Gym teachers making changes to keep students active

Figuring how P.E. classes will work

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Physical Education teachers are having to re-imagine what gym class looks like for virtual and in person students.

“A lot of things we did were collaborative and hands-on,” Jemison Intermediate school Physical Education teacher Stephanie Bolling said. “All that is going to change now.”

Gym class won’t look the same for students at Jemison Intermediate, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be active.

“There might be a lot of dancing going on,” Bolling said. “That is one of those things where we don’t need equipment and we can stay spaced out.”

Students can’t play sports that require sharing balls or equipment. Bolling said in gym classes they will try to make it fun while focusing on wellness overall.

“A lot of their social [interaction] is going to be gone, so they are going to be counting on the physical education class to be the time to get the socialization they would get in the hallway or the lunchroom,” Bolling said.

Bolling said classes will be outside as much as possible and students will do basic exercises. She also said each class will have fewer students and be for shorter amounts times to fit everyone in.

“We are trying to put enough cushion in between one class leaving and another class coming in, so that we can go over and sanitize the floor if we need to,” Bolling said.

Bolling is still coming up with a plan to keep virtual students active as well as in person students.

“I know some of the kids, the only activity they got really was with us,” Bolling said. “Movement is a large focus whether they are going to be in person or they are going to be at home.”

Bolling said for now, students are still required to wear masks in gym class. She said she knows students will struggle to wear a mask and exercise, but they are still required.

Each year, students are required to complete a state physical fitness assessment. Bolling said there is no word on if the state will require the tests this year.

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