The Gym Class Revolution

Allison Leavey, Journalism Student

In recent years, physical education has really been living up to its name in Bethel High School. Instead of the arduous, painful drudgery and physically demanding activities depicted in television shows, movies, and past gym class experiences, a new curriculum has been introduced into the world of physical education. Succeeding in gym class has become a tangible achievement for any student no matter his/her abilities, due to the new activities and mindsets of Bethel High School gym teachers.

This year especially, there have been many changes to the physical education curriculum. Activities like Zumba and Yoga have become choices for students in comparison to the timeless games like basketball and flag football. Along with that, students are taught important skills like tracking one’s heart rate, and learning about proper caloric intake. The high school’s newest member to the physical education department, Sandra Jaques, explains “My main goal is to help students understand the importance of being healthy and provide them with the tools necessary to live a long, healthy, life.”

Ms. Jaques also says that introducing activities like Zumba have all been a part of her goal to introduce an activity into a student’s life that they would like to continue outside the gym. “P.E. shows students a number of ways they can keep themselves physically fit aside from jumping on a treadmill and running.”

It seems as if this goal has been accomplished. Many students have found a love for new activities, and have incorporated them in their everyday life. After playing ultimate Frisbee in gym class, Junior Madhumita Das is trying to establish an ultimate Frisbee club. “I never knew how much I liked it until I played it in gym,” Madhumita explains.

By introducing these new activities, more students have been able to enjoy and participate in the class. “Phys Ed classes have moved away from the teacher ‘rolling out a ball,’ and have moved more towards educating kids on the importance of healthy living and being physically active,” states Ms. Jaques, “Inherently, when phys ed. teachers would just ‘roll out the ball,’ the athletic kids would enjoy P.E. class more because they were able to shine at whatever sports were played, because they were confident and understood how to play.”

Junior Brianne Bohrman explains her experience with the new curriculum in gym. “I really ended up liking gym this year, especially when we did activities like Zumba,” she explains, “It was something different.”

Gym class is no longer just “gym class” anymore. It is truly physical education, allowing students to truly gain from having that class in their schedule. Ms. Jaques jokingly adds, “If we ask you to run the mile, do push ups, setups, etc, it’s only because we care!”