In today’s world of instant gratification and sophisticated technology, teenagers in high school spend more time texting messages on cellular phones than they do actually talking to their friends and acquaintances at school. The ever-changing technologies available to today’s teens have begun to produce a generation of unfit, cerebrally- oriented youths who face the danger of developing arthritis in their ever-moving thumbs.
Just as cellular phone technology has robbed teens of their ability to communicate face to face with their peers; so the wonderful world of the Internet has robbed the youth of the need to actively go about conducting research for school assignments and projects. A walk to the community library is no longer necessary, as teens can complete their research from the comfort of their own homes.
Modern children and teens no longer face the prospect of merely becoming “couch-potatoes” with no imagination, when there are so many more threats today than excessive television viewing to stunt their development. Where once a school classroom could have led to active interaction between the teacher and student; many classrooms now make use of computer assisted learning which robs education of its humanity.
Today, more than ever before, the importance of Physical Education for high school students is critical. Students need to be exposed to the benefits of physical exercise. Teachers must be tasked with the responsibility of trying to encourage teenagers to engage in fitness programs. If, while participating in Physical Education lessons, talent is discovered for a particular sports’ code, the student can only benefit.
Students need a break from their studies during the school day. Physical exercise is known to replenish the supply of oxygen to the brain, thus facilitating more effective studying and academic performance thereafter. If high school students were left to their own devices, they might well choose to sit in classrooms lesson after lesson, without any physical outlet even being considered.
Teachers have the awesome responsibility of educating the “whole child”. Education cannot be merely an academic exercise. Teachers need to address the emotional, psychological, academic and physical needs of each student in their classes. A sedentary teacher tell or computer aided school system cannot meet the needs of teenagers who are at such a vital developmental stage on their path to maturity.
A compulsory Physical Education lesson once or twice a week may well encourage and assist students to pursue a life of physical well-being throughout their adult lives. It is vital that students understand how their bodies function and Physical Education classes provide an opportunity for teachers to explain to children how to monitor heart rates and maximize the positive effects and benefits of aerobic and non-aerobic forms of exercise.
Teachers should try to make sure that students understand the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. Lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes are on the increase among the youth. Girls could be encouraged to combat obesity through a sensible eating plan and exercise regimen while boys could be encouraged to work on stamina and muscle building. A clever teacher can use Physical Education as a springboard or challenge to encourage students to strive for longevity and healthy lifestyles.
Physical Education teachers must not be put off by the resistance they will encounter from many students at the start of the academic year. Teachers must persevere and constantly change activities to maintain the students’ interest and maximize participation. A swimming class on a very hot day could entice even the laziest of students into the water, for example.
The importance of Physical education in today’s fast-moving world where technology rules, cannot be over-emphasized. Students need to be separated from their i-pods, cell phones and laptops and work up a healthy real-life sweat, before it is too late. Students must be saved from the prospect of becoming just another statistic in the ongoing battle against lifestyle diseases modern man faces.
Physical Education will not harm children, it may in fact save their lives.