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Local P.E. teachers explain what physical education will look like this year

Posted at 10:48 AM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 14:04:31-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As the school year gets underway, most classes will resemble a student working with their laptop for hours but what about physical education and activity?

P.E. is probably more important now than ever, with students returning to school online. As schools switch to online learning, P.E. teachers are having to get creative about how they’re planning on keeping kids moving.

“We’ve developed a workout program that the students are going to be able to do at home. Doesn’t take any equipment doesn’t take a lot of space,” said Jonathan Freehling, a P.E. teacher at Washington Elementary.

Freehling is just one of the many P.E. teachers in the Bakersfield City School District figuring out how to teach his students the importance of being active and staying healthy.

Classes will look a little different this year, with less students and longer periods. Freehling said his students will have three classes a week around 90 minutes long.

“We are going to start each day with a reading component that’s going to be an educational component about health diet, exercise,” he said.

The curriculum will focus more on nutrition and more accountability on students to complete and log their own workouts during class. Freehling said they've incorporated programs like Achieve 3000 and ck12 as reading components and DAREBEE for the exercise component.

Everything designed to help prepare students to return to school.

“Knock on wood, we get back to school, the students are in shape and excited," Freehling said.

Jorey Wilson, a P.E. teacher for Foothill High in the Kern High School District has already experienced what this year could be like, having taught summer school P.E. through distance learning.

She said now with the pandemic contributing to a sedentary existence for kids, it’s even more important to get up and get moving. She said her lesson plans will include nutrition, some sports components, and then workouts using videos. She'll also join the kids during the workouts to help keep them motivated.

"I want them to get up and get dressed like they are going to P.E.," Wilson said. "I don't want them in their PJ's or laying in bed thinking they can do nothing."

Even though most of the school day will consist of sitting in front of a scree Wilson said it's important for students to step away and get outside a little each day. Even with the weather heating up, she believes students need to get away and get fresh air every day.

“Start the morning with a walk or end it with a walk or end your day with a walk. They just need to get outside," she said.