. teachers have started realizing the internal damage that can be caused by gym class. Now granted gym and team sports are important for building character and showing children how to work together. However, if the nonathletic kids are singled out too harshly, they can feel discouraged and not want to participate in anything athletic. This has led to students taking alternate courses such as JROTC later, or youth teams giving everyone trophies and not keeping score during games. The purpose is thus defeated.
I believe the teacher needs to strike a balance and make sure the non athletic kids feel included and part of the teams also. There are creative ways to accomplish this.
This is a subject that has been featured on sitcoms such as The Wonder Years, Freaks and Geeks and The Goldbergs. It can be touchy indeed.
Therefore, here’s a small solution. To my more athletic students, don’t use gym class as a way for you and your jock friends to show off. Make the other kids feel welcome also. It should be competitive but also fun. And it’s no fun being on the sidelines or being picked last. You wouldn’t want it to happen to you, believe me.