Teachers and Coaches Express Viewpoints about Credit Change

Trevor Oneacre, Student of Journalism

With the start of the spring sport season, coaches have been told little about athletics replacing PE classes and the requirements, slated to begin in fall.

Concerns exist.  Both teachers and coaches have provided insight into the issue, but they prefer to comment by position vs. name.

Teachers worry that students would not be able to be active during the school day. Being active gives students a release from stress and boosts test grades.

Neenah coaches fear that having extracurriculars replace a physical education course will take away from the knowledge students can absorb. Physical education teaches many ways to live a healthy lifestyle.

Along with that, coaches are concerned about how grades will work with this new system.  Are grades performance driven?  For example, if a student did not make it to state would the student not earn an A.   

The coaches, who are not professional educators, are being expected to educate and complete forms to provide the student with the replacement credit. (*Replacement credit is explained in the NHS Program Guide.  Note that successful completion of the criteria will earn students a “pass” grade.) 

Finally, the transfer from coach to coach of an athlete that competes in different areas (JV to Varsity or event to event) is as confusing as a freshman on the first day of school.

Although some of these worries will be ironed out when they have their coaches meetings, philosophical concerns remain.

Coaches seem to support the need for physical education, and the benefits of being active during the school day.

Coach Krueger said, “Physical education offers students a chance to be active during the school day and teaches them how to live a healthy lifestyle.”

Extracurriculars go above and beyond physical education; they keep students active outside of school and model the art of competition.

Sports teach athletes life lessons that cannot be taught in a physical education class. Many things athletes learn during the heat of competition help them to become a better person.

Physical education also teaches athletes to work with non-athletes — in general people who lack similar skills and interests.

Overall, coaches believe that athletics could offer valuable life lessons, but PE classes help students live a better, healthier lives.

With the start of this new system, many details will be tested to improve the lives of students.  Unfortunately, the perspectives of teachers and coaches blend together to make one question if the heart of this change is budget-driven.