Are New-And-Improved Gym Classes Really Improved?

Are New-And-Improved Gym Classes Really Improved?

Mackenzie Pence, Assistant Editor

Change could be Redbank Valley’s middle name:  new electives, dress code changes, new staff, and even new lunches. The biggest change for senior high students is the new gym class schedule. Not only is gym class on your schedule every day for one semester, but it’s also segregated into boys and girls. Some students are fond of this new change, but others, not so much.

Personally, I really like how the gym classes are set up now, aside from having it for half the year, every single day. Of course, this isn’t an issue for kids who are active all year round. Staying in shape and being healthy isn’t a problem for them, but for those who are not active and not involved in sports, gym class was the only activity to keep them healthy. Now that they have gym for only half of the year, how are these kids expected to stay active? Gym class is their only source of exercise, and without it, their health will most likely decline due to the lack of physical activity. A study done by the California Department of Education has proven that gym class can help students focus, and fit kids have done better on academic tests than unfit kids. The researchers found that 30 to 45 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 days a week enhanced memory, concentration, mood, classroom behavior, self-concept, and academic performance in students. So when my parents wonder why my grades are great for the first semester and not the second, I’ll have a very good excuse for them.

Along with gym being for one semester, the class is also segregated into boys and girls. As a girl who likes to participate in gym, this change was a huge blessing. As long as those boys were in my gym class, I was never able to get as involved as I wanted. A ball would be coming straight at me during mat ball, and those rotten boys would steal it from me every time. But I’m sure the girls who didn’t care about gym were happy when a boy would swoop in and steal the ball. For the guys, I can only imagine how frustrating it was when some students would stand there and not try to go after a ball. This is why I’m very pleased with how gym class is set up now. With only girls in the class, those who want to participate get to, and those who are naturally more shy will no longer feel inferior to the opposite gender. I feel like gym is more enjoyable now, and I really look forward to it throughout the day.

When I asked some students how they felt about the new gym class, I got many different answers. “I like how gym class is every day, but next semester is going to be boring,” says Wyatt Hetrick, a junior. Sam Landers, also a  junior, commented on the separation of genders: “I really like how boys and girls are separated.” Senior Lexi Frampton agrees with Sam on the change: “I think with only girls, it makes gym more fun.”

Although Redbank has experienced change this year, many students agree that gym class has changed mostly for the good.