Amelia Earhart Middle School in California, has the PE program that
all PE teachers visualize before being thrust into real world
situations, where class sizes, lack of facilites, lack of
equipment, and poor administrative support all become realities. If
you clicked that link to their site and do not read anything beyond
here you will get the point. I want to be clear, I have no
affiliation with this school and do not know anyone from this
school. I am simply forming my thoughts and opinions based on
stumbling across a link to their website on www.pecentral.com.
-The first thing I noticed was the variety of exceptional PE equipment, ie. Rock Wall, Cargo Net, Ping Pong Tables, Climbing Ropes, Fitness Center equipped with flat screen TVs, Exergaming equipment, computer lab, and an array of fitness equipment. Just absolutely incredible!
-Second thing that stuck out to me was the amount of Physical Education teachers. In my district and state, to even have one PE teacher seems to be a luxury for schools. Because of accountability tests, administrators are feeling the pressure to perform well in Reading and Math. As a result, kids are being pulled from PE classes or cutting PE programs all together. To be able to have 5 teachers that can collaborate provides enormous flexibility and support. Most PE teachers I know pretty much work by themselves in developing all activities and curriculum. -Third, I was blown away that all kids in the photos were not only dressed out but their shirts were also tucked in. As a teacher who used to require students to wear uniforms, I know the difficulty of getting all kids to dress out all the time in one particular outfit. Kids would buy a uniform in the beginning of the term but some would lose their uniform before the term ended. I usually had them get a parent note and then allowed them to wear clothes from home. As I dove deeper into the site, I found their procedures/consequences for not dressing out. I found them quite clever. They had loaner uniforms that students had to check out if they forgot their assigned uniform. Forgetting once, warning, twice, detention, three times, a referral. Now in regards to dressing out, I have relaxed my stance and I think for the students who are not happy going to PE regardless of the program, it creates less stress and anxiety. It has also caused less financial strain on my PE budget and the parent’s budget. But I do respect their program, and their policies towards dressing out.
As a whole, it appears that kids get one whole year of PE everyday. They get a well rounded program that includes one day a week in the fitness center completing traditional exercise and learning the proper methods. They also get a variety of team sports, individual activities, and lifelong activities. There seems to be a great balance in their curriculum. While I am not a great advocate for skills tests, because they have a whole year with the students, I think they are good for going into depth on certain fundamental sport related skills, as long as it is not a large percentage of their grade. I do think assessments such as those require students to be a bit more serious. I would love to teach at that school, and I would love for my kids to go to that school. That is the ultimate compliment I can give to any program. In fact, the program has inspired me to reevaluate my program and see if there are any changes I can make to improve what I am already doing. I hope you find the same inspiration as me while looking at the site.