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 several 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. My school has been a State Physical Education Demonstration School in North Carolina for a number of years. There are many demonstration schools nationally that your teacher also can visit to learn new teaching methods. Here are some other suggestions to anonymously give to your teacher if you would like:

1. Teams should be formed before class by the teacher based on their knowledge of the student's abilities.
2. <Various methods you use>
3. <Various methods you use>
4. <Various methods you use>

Third, don't give up. Movement is so very important to our children. First because of the health benefits but second, it is part of the growing up experience as a child - to learn how to play.

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 and 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!


A Caring Teacher in NC