PE, the most physically strenuous class on campus, has had its share of sick students, especially with the recent H1N1 epidemic. Many, however, would rather go to class than participate in the alternate option: the PE Department’s weekly makeups.
While the PE makeup system is practical and successfully utilized by hundreds of students, it is impossible for the PE coaches to accommodate the needs of everyone, and consequently numerous complications remain unresolved.
According to Athletic Director Kim Cave, the PE Department offers makeups every Thursday at lunch and Tuesday during Tutorial for anybody who misses a day of PE. Students receive full credit upon completion of the makeup.
One of the most prominent complications involves the difference between regular classes and make-ups. Many of the exercises are significantly more rigorous than those of normal PE.
“[The makeup] was definitely way more work than my usual class,” freshman Janna Wang said. “I just got better from being sick, and I don’t think it’s fair for me to do twice as much work for being absent.”
Because PE teachers alternate between holding makeup sessions every four weeks, students participating in makeups may not be coached by their own teacher. Teachers also assign the exercises at their own discretion, so some students may miss points from their original class.
Furthermore, there is a significant number of clubs that meet on Thursday at lunch. Because PE makeups are also held at the same time, many students are forced to choose between two important commitments.
“I almost always had a conflict on the day of makeups because I have Girls’ 21 at lunch on Thursdays,” sophomore Rebecca Wolber said.
While Tutorial offers a more suitable time range for these makeups, many Tutorial sessions are often taken up by homework, projects, or mandatory activities (such as videos, assemblies etc.).
According to Department Coordinator John Payne, many of the obstacles involved with the timing of makeups result from lack of access to facilities and PE equipment.
These problems could be avoided if PE teachers held makeup sessions during students’ free periods. This would enable the absent students to learn what they missed instead of completing unfairly rigorous exercises that cannot and should not take the place of an actual lesson.
In addition, this would save time for both students and teachers and eliminate the problem of grading.
Also, if makeups were held at more frequent and convenient times, students would be more inclined to fix their grades and engage in missed activities. PE teachers should also consider assigning written assignments as part of PE makeups.
While the PE makeup system is certainly indispensable, it should be modified to increase its efficiency and reach out to as many students as possible. It is only then that all students will be able to reach their maximum potential as an athlete and enjoy each sport to its fullest.