My 4th grade twins have a written test in Gym on Football, HUH!!!!

  1. My kids started a new school for 4th grade in Sept. They hate the gym teacher. She gave them a 26 word list called the football alphabet. Letters A -Z on football of words and definitions. All the parents are like, what the f*ck?!!! Everyone has told their kids not to bother with it b/c they have so much other work and outside activities as well. She said it is going to be a big part of their grade!
    Now, I have been extremely happy w/ the school except for this. With childhood obesity rates soaring I think kid's gym class should be about getting the kids into loving activity, not hating the thought of it. My dad has a PHD in health and physical ed and was a college professor for 35 years. He has written books for Consumer Reports about physical fitness and is a renown authority. He thinks it's absurd. I actually called the principal about it and he tried to defend it, although he even admitted he would hate a test like that in 4th grade. It really makes no sense to me. I asked, is she testing their memorization skills or their athletic ability? Their memorization skills are well-tested in the classroom and shouldn't be in the gym in my opinion. UGH!
  2. My kids went to a private school that required alot of work like this.
  3. This is public school and the other Intermediate school in our district does nothing like this.
  4. I hate to hear parent's are telling their children not to do it, if it's going to impact their grade especially.
  5. I know that presently the education system is trying to incorporate writing into all subjects, gym included. In my school (I teach high school English at a college prepratory public school), students only take gym until sophomore year because our district can't afford to have P.E. in the higher grades. From what students tell me, most of their gym teachers don't require any written assignments, though some do. The gym teachers who don't give written work understand that all of our students are under an intense homework load.

    Some of the parents in my school have told their students that English is not as important as science or math, as learning about literature will not get the student a high-paying job. The student then thinks it is okay not to turn in essays or read the required books because Dad said English won't pay the bills, and no surprise, the student fails the class. The parent may not have wanted the student to fail the class, but young people have a knack for selective hearing, and if Dad says English isn't important, then why bother?

    Instead of telling the students not to bother with the class, I would get the parents who are unhappy with the teacher's policies together to calmly approach her about lifting some of her written requirements. If this calm approach doesn't work, you could always take it to administration. As a teacher, though, I would rather you take your concerns to me first before going above my head.
  6. Actually, One of my friends spoke to the teacher. she has been there forever and said this is the way it is basically. I find that answer very unsatisfying. My kids know I don't take activity and fitness lightly from my own actions and the fact that they are brown belts and have been taking karate since they were 4. I can't condone this when the kids are already bogged down with towns of work and preparing for state tests has taken over the classrooms. A written gym test on football just doesn't add up to me.
  7. If nothing else, your kids will learn a valuable lesson, sometimes in life you have to do stuff you don't want to do to earn a good grade, raise, promotion, etc.
  8. My children also have to have a written tests for some sports - basically scoring and rules. But it does not make up the bulk of their grade or their class. I do agree with Swanky however - telling them not to do it sends the wrong message. It should be discussed with the school board. Just follow the chain of command if you are not satisfied with the answer.
  9. I grew up with written tests in gym classes. It was a public school K-8. I don't remember what grade it started in... but basically after the end of each sport we'd have a test on it too. I guess I really never thought it was a big deal...
  10. I never tell my kids to not do something that I believe has actual value...but what does this accomplish? A hatred for gym and further burden when they already have tons of work? I guess I'm just not one to believe that things should stay the same just b/c the teacher says so...I believe that I can change things by voicing my concerns and pointing out the discrepancies I see. I was raised that way and have raised my kids to not just go along with things all the time if it makes no sense. I've voiced it to the principal after hearing what the teacher said to a friend.
    When my kids complained my first reaction was just do what they tell you to do...But in truth that isn't what I believe or what has gotten me to where I am today. I want my kids to question authrority and not be lambs but rather leaders with minds of their own. This is a small thing that really amounts to nothing as far as grades that matter...It is just a matter of doing what you believe in, not just following for the sake of following. Sorry, I think I just got on my bandwagon:shame:
  11. Honestly, if only one parent approached me about a policy of mine, I may just think that parent is the only person who has a problem with my grading system. If a bunch of parents approached me, I would begin to question my policies. You have to be vocal together to make your point. Parents at my school are brilliant when it comes to making a stink if they are unhappy.

    As for the test on football, the teacher may be reacting to students who act up in class. My first semester of teaching, I was given the deadly "College & Career" course that NOBODY wanted to teach because everyone knew it was a BS course--after all, every student at my school is college-bound--and because everyone knew it was a BS course, the students were difficult to deal with (oddly enough, the same bratty children in my C&C course were absolute angels in my English courses because they knew that grade counted.) Out of frustration, I would give quizzes to get the students to get them to quit horsing around, and pay attention to what I was saying. Perhaps their gym teacher is sick of dealing with students who think P.E. isn't a course worthy of their attention.

    As one poster pointed out, even if you are unable to change the teacher's mind, at least your children will learn that sometimes life is full of unreasonable demands that we often have to deal with.
  12. Thanx for your input, it helps to hear from all other views b/c it's easy to hear only your own voice on a subject. I really appreciate it!
  13. I would suggest talking to the teacher as well. I am a middle school teacher in NJ and I know that there is a written component to our district's physical education curriculum. The kids and teachers both hate it, but the teachers don't have a choice since they have to cover the curriculum. By talking to the teacher, you can find out if it is an individual teacher's policy or a curriculum issue. This can help you figure out how to proceed.
  14. I don't disagree that you should bring it up w/ the teacher. . .
    I just personally think it's a bad idea to teach children to undermine authority.
    Questioning is one thing, telling them to refuse to do it is different to me.
  15. I totally agree with you. I think it's important for kids to learn to appropriately question things (and not blindly follow policies/ideas that seem off to them), but they shouldn't undermine authority and just refuse to do something.