How PE has become a cliffhanger


Brody S Engelbrecht, Staff Writer

I know we are all a little bummed about PE this year because of the shortened classes, always wearing masks and less availability to some of our favorite units but this is what we have to do in order to stay safe.

I was fortunate enough to meet with Mr. Vistocco, one of our school’s favorites, and Ms. Potenza, everyone’s favorite aquatic instructor, to discuss what their process has been designing the units, how they have adjusted to the new PE style, what the future units look like and how different PE has looked compared to the past.

Due to our current world situation of the Coronavirus I met with them over Zoom late Wednesday morning after they had wrapped up a meeting to ask them a couple of questions. 

As many of you know Ms. Potenza is a swimming coach at our school. Since we have COVID-19 going around we are not allowed to get into the pool for physical education and Ms. Potenza explained, “With all the locker room and cleaning procedures we just couldn’t go in.“ Even though for most of us swimming probably isn’t one of our favorite units because it seems like a hassle to some, it is still unfortunate we can not go in so far.

Obviously this year has been crazy for everybody and everyone has had to deal with changes this year. When I had asked Ms. Potenza how her and her staff has adjusted to this new PE style she said that, “Honestly I think we have adapted pretty well.”

When they developed the units all of the physical education teachers had kept in mind that they must find units that will “be beneficial for (the students”

Our PE staff always seems to be in a great mood and helpful and Ms. Potenza says it is because they“always collaborate well as a group and that really helps a lot when you have so many different personalities and different ideas that kind of come together to do what’s best for the community”

With this new style of PE our faculty had to create a new process to make sure the students are socially distant but still getting a full PE experience. I had asked the honorable Mr. Vistocco what went into the process of developing the units and he said that “We have to look at our facilities and what we have to offer… We’re down a couple facilities based on size and number”

Mr. Vistocco also considers when developing his PE plans that “We look at class size and look at what activities we can do safely.”

He later went on to say that “Based on these factors that’s how we’ve decided what units we’ve been doing.”

PE for our school has dramatically changed for everyone. As Mr. Vistocco says, “We see kids once every other week instead of once a week or sometimes even twice a week.”

Another change was that “We normally have 5 day units now we have 3 day units and obviously we have our online content which we have never had before.”

As most of our current PE units begin to wrap up I was curious and asked Mr. Vistocco what the next units will look like and he, being the joker he is, says, “Should I leave you on a cliff hanger and say stay tuned.” 

He eventually did say, “A lot of racket sports.” We would be doing some more table tennis, badminton, pickleball and archery.

As we head out of winter Mr. Vistocco claims, “hopefully as the weather gets warm we can get into more normal units that students might expect”

For fun I figured I would ask both Vistocco and Potenza what their favorite unit to teach is. Ms. Potenza says, “For me one of the downfalls with COVID is my absolute favorite unit to teach is self-defense.” 

She later goes on to say that Archery is her favorite to teach and even says, ”I do a policy (with the students) that if you beat me you get an 100.”

Ms. Potenza was precise and gave a good answer to show what her favorite is to teach, unlike Mr. Vistocco. Vistocco goes on to name about 6 of his “favorite units.” He eventually would go on to say that “Might be rock climbing, I think rock climbing is my favorite.” Again, he thinks he still could not pick just one. 

I know we all want PE to go back to what it has been in past years but this is just something we have to deal with right now. The PE style has changed for the greater good and is still exciting to be a part of.

Who knows that PE will look like down the road, as Vistocco said before, “Should I leave you on a cliffhanger?”