Common Core in Gym Class Lacks Logic

By Asif Ali ’16

Nowadays, when you walk into the Campus Road Gymnasium, you won’t hear the sound of the leather basketball bounce on the hardwood floor. Instead, you will hear a gym instructor yelling, ‘time’s up’ right after taking a quiz. Yeah, that is right, a quiz!

A place where all the running happens has just become a classroom that students clearly hate. A classroom where a notebook is required or else a failing grade is what you’ll be running into. This classroom will introduce new educational vocabulary not for the sake of enriching the mind of the student, but in order to apply the Common Core Standards. Apparently, the Common Cores are out to ruin yet another class and this time it is a class that students actually looked forward to.

Madeleine Cummings of Colombia Journalism said, “The Common Core calls for cross-disciplinary teachings, and the reinforcement of fundamental English in not only core academic subjects, but in Gym as well.”

This enforcement of English is done in by having students bring notebooks along with a writing utensil to gym.

“Physical Education requires more than just participating in an activity to pass,” said Ibraar Aziz ‘16. “We are required to take notes in a book and quizzes along with giving in writing assignments for a class that was meant to be a break from actual work.”

Writing assignments include handing in two health’s related articles per semester. Last time I checked there is a health class for this kind of work. Towards the end of the period, students are to answer the ‘question of the day’ which is recorded in the notebook. The notebook is then graded at the end of the semester. If not completed, you will see a bad grade on the report card.

Cummings also said, “Simply posting sports-related words on the wall is another popular way teachers are sneaking literacy standards into the gymnasium.”

I strongly doubt students will be looking at the wall while shooting a basketball into the hoop. But the way the standards are setup, one would think this is a good thing because after all isn’t this multitasking, a skill vital in the Common Core?

According to PEteacherEDU.org, Common Core can be incorporated into Physical Education by simply applying new vocabulary through writing exercises. Bringing a notebook to class is a perfect way to do this.

“They should teach us ways to keep fit or play a certain sport,” said Syed Hossain ’16. “We shouldn’t be doing pointless activities while taking pointless notes. Who’s going to look at the notes either way?”

Physical Education is another class falling victim to the Common Core. More and more students are starting to dread taking notes in the class.  It is definitely ironic how people are complaining about the obesity rates rising in this nation yet we are limiting playing time in Physical Education for academic work.  So much for fitness and getting ‘healthy’.

An example of an entry written in the gym journal.
An example of an entry written in the gym journal.

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