Let me start by saying I think physical activity, exercise, and health and fitness are extremely important. We are vegetarians, and 90% of our meals are SUPER healthy. We exercise. We walk together as a family. We get it.
Let me also say that
I think getting a letter grade in gym is stupid.
It’s gym. I mean, I’m glad the kids have it, but you’re graded on participation, right? Apparently not at our school. I sent a letter this morning, after my daughter received her first “C” ever on her report card. She was crying, extremely upset because she has been on the honor roll since starting school.
My daughter is a lot of things. She is smart, she is kind, she is very caring, she is responsible (most of the time), and she’s unique. Hell, she’s even weird.
However, she is not athletic. And I’m okay with that.
Apparently the school is not okay with that. I wrote a note asking why she received a “C” in gym. Was she not participating? Did she refuse to dress out? She has perfect attendance so I know it wasn’t for missing too many days. I tried to cover all of the reasons she could have legitimately gotten a low grade. The letter I received back was not from the gym teacher, but from her actual teacher. In part, this is what it said:
I am sorry to hear Jenelle received a C in gym. After talking with (Coach’s name), he explained to me that Jenelle received 100% for participation, however she did not do as well on her running performance or on the amount of push-ups needed to meet state requirements for a 5th grader. In 5th grade they are to complete a mile in 10 minutes and be able to do at least 7 push-ups. Coach assured me the students trained for a few weeks to build endurance for these tests.
I trained for months for my half-marathon, and didn’t do a 10 minute mile. Not. Even. Once.
My fastest mile was over 14 minutes, because I’m just not athletic anymore. Hell, even when I was athletic, I wasn’t that fast.
Anyway, this is just a rant… about how stupid I think a letter grade in gym is when it’s based on physical ability. What if the child has asthma? What if the child has bad knees? What if.. what if?
In music, are they graded on how well they can sing? How they hit the pitches and keys? No.
In art, are they graded on how perfectly they can draw? No.
So why in the hell is a letter grade in gym given based on athletic ability?