Friday, February 18, 2011

Should Physical Education Be Mandatory? Why?

Yes, I think PE should be mandatory. Kids need excerise with most of them staying in the house being couch potatoes or playing video games. However, it should be not competitive. Also the coaches should look at each student individually and realize their strengths and weaknesses. THey should try to work on their weaknesses or modify the exercise to their ability.

When I was in elementary and high school, it was mandatory until the 11th grade I believe.

In elementary, I was expected to participate in PE but they graded me by my ability. Some teaches even modified it for me. Like when we played kickball, they knew it was hard for me to run and kick, so they allowed me to wait for the ball to come to me then kick. Some of the kids purposely allowed me to get to the bases sometimes. I had a blast.

When I got to Junior High, there was adaptive PE which 90% of the time we just clowned around, did homework or slept. Occasionally we played games that took little energy like Badminton or bowling with rubber balls and pens.

When I got to High school, 10 th grade, I had this coach who was a jerk. At first, especially during warm ups, he would pick on me and embarrass me every day without fail until parent teacher day.

Example for situps. He allowed the girls to bend their knees. So we were to put our hands behind our heads and pull up for our chest to hit out knees with our feet staying flat on the ground. It was impossible for me. If I placed my hands on the ground I could do it. Otherwise my feet came up for me to actually come up. He would yell, "Landry, feet on floor" and other snide remarks. I would do one sit up to the rest of the class 5 LOL.

For jumping jacks, when I would jump and move my arms, I would a) stumble and almost fall, b) as i stumbled I would almost bump into another student.  On a rare occasion, I would stumbe through 3 consecutive, I ended up in someone else's space. I couldn't stay in one place.

The coach's remarks made me hate PE that year. I dreaded that hour. Then Parent-Teacher conference came along. I had told mom a few things because I was afraid my grade would be affected. Well after the conference, mom told me to continue to do what I can do. Thereafter, the coach never made another embarrassing remark to me. I did my sit ups with my hands on the floor, I still did less than the class but I tried. For jumping jacks, I would jump without moving my arms.

Thinking back, I think the coach was not comfortable nor educated to deal with kids with disabilities. To me common sense should have told him I couldn't do like the others. I didn't expect to be excused of what I should have been doing. However, he could have worked with me to devise  a plan or just encourage me. He pretty much ignored me after and I felt very self conscious around him.

The semester I went to college, I had to take a form of PE. I took bowling. The instructor was a young teacher and he immediately saw my problem. I couldn't do the steps and throw the ball because I hit the gutter as I stumbled. He was afraid I would roll down the lane with the ball sometimes. I did too LOL. He worked with me for about a week strategizing. Then one day as class started, he announced to the class that due to my limitations I was allowed to skip the steps, stand by the line and throw the ball. If anyone had any problem to contact him. I guess no one did. It was sorta embarrasing to be center of attention that day but I understood what he was doing. He was avoiding people wondering or talking among each other I wasn't doing it right or cheating, although obviously it wouldn't have been the case.  I had fun. I didn't get all strikes but I was playing  and I had fun.

With obesity as well as other reasons mentioned earlier I don't think PE wouldn't hurt anyone. It's only an hour. It'll probably be the only hour the kid moves throughout the day. I don't think they should be monitored with state exercise test etc, like the Presidential test or whatever it was called. My child had to do the Presidential test and there was so much stress in trying to get what they were suppose to be at. Everyone is different. The instructor, coach or whoever should be required to closely monitor the ridicule some kids could get and squash it right away. The students should be graded according to their own ability and participation

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