January 1998

Dear Abby
PO Box 447
Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447

Dear Abby: 

Several weeks ago you published a touching letter by "Always Chosen Last", written by a fifth grade student from Arizona. I was moved to write because I wanted to show my support in your answer. You said this was wrong and should be outlawed. As a physical education teacher of 10 years, I too feel this is an inappropriate practice for educators.

However, there are some things you can do. First, inform your parents that they have the right to assure quality physical education. Inappropriate practices should not be tolerated in any subject area. Second, I would like "Always Chosen Last 'to know that all physical education teachers are not all like this. There are many demonstration schools nationally that your teacher also can visit to learn new teaching methods. Third, don't give up. Movement is so very important to our children not only because of the health benefits but it is part of the growing up experience as a child. Learning how to play and what to play can impact a child the rest of their life.

Your teacher, parents and anyone interested can receive some new ideas and guidelines from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). NASPE will have information on workshops documents that are available to help teachers with various teaching styles. They have a document called "Developmentally Appropriate Physical Education Practices for Children" developed by the Council on Physical Education for Children. The address is 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 22091-1599. 

Find an activity that you like and do it outside of class. I understand your pain, but please don't let this sour your outlook on fitness and games. Stand up for yourself. If you have the desire to write this letter, you have the hope to change things. Good Luck!


Kymm Ballard, SDPI
NC Physical Education Consultant

Submitted by Kymm Ballard who is a Physical Education Consultant in North Carolina. Thanks so much for contributing to PE Central!