Monday, October 15, 2012

6th grade PE has just come screaming back!

Husband goes out of town a lot.  No really, A LOT!  For years I’ve said, “What I wouldn’t give for just ONE night in a hotel room by myself?”  Why that day finally arrived.  We got a grant at the school where I work for PE curriculum and equipment.  Training is being held about three hours from home to explain the curriculum etc.  It’s not one but TWO nights in a motel room.  It was nice watching TV alone last night, but I’ve pretty much been on the verge of a full-on panic attack since I left on Sunday.  Hopefully between Husband, three sitters and a housekeeper, the house and children will still be intact…  We’ll see.
Physical Education teachers are supposed to attend this thing.  The PE teacher couldn’t attend.  Since I’m in charge of grants, the grant person goes to the training.  Now I love to workout, mind you.  Working up a sweat and burning some serious calories is fabulous to me.  I like to Jazzercise.  Don’t even mention Zumba to me like they did today.  Because the only workout wear I have is for Jazzercise, I bought something a little more neutral.  Yes, we had to wear workout clothes to the training. 
In I walk into a school cafeteria full of middle school PE teachers.  Men out-number women about 2-1.  Even though I was dressed correctly, to say I “blended” with this crowd of people laughable.  We begin with a PowerPoint and going through a manual.  There are many “teachery” words that I don’t often use.  I hear lots of “rubrics,” “heterogeneous learning,” “assessment,” and “pedagogy.”  I write grants and we have our own lingo.  I talk about “outcome measures” and “analytics” all day, so there you go.  But hearing these words harkened me to the five minutes I was an education major.  I had to physically shake off the feeling of me as a school teacher.  I write this with totally love and respect of teachers.  I could not do it!!!!
Cue the foreboding music:  Then we went into the gym to “play!”  It was 6th grade PE all over again – a bunch of activities in which many people excel, just not me.  Not surprisingly, it didn’t take everyone long to realize that I wasn’t a PE teacher.  (NOTE ABOUT THE CURRICULUM:  It’s really very good.  They pretty well eliminated all the things that make people like me not like PE class.  Well they tried anyway….  There is no “choosing teams” and people don’t get eliminated from activities.  Athletes and non should be able to excel).  It felt like 6th grade PE to me anyway.  Perhaps if we had this curriculum when I was in the 6th grade?
We played “Rock, Paper, Scissors” for an hour.  Oh yes, “Rock, Paper, Scissors” can not only cause you to break a sweat, you’ll be winded as well.  It wasn’t until we broke out various sized and types of ball that I really want to run screaming from the gym.  At one point, we’re pretty much playing old-fashioned “keep away.”  Yep, they were able to keep it from me, alright.  Later we were in teams of six.  The game was sort of “souped up” keep away.  It’d be open and no one threw me the ball.  This happened again and again and again.  I did keep playing.  I didn’t want to represent my school badly, even though I wanted to fake a cramp and get out of there. 
I can’t bounce a ball between my legs.  I can’t bounce a ball from one thigh to the next.  And, just ask Husband, it’s laughable when I have to run.  I’ve had to run a lot today.  I didn’t see anyone pointing and laughing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it went on.  At any moment I knew we would have to do the dreaded “choose sides” ordeal.  The whole day I felt, awkward, out of place, and even ignored.  I should have just worn heels to show my true colors from the get-go.  One more day to go and I’ll be back in heels and pencil skirts.  I’ll have my computer, phone and hopefully be wearing big smile.  Either way, I’ll be thankful that I’m neither a student nor a teacher in 6th grade PE!

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