I don’t miss my school days whatsoever. There are many reasons why I don’t but PE lessons are definitely one of them. Lugging around your PE kit, getting changed into sweaty horrible clothes surrounded by friends or people who you don’t really like and then judged on how well you perform throughout the lesson. And I was never good at sports or exercise.
I used to be graded on my PE lessons at the end of each half term. I consistently used to get Bs for effort (meaning I was trying the majority of the time) and a 3 for attainment (essentially saying I wasn’t very good at it). So basically I was trying most of the time but failing at it. That really made me feel better about my (or should I say lack of?) abilities.
So, each week, with every different sport I wasn’t doing well at, my motivation was sinking lower and lower. My self esteem when doing sports wasn’t great either – I knew I wasn’t very good and I was self conscious about that.
You get those ‘sporty’ types who can just do sports. You know the type I mean. Athletic, sporty, always top of the PE class and they’d probably join a school sports team. You’d want to be in a team with them. Then there was me. The girl who’d never been skinny or athletic and sports were simply occasions where I’d either get severely out of breath or fall over.
Realistically, we get PE in education wrong. I understand why we have PE lessons at schools, especially considering the rise in childhood obesity, yet it just doesn’t motivate a lot of children. The athletic types sure but not people like me. In fact, it just makes us feel worse. I never started appreciating sport and exercise until I left school – that to me says a lot. What’s the point in making children do PE lessons every week in which they do sports they don’t even like? Trying to make me do netball is a no go but if I’d been introduced to yoga back then maybe I would have enjoyed PE?
Then there’s the grading. Nobody should be graded on PE. Telling me I was trying but still failing was really not encouraging. So essentially I ended up doing those PE lessons every week but grew up to hate exercise. That’s not healthy is it? No wonder childhood obesity is on the rise.