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Public school physical education needs a serious improvement (Op-Ed)

“Don’t hurt each other and stay off your phones”

Looking back at middle and high school physical education (Phys Ed), I think these were the only rules, even though they were never said exactly like that. Phys Ed was good enough in elementary school, I guess, the kids got their energy out and the teachers got some time to themselves, win-win. After that, it just got sad. The teachers don’t take it seriously and, as a result, students don’t either.

The first day of real Physical Ed was always the track, and it was torture. Rather than being encouraged to do our best, we were pressured to run it under a certain time. I, and several other students, couldn’t run for long, and we all heard the same thing “Try to be faster next time”. This ‘next time’, however, never came, we were never sent to the track again. Now, a possible improvement in this area would be making the track an actual mini-unit, or at least having it throughout the year, weather permitting. This would allow students to learn how to run better and faster, giving the teachers the improvement they want out of the students.

When sports are introduced they’re never played correctly. Rather than two teams playing against each other, it’s often four or five students throwing a ball around while the teachers stand on the side, oblivious. Looking back, the former would’ve been a far better alternative. Putting in the effort to make the students play an actual game would bring out what Phys Ed is supposed to be about; being part of a team, having fun, and getting active.

With how much elementary school Phys Ed focused on activity and ‘being healthy’, you would think schools with older students would put even more care into the physical education system. As students grow and mature, taking care of their bodies becomes significantly more important. If physical education systems were to put in the effort, it would help several students stay active and, possibly, introduce them to a physical activity they never knew they enjoyed.


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