Teachers of William S. Reyes Elementary School have petitioned Education Commissioner Rita Inos to hire teachers who have appropriate training to handle physical education classes, saying P.E. should be given equal importance as academic subjects.
The teachers said the P.E. class should not be treated as “just another semi-baby-sitting period for teachers who hardly have any training in basic physical education and its related aspects.”
“Our students must continue to receive the quality of P.E. instruction we made available at the beginning of school year,” stated the petition signed by 81 WSR teachers. The letter was submitted to Inos on Oct. 5.
Under the present setup at WSR, each classroom teacher is required to have his or her own P.E. lesson.
The teachers said this setup is “inappropriate and might pose some degree of risk since such requirement may disregard the school’s philosophy pertaining to the nurturing of each student’s academic and social development.”
The petitioners warned the Public School System against sacrificing the well-being of students in favor of its intention to save money by not hiring qualified teachers.
The perennial budget crisis has forced PSS to reshuffle its personnel to maximize the function of its teaching pool available for public schools.
“We have come of ages as administrators to be more responsible and prudent in our ways of addressing our classroom level inadequacies particularly when we deal with austerity directives that have the potential of jeopardizing the health and well being of our students,” the petitioners said.
Allowing a teacher who lacks the basic or proper P.E. training to conduct his or her own ways of instruction outside the classroom might yield “severe or unwanted consequences,” the teachers warned.
Students face the risk of injuring themselves if the unqualified P.E. teacher does not even have basic knowledge about routine pre-requisites related to outdoor exercises and other sports activities. (MCM)