February 25, 2013
PE Classes Bulking Up Children’s Brains
PE, or physical education for those who can’t be bothered with looking up an acronym, is receiving some beefed-up academic planning at Everglades Elementary School in New York. Students in PE fuse academic memorization games with pushing muscle mass and stamina levels while Ms. Patelsky gives spiritual motivation (in some forms, taunts), so that the kids have a shot at achieving their goals.
This is a form of conditioning; one that, while they won’t appreciate now, they will come to cherish and praise when they reach college. Conditioning is the most beneficial method to getting results for academic scholars, especially at such a young age before puberty and gender confusion begin to settle in. The question arises, then, as to how these children will handle their first emotional and sexual encounters with the opposite sex, or for that matter, the same sex. We could go further into the teenage years: The first car, the first job, the first kiss, the first time having sex, and the first time saying goodbye.
There will be obstacles, and as a result, lessons that these children will have to learn and relearn.
Patelsky insinuates that before you began to stereotype her as the super-fit physical fitness teacher, or the egotistical moron trying to thrust her childhood tragedies on fresh minds, you must understand that “I am a teacher first.” Bold words coming from of a woman in a teaching position that is being frowned upon economically in the nation-wide economy.
In fact, Patelsky is one of millions of elective teachers around the country that are being beefed up to provide intellect on more than an athletic aspect. This is her niche: to provide more education for a reduced budget. Does she complain? Absolutely not, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t entitled to. Although we’d have to question her motivation behind motivating children in this manner, I’m more than certain that Patelsky’s methods for instilling muscle and stamina memory with academic memory aren’t what the school had in mind; but who could possibly argue with the idea?
This is a new era of teaching for physical education, one that is far different from the traditional PE that we enjoyed when watching Sixteen Candles. Those were the days of categorizing teachers when it was still okay, before things like budget cuts and layoffs occurred on a widespread scale. And it isn’t just PE; electives such as orchestra, band, theater arts, and even culinary are being scraped from the plate to ensure that schools can keep their doors open.
To call it an evolution is to imply that it’s here to stay, but to call it a phase is to defy the seriousness of the situation altogether. The decision process for scraping these classes must have been difficult in itself, but what’s even worse is to imagine how more difficult it could get for schools if the money doesn’t pick up. These are indeed hard times for the academic world, and in these times some have opted to teach harder for the kids.
But will the kids bother to learn harder?
Image Credit: Photos.com