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Arianne Brown: I wish my kids had real PE

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  • EastHighParent Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2016 2:59 p.m.

    If you want to see a great PE program, just go to Clayton Middle School. The PE teachers there are incredible! They teach and model fitness, outdoor recreation, team sports, and push kids to meet their fitness goals! I just wish they'd offer these classes to the parents!

    Unfortunately, I can't give similar reviews of our experiences at the local elementary and high school. I'd love to see the elementary schools get back to certified teachers or even certified PE teachers teaching PE.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2016 5:21 p.m.

    True Physical Education was long dead even when I was in school back in the 80's. They didn't teach any real educational activities for keeping one physically fit (I learned all that in scouts). Instead it was all sports, sports, and more sports.

    Which has nothing to do with Physical Education. Sure, you might get exercise while participating in sports (at least some sports); others like the baseball of my sixth grade year... I was left in the outfield to do nothing (because I couldn't throw, catch, or anything like that); even when I was up to bat, I never got to "run" around the bases; if I even hit the ball they would tell me not to run, because I would always pop out.

    My senior year of high school in a volleyball class, I was so bad that no matter which team I was paired with I would turn the best players into the losing team every time; got to a point the teacher didn't even have me play (actually I was grateful to her for that).

    Oh, I was physically fit back then; but not because of sports, sports, and more sports that the schools called P.E. Real PE was never taught.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 30, 2016 12:22 p.m.

    Elementary School PE teachers? Even in the '70s that wasn't a thing unless you lived in a big, rich school district. I never saw a dedicated PE period until I reached Junior High.

  • CaliCougar American Fork, UT
    Nov. 30, 2016 11:36 a.m.

    I agree with the author completely. I'm a big believer in MEPS....the Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual aspects of our lives. They are each very real, and need the same amount of overall attention for us to be "whole". The are all interconnected in our overall "being" and health.

    As a side note, I'm concerned that our society has evolved over the years to make the physical aspects I mention above all about the "competition" and little else as it pertains to our youth. The physical aspects, to me, boil down to simply being active physically. Competition can be a good thing, it can promote bettering oneself....but when it ends up discouraging people because they don't end up the "winner", it falls short of it's most important purpose in my opinion.

  • Elsleuith Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 30, 2016 7:52 a.m.

    I taught at Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School, now called UCLA Lab School. It is an elementary school K - 6th grade. I taught from 1974 on. They had an amazing program based on skills and fun. In the kindergarten children would lace on their shoe skates and skate down to the yard and back. That was their PE for the day. In the lower grades they learned how to use a balance beam, a trampoline and stilts. In the upper grades they had units in skate boards and unicycles. In many of the units they were given skill cards. When they mastered a skill they showed us they had the skill and we checked them off on that skill. We taught archery, parachutes, as well as basketball, football and the standard units. International games was another I remember. When children left us at 12 they had a wide variety of skills. They did warm up exercises every day and ran most days. Once a week they had "choice day." We gave them several games or activities and they chose what they wanted to practice. A similar PE program would be a huge benefit to the youth of today. Life long learners. That is what we should be going for in education.

  • Slugmaster West Valley City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2016 7:50 a.m.

    I was a physical education teacher for 12 years. No academic subject is less respected. Our obsession with math and science has pushed physical education, art, music to the back page. I used to show my administrators peer reviewed scientific reports showing that students that had regular structured physical education daily scored better in math and science. It fell on deaf ears because a small minority of the teachers were "roll out the ball" types that made physical education little more than organized recess. This left a bad taste in administrators mouths so they weren't about to go to bat for physical education. I cannot stress enough that power within our schools does not come from administrators, but from parents. If the community want's more physical education it will get it. It only takes a group of active parents to show the school board how important structured classes with good teachers is to the children of their community.