If you didn’t like playing dodge ball – well, you’re probably not alone in that thought. But physical education class offers many valuable lessons for students that last their entire lifetimes. Physical education class is more than just gym class.
It teaches physical coordination. Students learn about balance and grace. Elementary school children can develop large and fine motor skills in PE or recess. Adolescents going through puberty go through a typically awkward stage of development. Physical education class often offers them the ability to learn how to walk with their bodies truly in balance. They learn excellent posture and how to keep themselves in good condition.
Physical Education class teaches how to stay physically fit. Do you remember those warm-up exercises we all did, and those cool-down exercises? The laps around the gym or the field we all ran? Those all taught us that the body does not go from zero to sixty in one straight motion. Every exercise works much better if you warm the body up first and do some type of cool down exercises. Stretching your body is also very good for the muscles.
It teaches that exercise is fun. Some classes today play Ultimate Frisbee or learn karate. Other classes have even played Dance Dance Revolution, the popular PlayStation video game. Physical education teachers today are creative and thinking totally outside-the-box to find fun activities. They are offering exercise alternatives that students will want to do outside of their school time, and perhaps for the rest of their life.
PE class teaches how to lead a healthy life. Many physical education classes include nutrition and health subjects. They teach basic information about nutrition and the body and what growing bodies need. While our parents are meant to provide health and nutrition information, sometimes children do not listen to their parents but they will listen to another authority figure. Having a gym teacher that you like and respect tells you that it is important to drink your milk everyday is entirely different from having your mother do it.
Some schools include units on the dangers of drugs and alcohol in their PE classes. In today’s world children need to be educated about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol and they need to be educated quickly. Drugs have appeared as young and as early as grade school in some communities. Having children understand that drugs and alcohol are not a “quick thrill” but something that can cause serious harm is a very valuable lesson. Preventing children from trying drugs and alcohol through education can be as valuable as everything else they learn in physical education, if not the most valuable thing they learn today.
In conclusion, Physical Education classes are still important for today’s schools in providing a well rounded education for children. They help get children into the habit of exercise and healthy habits while they are young. Children may discover a sport or activity in elementary school PE class that they later pursue as an extra curricular activity in Junior High or High School. Students of any grade may discover an activity that they can even enjoy for a lifetime. Finally, PE is a great way for kids to just be kids and have some fun.