P.E. department uses applications, YouTube videos to compensate for missing class


Diane Taylor

Physical education teacher Diane Taylor posts video of herself working out her quadriceps. She does this to inspire her students to find unique ways to stay healthy at home.

Krishita Dutta, Reporter

For ninth grader Anna Bohlen, a regular physical education class would consist of changing quickly in the locker room, running to the gym and participating in some upbeat activities before heading back across Kenwood Mall for other classes. However, the coronavirus pandemic has caused drastic changes to that familiar routine.

The P.E. department is using applications such as Tabata, self-made or YouTube videos, weekly reflections and exercise requirements to compensate for missing P.E. class due to the school closure.

According to P.E. teacher Lucas Zavala, the transition has been tough because students are missing personal interaction in P.E. class that is hard to replicate remotely.

“I’ve been encouraging students to workout with another person in their family so that the social connection is still present,” he said.

Mr. Zavala also believes that it is important that teachers provide students with apt resources during this time.

“In our Schoology page, I’ve been trying to provide resources and encourage students to choose what works best for them,” he said. “This gives students a chance to find different ways for them to stay healthy individually.”

P.E. department chair Deborah Ribbens believes that it’s important to stay organized to be effective.

“I have been using the Tabata app, which is a sequence of different exercises where you set timers for both rest and activity during your workouts,” she said. “It’s really good to use especially when you’re teaching a wide variety of fitness levels because you want to challenge everyone, but you don’t want it to be so hard that you discourage students.”

Since Ms. Ribbens is currently teaching Stress Redux, she has been providing a lot of links to guided meditation. Mr. Zavala, who is teaching Sophomore Health, Adventure Ed, and Ultimate Frisbee and Games, has also been providing links through the Schoology page to his students.

According to ninth grader Ishani Hariprasad, a student in Mr. Zavala’s class, his videos, zoom calls and gym logs have been extremely helpful.

Ishani said, “It has been difficult to stay motivated to actually work out, but the tools provided to us really help.”

Both students and P.E. teachers are still in the process of figuring out the nuts and bolts of online fitness. However, Ms. Ribbens believes that everyone needs to keep their heads up, be creative and try different things.