Tips for Students Who Don’t Dress for PE

One of the biggest questions I get asked as a high school PE teacher is what do I do with the students who don’t dress out?

The Million Dollar Question:

Well guess what? This has been the million dollar question I’ve asked myself over the past 25 years.

To be honest with you, I’ve tried everything as some work just okay and most didn’t work at all. What I finally came up with is one that I thought I could live comfortably with and is yet so simple and so easy to manage.

My Solution

So here it is. My students who don’t dress out, unless they’re injured of course, are expected to grab a pedometer and walk around either the perimeter of the gym or the playing area outside for the duration of the class period. So here’s my rationale for this one. If they can walk from class to class during passing periods in their street clothes, then I think they can certainly do the same thing during their PE class. Most importantly, they’re not missing out on getting their physical activity during PE class. It would really bother me if they were sitting out and watching everybody else work out when I know they really wanted to be participating, but they just weren’t dressed out and didn’t really particularly want to sweat in their street clothes. In addition, they’re still being engaged with what the class is doing by walking and watching rather than just sitting out and worse yet playing on their cell phones.

What I love most about this management method is the fact that at the end of the class period, all students, whether they’re dressed out or not get to upload their pedometer and MVPA data and no one is excluded. I’ve used this method for the past four years now and it is by far the best alternative. I have found that both my students and myself can live with this. Thanks for reading and thanks for keeping fitness fun.

One Response

  1. Hi Maria,
    We are having this discussion in our district right now. How are students graded if they are not dressed and walking compared to the students who are dressed and participating in the day’s activities? Is it a lesser grade? What do you do if students would rather walk and keep nonsuiting?

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