A Vision for Physical Education in the Fall

As we finish this school year, it is not a bad idea to start thinking about next year and the hopeful return to classes in person. With the possibility of a new set of rules when it comes to student spacing and sharing of equipment, we need to think what lessons/units can we safely teach our students. This podcasts shares some ideas my colleagues and I have discussed for the Fall.

[0:01] On today’s podcast, I want to take a couple of minutes talk about what Phys Ed could look like in the fall with or without equipment.

What Will the Future of PE Look Like?

[0:25] With current situations concerning the COVID-19 virus and what our future will look like for Phys. Ed come the fall, we all have questions going through our mind. One of the ones for me is how can I teach phys ed in a skinny gym or outside with equipment with a class of 75 students? Will they have to wear masks? Will I be able to use equipment? What space will I be able to utilize? So I’ve been thinking about it talking it over with some colleagues, some other friends who teach phys ed across the United States, and I’ve kind of thought about different activities that we already do in our class that could potentially work in this setting where the students have to be spaced out or the students aren’t allowed to use equipment or they have to use a little bit of equipment but still stay spaced out.

[1:08] One of the things that we do a lot of in our class is fitness walking or fitness jogging. I think that’s an appropriate activity and it’ll be totally fine. You can space kids out. You create a path that they can walk on outside and utilize it. The other activity that we do a lot of in our classes circuit training. A lot of times we do use equipment, but there are times where we’ll do a small circuit where there’s just bodyweight. No equipment necessary, it’s just the student. We may end up having to employ more bodyweight type circuits then we’ve used in the past, and do them inside or outside. We’ve also discussed as a staff limiting how many students are in our fitness center. It’s not a big room, so we limit that and then have other groups of kids in another space that we have doing more circuit training type activities. It’s all gonna depend on your space.

Keep Kids Outside (If You Can)

[1:56] Personally for our phys ed department. We love being outside. The hard part, we live in Central Pennsylvania, where in the springtime, we can see winter, spring, summer and fall all in a matter of two hours. So it’s one of those things where we have to plan accordingly. Our approach when we start to school years, we always tell our students we’d like to stay outside as long as we can. This year, we may stay out even when it’s snowing, we may talk to the kids about dressing appropriately for fitness walking outdoors, and utilize that space because in Central Pennsylvania, we’re very rural where we teach, our kids are out hunting, they’re out hiking in the woods anyway. So we may utilize some of those type of activities even more than we’ve ever utilized in the past. You though ever need to decide what what spaces you have what areas you have, is it safe to be outside in your in your community? You have to think about that, but now’s the time to start planning.

Start Planning Now

[2:47] If you wait until August. You could be in a situation where you’re kind of like now what? So start to think about it over the summer. Talk to colleagues, talk to different people around the country, send emails, get onto some Facebook or Twitter chats and figure out what people are doing and what you can do.

Other PE Activities to Try

[3:04] Some of the other activities, that I’ve had conversations with other colleagues about, that could possibly work depending on protocols and things like that are placed in our in the state of Pennsylvania, but golf, we don’t have a golf course on our campus, obviously, but we have a lot of space. So could it be something where we do birdieball you know it is a pretty cool game the the flight of the ball isn’t as far. Kids have their own personal Golf Club. It’s just one club, one club golfing. Frisbee golf could be another activity where each kid’s only got one disc and that’s, that’s their disk to utilize. At the end of class again, any equipment that you use, you’d want to sterilize and clean yourself as the teacher to make sure it’s prepared and ready for the next class to come in. So you may need to take a little bit extra time to in your class to set up that that cleaning protocol. Pickleball is a sport that we do a lot of indoors, we’ve always talked about doing it outside that may be again another opportunity to a play game that’s outdoors. Small one-on-one type game that you can you can utilize that. Tennis if you have is another one that maybe you would fit the bill.

[4:08]
Again, it’s up to you to decide, talk it over with the other people that you teach with thinking about how you keep your kids active, maybe even with equipmentless phys ed classes and again, there’s lots of opportunities out there, do some research, ask some questions. All of the folks that do Gopher podcasts are great resource. You could contact any one of them and they would love to share some ideas with you. Again, stay safe and here’s to hoping we can get back to normal, normalcy soon.

Jason is a High School Physical Education Teacher at Midd-West High School in Middleburg, PA. He is also the Head Boys & Girls Track & Field Coach, and a former Head Boys Basketball Coach. Jason and Midd-West High School were one of the winners of the Carol M. White PEP Grant in 2010.

Jason is a High School Physical Education Teacher at Midd-West High School in Middleburg, PA. He is also the Head Boys & Girls Track & Field Coach, and a former Head Boys Basketball Coach. Jason and Midd-West High School were one of the winners of the Carol M. White PEP Grant in 2010.

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