Physical Education classes make changes since students are working out at home


Contributed by Shelby Honda

Sophomore Shelby Honda exercises at home. PE teachers have changed their curriculum to encourage at-home workouts.

By Kamm Kojima, Mid-Pacific Institute

Breaking out a sweat, students in Mid-Pacific physical education classes trade the weights, rackets and balls they might use in a regular class for items around their house.

With Mid-Pacific moving to virtual learning in response to the coronavirus pandemic, teachers said they had to change their curriculum as well.

“I’m trying to make sure my students move as much during the 45 minute block as possible,” said Ian Hunt, strength and conditioning teacher.

Although the length of time students exercise varies depending on their class, all PE teachers maintain the same goal of keeping their students active, said all of the PE teachers.

Because Hunt requires movement, he said he had his students fill up their school backpack with books, which replicates the feeling of walking up the hill to Kawaiahaʻo.

Students said they appreciated the new ways of looking at exercise.

I’m trying to make sure my students move as much during the 45 minute block as possible.”

— Ian Hunt

“I think it’s cool how he’s thinking of different ways, if you don’t have weights at home,” said sophomore Mackenzie Nitta.

Out of 68 students in Hunt’s class, only eight have proper weights to simulate their workout in the weight room.

For those who don’t have weights, PE teachers said they upload videos for them to follow which can be found on MyPueo.

“I made a topic for each of the different kinds of workout, so there’s [a]… flexibility one [and a] strength building one,” said health and individual team sports teacher Michele Miyamoto.

Miyamoto said she would have been teaching basketball in individual team sports. But, because of the pandemic, her students practice sports they already know.

“One of my students is a basketball player, who does have a basketball,” said Miyamoto.

After students are done exercising, they turn in a selfie, a video of them working out or a log of what they did and the fitness goal they accomplished.

Sophomore Shelby Honda, who takes racket sports, said she walked up her hill and logged the two fitness goals she accomplished.

But, because their exercises are within the honor system, teachers said they aren’t sure if their students are working out.

“You can’t force people to exercise in this situation. I’m not there. I can’t see if they’re actually doing it, so I trust[them],” said Miyamoto.

As professional games are cancelled, teachers also can’t watch students engage in a tournament or games.

“I miss that and having them get the tournaments and trying really hard, some games are so exciting to watch,” said Richard Haas, strength and conditioning and fundamentals of PE teacher.

Haas said he wished he could teach what students wanted to learn.

“We were kind of looking forward to having a badminton relay, but now we can’t,” said Honda.

However, some students do not mind online PE.

“For me during class, I feel awkward to be around people who are just lifting,” said Nitta, who said she prefers PE online because she can work at her own pace.

Whether students like PE online or not, all students will still get PE credit as long as they turn in their work, as the class is a credit/no credit class.

“Not having the equipment that they have at school is a lot different,” said Nitta.

This story was originally published on Na Pueo on May 19, 2020.