By now, most students are back in school reconnecting with friends and teachers. This transition can bring up various emotions like excitement and anxiety for students. As teachers and guides, it’s our responsibility to support students by giving them applicable SEL and fitness tools to manage their mind and body.
We had the opportunity to speak to Alejandro Ramos, a Physical Education teacher in the Claremont Unified School District, on the transition and how we can best support our students. Read our conversation below:
What is the biggest realization you’ve had since being back in school teaching? The biggest realization that I have had since returning to teaching on campus is how much students and teachers are positively influenced through in-person interactions. While I experienced many positive and encouraging student-teacher experiences virtually during online instruction, I believe it limits the potential that students and teachers have to learn, grow, and develop in healthy ways, especially through Physical Education.
What do you observe your students craving and needing in class?
The biggest desire that I believe students are craving this year is to socially interact with their peers and friends. It has become very clear that most of our students simply miss their friends due to the lack of opportunity to gather during school and community closures during 2020–2021. The greatest need that I believe our students currently have besides social interaction with their friends is the opportunity to exercise and participate in healthy physical activities again.
What are your suggestions on how teachers and mentors can support their students to acclimate back into in-person learning?
My suggestions to fellow teachers, coaches, and mentors would be to focus on motivating and inspiring our students to enjoy being back on campus and to encourage and remind students that they are not alone when facing challenges due to the pandemic or any other difficult life circumstance they may be going through. I would also encourage teachers to be secure and confident and not take the increase in student behavioral problems in their classes as a personal reflection of their effectiveness as an educator. Lastly, I would encourage teachers to communicate more than ever to their students that they are available for them and care about them.
How can teachers utilize Ready, Set, Gold! for their students?
I believe that any Physical Education educator and the school can utilize Ready, Set, Gold by partnering with the power of having an Olympic and/or Paralympic athlete inspire their students both virtually and in person by becoming a mentor/coach! Many of our returning students remembered RSG's virtual series from the 2020–21 school year. When some of these students had the opportunity to meet Mr. John Moffet in person, they were so excited and in shock that an Olympic athlete showed up to their campus to inspire them! Just through one in-person visit, RSG's program has already changed the atmosphere in our Physical Education program at that campus. I highly recommend RSG to any PE program and school.
It’s clear that students are excited to get back to class! Mr. Ramos gave us some great advice on how to create a joyful and safe environment for students as they get acclimated to this 2021–2022 school year.
Take advantage of the SEL and fitness resources Ready, Set, Gold! has to offer by registering your class and school for in-person visits with our wonderful RSG! Olympians and Paralympians.