Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pros and Cons of P.E.

2blowhards has a link to an opinion piece from a woman who strongly advocates more physical education in school. By coincidence my local news, based in Sioux Falls, just said that their school district, by far the largest in the state, is reducing the P.E. requirement. I'm torn on this. I certainly agree with the need for kids to get exercise, both for health and to blow off a little pent-up energy. But as a child whose gifts were definitely mental and not physical, I dreaded P.E. For me it was mostly a grueling test of survival, an ordeal to get through without harm if possible. Of course, back then it was pretty much high-impact - running laps in the gym; various versions of dodge ball, including one called "kill ball" that would cause most current educators to hyperventilate and which forced me to become fairly skilled at fixing eyeglasses; and occasional traditional sports at which I was hopeless.
My daughter,a junior, hasn't had traditional P.E. for a couple of years, but the high school does offer some other fitness classes that she took and enjoyed. Maybe if such options had existed for me I'd feel differently.

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