Sunday, March 29, 2009

School Day Designed to Lower Kid's Performance?

While getting ready for church this morning, I switched on the TV. I don't really remember what was on, but it was something that I wanted to get rid of immediately. So I chose something called "Outside the Lines" on ESPN. I had no idea that it would pertain to education.

The feature was entitled Critical Mass Crisis: Child Obesity. It seems that, as a part of No Child Left Behind, physical education was sacrificed in order to provide more time for academic disciplines. But this kind of situation creates a worse one in time. Studies have shown that children who are healthy perform best. Those who are not healthy are not able to perform at their highest level. At least one out of every 6 children in the US is overweight or obese. Our Western lifestyle demands this to a degree. Reducing the amount of time children can spend engaged in physical activity is an act that distorts the playing field significantly.

This feature contained numerous noteworthy statements and fascinating ideas. For example, one principal spoke of the exercise trail, I suppose designed by the physical education instructor, that was simply a path through the school in which various movements were required. This utilized the space that the school already had and saved them a considerable amount of money. But the one thought that I found to be the most disheartening was when one of the speakers said "[this could be the first generation to be outlived by their parents.]" What frightening thought to consider hundreds of thousands of people waiting for death, counting the seconds in the pulse of the rocking in stationary chairs, none of them having the hope of a visitor - because their children are all gone.

Since budget cuts and time prevent kids from being able to get the necessary amount of exercise at school, many teachers have discovered ways to help their children pursue wellness during academic time. One of the teachers on my team with whom I work most frequently has the children to mimic certain kinds of angles with their arms during stretch breaks that she gives them. Things like this are essential to getting kids physically active while not taking away from their time learning academics.

Being the way I am, Lord willing, I'm planning on putting together some lessons and units that incorporate physical activities into academic learning. Besides being more interesting than a lecture, this will also help to motivate children to stay active. With this thought in mind, I went back upstairs to finish dressing.

The day was very gloomy for the Florida coast, so the light pouring from the seams of space in that were the structural edges of the dresser was enhanced. I opened the drawer slowly. Sir Coolman was a deep, bright blue. He didn't say anything. I picked him up and he did not appear. But the was one of the most powerful things he's ever stated.

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