Physical Education: Used for Socializing or Fitness?

Written by Jordan Ledyard |

Physical Education is supposed to improve a student’s fitness. At The Morgan School, students take four quarters of gym during their four years at The Morgan School.  However, some students use physical education as a time to socialize with  friends rather than a time to participate in the physical education class activity. Sophomore Eli Luchuk explained, “Gym is fun. I like to participate, but some people don’t.” Some students say their level of participation depends on the activity the class is doing. Sophomore Shannon Maher stated, “I participate in gym. I like to play mat ball. some people participate depending on what activity is going on at the time.” To participate in gym, students must change and have a pair of sneakers. If they do not do this, they will not be allowed to participate in that day’s activities.

The center of the Morgan Gym where the jump ball happens

The center of the Morgan Gym

Sophomore Madison Garbinski participates “a lot in gym, but it’s hard to stay focused sometimes with friends around. I tend to socialize, too.” Some students do both, participate and socialize. Freshman Taylor Marnett, who has not had gym yet in high school is looking forward to gym.  “I hope we play dodge ball. I would participate in that. It is also more difficult to socialize during dodge ball because if you stand still you will get hit.”

When asked about his opinion on the participation and socialization of his students, physical education teacher Mr. Gersz said, “I think about 99 percent of my students participate in gym. I think they take it seriously, and sometimes games get really intense.” When I observed a junior gym class, all of the students were fully participating in an intense game of mat ball, with an occasional conversation or laugh.

Overall, gym classes tend to have the reputation that students use the class for socialization, but after observing a gym class and talking to kids who participate, I realize that physical education allows students to improve their fitness often while enjoying the company of their classmates.

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