The winds of change are blowing across LM, and gym class is not excluded. The PE teachers have proposed shifting LM’s normal gym routine from a system where students are assigned to gym classes by set to a system where students sign up according to the electives that they want. Under the proposed system, LM students would sign up for one of eighteen different electives, ranging from racket sports to weightlifting to kayaking. This proposal is a major improvement over the current system, and I strongly encourage the administration to endorse it.
By giving students greater choice, the new system gives them a wider variety of gym electives to choose from. Instead of assigning students by set and having them sign up for one of two or three elective options that they might not even like, this system has students register for one of eighteen different options. The new system would eliminate a common issue: students sign up for a gym set, don’t like any of the electives offered at that time, and are forced to do yoga or team sports for a semester. Instead, students would choose the gym class they want, increasing student engagement. Overall, signing up by elective allows the PE teachers to offer a greater variety of options, including water aerobics and self defense. By giving students the freedom to pick the gym elective that they want this proposal would enhance their physical education.
Since students would sign up for the gym elective they want beforehand, students would no longer spend the first class of the semester sitting idly on the bleachers waiting to get called up to sign up for gym electives. Instead, students would begin exploring the kinds of exercise they want from the very first class, which would no longer be a waste of time, but rather an introduction to badminton or yoga or another creative activity. This system also eliminates the issue where some popular gym electives fill up quickly and some students are unable to participate in those activities. If a gym elective is popular, then PE teachers will be able to offer it for more sets and thereby accommodate all of the students who are interested in that elective.
The physical education teachers are excited about this proposal because it will put more emphasis on the “education” part of physical education. PE Teacher Kathleen Pisoni says that “by exposing students to more variety in a student-driven manner, this proposal encourages them to find their passion for fitness earlier on in life. We are hopeful that this will become a possibility in the 2018-2019 school year!”
The new system supports students’ development of lifelong, healthy exercise habits by giving them the freedom to choose the gym classes that they would enjoy. The administration should adopt this innovative proposal because it will give students more choices and the option to have more time to exercise. As a whole, this idea bolsters LMSD’s mission of providing student-driven schools.