Physical education teachers adapt to distance education during COVID-19


ROCKPORT and HOPE – Gone are (temporarily) the days of gyms filled with the sounds of kids skipping rope and playing dodge ball.

With the COVID-19 pandemic closing school campuses, all classes have switched to distance education, including physical education classes.

Although physical education has technically shifted to distance education, Camden Hills Regional High School physical education teacher Chris Audet stressed in an interview that he wants his students to switch off technology to his class. (Ironically, he noted that his screen time had probably increased by 500% as he edited his videos, which didn’t come naturally to him.)

In her spare time, outside of school hours, Audet films and edits videos to share with her students, describing how they should take care of themselves physically, mentally or emotionally during the pandemic.

A recent assignment involved getting out there and doing 45 minutes of exercises that would increase the heart rate, with students rating how they felt mentally before and after performing the exercise.

Audet students complete their homework during the day and will submit a video or written response discussing the activity and how they felt.

Some of its 60 students have reported feelings of stress and anxiety during the pandemic, as they mostly stay stuck at home. Getting outside for a walk, or even participating in brief indoor physical activities such as stretching, can reduce stress and anxiety levels, Audet said, which is true for many of his students. .

In fact, several of her students said they felt more focused and engaged during their other classes after doing their physical activity homework.

Some parents, he said, said they envy their children’s homework in Audet. While sifting through videos or written homework submitted by her students, Audet found a few submissions from her students’ parents.

Audet encourages its students, and others working from home, to get up occasionally and stretch from time to time while they are working from home.

When venturing outside to exercise, Audet recommends that its students and the general public adhere to CDC and State of Maine guidelines and follow the six foot distance rule. social. If you are hiking or walking a trail, look for wide paths rather than narrow ones, he suggested.

He advises students and the general public to exercise to increase heart rate and perform rotating activities to eliminate exhaustion or boredom.

Every day, Audet reaches out to his students to see how they are doing in a physical, mental and emotional state. He advises his students to consume information in a healthy, limited way, and from reliable sources (such as the CDC website rather than social media posts). Her students are encouraged to adjust their calorie intake since they are, generally, indoors more than usual these days. He recommends that students use this time of isolation to learn something new and find new ways to connect with friends (e.g. through phone calls) and to completely disconnect from technology once. per week.

Ultimately, Audet recommends everyone take a step back and strive to stay healthy during the pandemic.

Across the Five Town area, Hope Elementary School physical education teacher Jeff Payson is also posting videos with suggestions for physical activities that Hope students can do in their own home. house, as well as a bit of humor which he said in an interview is a traditional key. aspect of its courses.

The goal for him is not only to provide ways to keep students active, but also to bring a smile to viewers and show students many ways to stay active outside of the gym.

In one of his recent videos, Payson suggested kids get active by picking up sticks, cartwheels, or playing scotch tape.

Many students at Hope Elementary School received skipping ropes donated by the American Heart Association and tennis balls provided by the Midcoast Recreation Center before the pandemic.

The response to his videos has been positive, Payson said, noting that he has received many compliments on Facebook and that the videos have been shared multiple times.

Contact George Harvey at: [email protected].

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