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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

New PE elective seeks to help upperclassmen stay fit

Starting the school day with an invigorating workout wouldn’t sound so bad if it were followed up with a complimentary breakfast. The addition of a new Advanced Fitness PE class next year might just make this a reality.

PE teacher Peter Jordan is interested in working with the cafeteria so that students will have an option for a healthy breakfast if the class is placed in the first-period slot.

“Not only have you worked out, but you get a good meal in and you’re ready to go for the rest of the day,” he said.

The Advanced Fitness PE course will only be added next year if enough students sign up. Jordan hopes to get at least 30 students interested.

“The idea, really, is that the class is for people who have completed their credits but want to continue to be fit and lead a healthy lifestyle,” Jordan said. “A lot of students are finding that they enjoy the feeling of becoming more fit, so we created this class that is designed for upperclassmen to maintain that fitness developed in the first couple of years of PE.”

Advanced Fitness PE would also offer off-season athletes a way to work on their strength and conditioning.

“A baseball player, in spring, could sign up for the class in the fall and go into season in shape,” Jordan added.

Junior David Zarrin believes that Advanced Fitness PE would be greatly affected by scheduling.
“If the class is flexible and you can prepare for your specific sport, a lot more people would be interested because you wouldn’t waste your time in it,” he said.

As an upperclassman, Zarrin is worried that the new course would not be necessary.
“During junior year, it would be difficult to take because when you get home, you just want to work as soon as you can, and any free time you have is spent messing around,” he said. Zarrin added that off-season athletes would be more likely to take the class during their senior year.

Although the course is aimed at students who have completed their PE requirement, it also gives upperclassmen a chance to gain credits without going through freshman-year PE.

Jordan envisions the class as a more relaxed, student-led course than PE has been in the past.
“With this more advanced class, our role as teachers is going to be more of a guide to help students achieve their own goals for fitness or athletic performance,” he said.

The new course would have allows more flexibility in terms of schedule, as well. Jordan hopes to have guest speakers come in and speak to students about different types of fitness, such as yoga or Zumba, a type of dance-workout.
“It would be a great opportunity for guest instructors to demonstrate a new approach to fitness,” he said.

Because there are currently 10 sections of PE, it is nearly impossible to have guest speakers attend every period.

“During the 10 or so years I’ve taught here, PE has been thought of as a requirement to check off. You need your 20 units of PE as a graduation requirement and then you’re done,” Jordan said. “I think changing that would have value for a lot of folks.”

Advanced Fitness PE would be a class aimed at students who want to develop their own unique fitness plans.
“As teachers,” Jordan said, “we would help them achieve their goals.”

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