Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Obesity and Eating Disorders

Students in America spend most of their time in front of technology such as watching television, playing video games, and going on Facebook and sitting in front of the computer for hours on end. In addition, many of these students are not eating the right foods at the right time of day and may be eating too much of a bad thing. As stated in our textbook, "nine million American students are overweight or obese" (pg. 126). This is not a good statistic and as physical education agents of change, it is our goal to fix this statistic. In many schools, recess and physical education is cut out which does not help matters any more. If these students do not get a chance to have at least 120 minutes of physical education a week, then they are on a road to an unhealthy lifestyle. On the contrary, students feel the pressure to be thin and therefore eating disorders are on the rise. Girls are pressured that being skinny is the only way to be successful and be pretty as well. They see pictures in magazines of supermodels and models in ads and these females are unrealistically skinny. They get the message that females that are that skinny are the only ones that can be models and the only ones that are pretty. Males on the other hand get the message that they have to bulk up and gain as much muscle as they can. A way to do this would be to take steroids which is the unsafe way to do this. Males can just go to the gym to lift weights and work on their cardio to stay in shape. These boys just want to look good and they will do anything in their power to achieve the body that they want and also recognition from their peers. Students are on the search for the perfect body and will do anything in our power to achieve it. Obesity and eating disorders need to be addressed in classes such as Health and Physical Education. It is a problem that has been facing our society for a while and we need to find a happy medium in between these two issues. We want our students to be comfortable in their bodies and be healthy as well. They need to be educated that healthy bodies come in many different shapes and there are many different alternatives these students can take to achieve a healthy body that they are most comfortable in.

More On Bullying

When I was home for October break, a special was on with Anderson Cooper about bullying. I found it interesting to watch a little bit because of the fact that I wrote another post a few weeks ago on bullying. There were interviews with students who have experienced bullying first hand and how they felt during this time. This is something that we really need to take a stand about and what needs to be brought to our attention. We as physical education students are going to see a lot of our students bullied and it is up to us to help out these students. More needs to be done in our school districts to stop the bullying, and more students need to be informed on the effects that bullying has on students. Here is a clip from the special that I watched on television.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Keep Students Together or Mix Them Up: You Be The Judge

On page 65 in the textbook there is an argument about keeping students together or mixing them up based on their gender, religion, needs, and race/ethnicity. While reading this I put myself in the shoes of each of these when I was in high school and try to imagine myself on both ends. I think that high school shaped me into the individual I am today because I was educated about numerous things while I was in school. The first argument is based on keeping males and females separate from each other. If they are separate, both males and females can concentrate on their school work and not on each other. I don't think I would have enjoyed school that much if I went to school with all females. High school promoted gender equality and it helped me work with other males and not just the female population. I was able to make many guy friends in high school and was able to get advice from them if I needed it. Sometimes you need friends of the opposite sex because you may not be able to get certain advice from your female friends. I learned a lot about the male population by just being in school with them for all these years and I came into my own self and was able to be independent. The next argument in the textbook is keeping students separate based on their race and ethnicity. If students are in school with individuals of the same race, they are able to embrace their heritage and study with their friends that come from the same backgrounds of them. I am unable to speak on behalf of this because the school that I attended was all Caucasian and there barley any different races or ethnicities. I wish that my high school was different in this respect because I would have been able to learn more about their culture and how they live. It would have opened my eyes to a different side of living and that not everyone lives the same way. If schools were separated by religion, we would be able to practice our own in schools such as prayer and not worrying about being ridiculed by our classmates. Going to school with individuals of different religions can help us to grow when we learn about the different practices. We can gain valuable lessons about religions and learn to accept the lifestyles that they lead in regards to prayer and religious services. I am Catholic and I went to a high school that was predominantly Jewish. I was able to see into the religion of Judaism by attending certain services in the temple such as Bat and Bar Mitzvahs. If I went to school with all Catholics I would not be informed about this lifestyle and what it is all about. The final statement is putting GBLT students all together in a school. These schools can help these individuals cope with their unique circumstances and it can protect them from ridicule. Attending schools with others can give students an insight to different lifestyles and it can help others respect the GBLT lifestyle.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What if the NFL played by Teacher's Rules?

Here is an article that one of my friends put up on Facebook and the title was very intriguing to me. Think about this for a second, what if players could never be cut from the roster as long as they have been playing with the team for 3 years. What would this alternate league be like? If the players were never getting cut and their pay was increasing each season, then the product of the players on the field would decline as well as they probably wouldn't want to risk getting hurt on the field. If the players are guaranteed a spot, wouldn't they work a little less harder because they are guaranteed a spot? Right now of course this isn't true because players give it their all every week to be better than the other team and to make the most money. The only way a player could be cut is if they retire or if there are cases of misconduct against them. This can be turned around and relate to the American public education system. It is true that when a teacher is in a school district for 3 years they are offered a permanent job there where they cannot be fired unless they retire or there is misconduct against them. The salary of a teacher and how good they are at their job have nothing in common. A eighth year teacher can be making more than a first year teacher, but that is only because they have been there longer. That does not mean that the eighth year teacher is better than the first year teacher. Some teachers that have been in a school district for a while and know they can't be fired may do just the bare minimum because they know they won't lose their job. Teachers that help the learning process should be rewarded other than those teachers that  don't get the job done. I know there are plenty of those teachers out there, especially in the physical education department. For example, when I observed in a middle school in 256, 2 out of the 3 physical education teachers had been at the school for 20+ years. The other teacher was younger and she had only been there for around 5. The way the 2 older teachers handled their classes was not the way that I thought they would. The unit was volleyball, and they set up the nets and threw the volleyball out for the students to play. From what I observed, I didn't see much teaching going on, although I was only there for a week. But the attitude of the teachers that were there for a longer time made me think that I could do a better job than they could. They had a mentality that they were there for a long time and what they have done in the past years has worked so they are going to keep doing it. Students need to be exposed to teachers that are motivated and love their job and are going to get the students involved. These are the teachers that should be rewarded for their hard work and dedication to the subject they are teaching.