Covid-19 has drastically changed physical education in schools. With physical education online teachers can’t monitor their students like they could during in person school.
Covid has caused schools to take a new approach to physical education. Teachers have had to alter their lessons in order to accommodate online learning. Instead of hands-on learning many teachers have begun using YouTube tutorials or other online videos to instruct students.
Students have found ways to take advantage of online PE and not participate in class workouts.
Because many students are neglecting to turn their cameras on during class time, they can sit back and never do the lessons the teacher has provided. Some argue online PE is a waste of time because so many students are not doing anything in the class. On the other hand some students like the privacy of working out at home and not in front of their peers.
“I never do my work when my camera is off,” said Placer high school student Justin Willis.
“I don’t want to say it’s a waste of time because for a certain type of student, one that is either motivated or has parents that are holding them to doing the assignments, they can benefit.” said Placer high school PE teacher Joey Montoya “But there is really no way for me to make sure they are doing the work, they could lie their way through and get full credit.”
Students, even the ones participating on a regular basis are missing out on parts of PE that online learning simply cannot provide. Assignments vary from class to class but they are nowhere near the same as they were before online learning. Students learning from home cannot participate in sports or group activities that allow them to expand and build new skills. Instead they find themselves doing different and often repetitive solo activities.
“Students are missing out on everything PE has to offer,” Montoya stated. “I feel bad for kids right now, this is a time in your life when you can build good habits. My fear is kids are not learning the social and mental skills PE has to teach,” added PE teacher Bridget Farren.
Online Physical education does have it’s benefits, students have the opportunity to choose when, where and sometimes how they workout. Students have to have self discipline, a skill that is important outside the classroom. Also the non competitive environment can motivate students who otherwise might not want to engage in working out with other people.
Both Farren and Montoya agree that students could be working hard to get their grades up this year. However, both teachers have noticed that many students’ grades are not doing well. “It makes me sad but I don’t know how to fix it,” said Farren
Teachers are working hard to help students excel in this weird online physical education environment. Between students, teachers, and parents many are hoping for a quick return to in person learning.