Detroit – A whiteboard in the gymnasium of David Ellis Academy is stuck to the wall.
And in time.
It details the activities planned for physical education classes on March 12, 2020 – the last day Ronda Brodsky taught physical education and health to students at the Kindergarten to Grade 8 charter public school in Detroit. .
Like countless educators during the pandemic, Brodsky had to adapt to virtually educate his students.
But unlike many of her counterparts, she’s responsible for getting kids moving – a task made more difficult when they have to be in front of a screen at the same time.
“It was very difficult for me and I know a lot of it, because I’m not someone who sits well,” said Brodsky. “So to tell me to sit down in front of a computer now, I’m like, ‘OK, what am I doing now? “”
For help, Brodsky turned to the CATCH Global Foundation, a charity that provides free teacher training at qualified Michigan schools.
“Hopefully we will return to our evolved new normal sometime next fall, hopefully, or whenever COVID is in the rearview mirror,” said Abby Rose, program manager at the CATCH Global Foundation. “But for now, these physical education teachers need good practices and strategies. “
Student physical activity, which is associated with a range of benefits, declined during the pandemic, and schools have struggled to help children maintain active lifestyles.
Physical education teachers have an additional challenge in adapting their classes to remote and / or hybrid learning environments due to the active nature of their curriculum.
This is where CATCH Global Foundation comes in. The nonprofit brings resources to schools in underserved areas that could not otherwise afford such a program, said Rose, who added that more than 10,000 schools are using some form of CATCH. .
Brodsky took advantage of the virtual live teacher training, which will continue until the end of the current school year.
One of the tips that Brodsky chose was a scavenger hunt type game in which she countdown from three and have her students find something round or a stuffed animal in their house and rush off. to their computer.
“It makes them go up and down, so you get more anaerobic, but it also gets them moving,” said Brodsky, who also guides his students from afar in traditional exercises such as jumping jacks and push-ups.
For Deion Hollis, Brodsky’s physical education class is one of the highlights of her school day.
“I actually like it,” the Ellis Academy fifth-grader said on a recent weekday just before logging in to say hello to his teacher. “Because it’s a bit difficult to sit in a chair all day. “