I’ve been teaching PE for more than 20 years. Throughout those years I’ve steadily grown as an educator building an extensive bank of knowledge in regard to learning styles, differentiation, aged-appropriate curriculum, and how I relate to each student. I’ve learned that each child is unique in his/her physical ability, personality, drive and fitness level, and background.
Also, over the last 20 years, I’ve experienced a few common situations that PE teachers and students face in PE class. Perhaps you can relate. Here are a few:
Untied shoelaces: There are two categories of students with chronically untied laces.
The first is the slip-on student in 3rd grade or higher who simply does not seem to care (or notice) that his shoes are loose and his aglets are destroyed due to neglect. You can often hear this student clumsily clunking down the hallway, almost a little proud that they have dodged the two minutes needed to tie their shoes, essentially transforming the said shoes into slip-ons (Crocs with tread). Even as this student stumbles across the playground during recess, he/she (mostly he) refuses to tie his laces.
The other, a more common student who falls into this “untied” category, is the Rookie, usually in 1st and 2nd grade. Rookies are always proud of their shoe tying ability and for a brief time after learning will refuse to allow anyone else to help them. Alas, due to inexperience, loose finger placement, and impatience, their laces will quickly become untied in a matter of minutes, thus graduating them to the slip-on category.
Respiratory Difficulties. As a former asthma sufferer, mostly caused by animals and seasonal allergies, I have a soft spot in my heart for students with this health challenge. I can relate to the struggle – especially during the winter months and allergy seasons. Many times these students will refuse to slow down in PE causing an attack to ensue.
Cold Season. Growing up in the colorful Northeastern United States, I thought I had seen pretty much every shade of green and yellow. That is until my first few winters as a PE teacher during the cold season. Yikes! “Coach, can I have a tissue? Nevermind.”, as a sleeve swipes across his face.
Boot Season – There’s a “holiday season”, “hunting season”, “cold season”, and now, in schools a “boot season.” Yes, “Boot Season”, and December 1st has been the official kickoff date. I realize they’re stylish, have a high ankle for support, are nice and fuzzy inside, and it’s winter and feet get cold. However, from my experience, I also know these hazardous fashion statements are just too clunky and unsafe. PLEASE STOP WEARING THEM ON PE DAYS!!!!!!
“My parents forgot…” – Students are constantly tattling on their parents, blaming them for the forgotten lunch, unfinished homework, and in my case, the boots that are on their own feet. It goes something like this: “My mom forgot I had PE today, so I wore my boots – plus it’s cold, and the boots are new, and…” Student Accountability is a MUST!
Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Legion of Superheroes on-call to help us battle such common occurrences?
With lightning-fast hands and feet, Ultimate Lacer enters and exits the gym in a flash, triple knotting every pair of sneakers, without a trace.
Nebuliza has the ability to spray a mist of Albuteral to prevent wheezing before, during, and after PE like a pixie spreads fairy dust to fly.
By waving his white glove in front of a student ‘s face, mucus and snot are instantaneously wiped into oblivion, freeing sinus, lungs, and nose of congestion.
Donned in a cape, holding his accountability shield, Captain Accountability deflects all misdirected blame and transforms the negative energy into a heavy dose of accountability.
2E (Excuse Extinguisher)
As students approach the track for a timed-run, 2E places both his index fingers in each of his ears while humming loudly, drowning out the rapid fire of excuses. This, combined with his hyperfocus, filters out all “made up” excuses while protecting the legitimate ones.
I would enjoy hearing about such common encounters that you experience as a teacher or parent. Is there a Superhero who can remedy the situation? Let me know!
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