NEWARK - The myriad COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions have changed the way most teachers provide instruction, whether students are learning in school or at home. Perkins School physical education teacher Sue Moak is no exception. After the shutdown in March, she began teaching all of her students remotely using Seesaw software and did her level best to provide fun and interesting videos, a handful starring herself, to keep her students engaged in the serious matter of staying healthy and fit.
Since school reopened in September, Moak’s duties have changed, but her determination to keep remote learners engaged has not. In fact, her efforts have doubled. While she still teaches physical education to first graders at Perkins each morning, she’s now tasked with providing P.E. to the 114 remote learners at Perkins and Lincoln School. (Teachers Chris Hager and Stephen Todaro are providing the in-person P.E. instruction at Perkins and Lincoln School, respectively.) Once Moak’s P.E. classes are done, she goes right to work preparing 10 to 15-minute virtual lessons and activities for her remote students.
In many of the assignments, she asks students to send her back a video of themselves performing various locomotor skills (jumping, hopping, skipping), manipulative skills (underhand and overhand throwing and catching) or fitness activities showing what they’ve just learned so she can determine if they are doing it correctly. Watching and evaluating all these videos and providing feedback is very time-consuming, but Moak says it’s worth it. “Students who are receiving P.E. instruction virtually are getting the best P.E. I can provide. I try to make it as much fun and as interesting for my students as if they were in school, because it’s not much fun being at home and away from teachers and friends,’’ she said.