Ogden Community School District embraces the power of PE. While Ogden is a small rural school district in Iowa, PE teacher and Head Football Coach Tyler Lloyd says that the district thinks big when it comes to creating fitness opportunities for all students,
“As teachers, we are on the front lines of supporting students’ physical and mental well-being. PE can positively impact students in so many ways, but it is on us as teachers to find what challenges, motivates, and inspires students.”
At Ogden, students have a wide range of fitness opportunities so that every student has a positive experience in physical education. As a result, the small school district is seeing big results from a fitness-focused curriculum.
Ogden’s Student-Centered Physical Education
While many school districts have made opting out of PE in middle and high school easier, Ogden has worked to keep physical education a part of students’ secondary experience. And because of this, Tyler explains the importance of structuring PE lesson plans that are student-centered,
“It is about finding the right balance between challenging students so they will see progress and still having fun in the process.”
At Ogden, Tyler says there are many multi-sport athletes, so the weight room is a big part of the physical education curriculum,
“Our goal is to build a strong foundation in middle school so that every student can be safe and successful in the weight room. From there, many high school students can grow and see the positive results of strength and speed training.”
And because not every student is an athlete or interested in a traditional strength and speed program, Ogden makes it a point to create other opportunities for students in PE,
“Students will always gravitate to different types of workouts. For example, many of our students love the different stretching and yoga routines. It is all about finding what will capture their attention and motivate them to move and be active.”
The Power Of Progress
Beyond student choice, Tyler attributes success in physical education to the power of progress,
“Physical education is unique because students can see and feel progress in real-time.”
For weightlifting metrics, Tyler says he makes it a point to celebrate each and every improvement, no matter what the number,
“It doesn’t matter if a student adds weight to the bar for the first time or hits a 400-pound personal best; the point is that students are bettering themselves.”
And much like students have different interests in workouts, Tyler says that there are also different fitness metrics that students get excited about,
“One fun example is that many of our female students love the grip hang assessment. There is just something about seeing how long they can hang on a pull-up bar that the girls have a really fun time with.”
Tyler fosters these different moments during physical education class, knowing that excited students are more likely to keep working hard.
Leveling The Playing Field
Ogden has developed a cutting-edge physical education program that is empowering students. In addition to opportunities during the school day, Ogden also opens the weight room to different groups of students before and after school. Tyler emphasizes how all of these different opportunities are an effort to create the best possible experience for students,
“As a small rural school, students don’t have endless access to gyms and trainers right down the street. And so, providing students with the right resources in school is essential. PLT4M levels the playing field for teachers, coaches, and students with high-quality curriculum and technology.”
With PLT4M, Ogden students tap into various lesson plans to access everything from weight room workouts to stretching routines. As a teacher, Tyler says that PLT4M has helped to boost engagement,
“The PLT4M videos that come with every exercise and workout show students a wide range of instructors that model and showcase how everyone and anyone can be a part of fitness. This is very empowering, especially for our female students.
On top of the videos and lesson plans, Ogden uses PLT4M to highlight the progress and growth of students,
“Not only can students feel the progress, but they can see it in real-time when they log workouts and watch numbers improve week over week.”
Bonus: Check out a PLT4M Instructional video guiding students through a recovery stretching routine.
More Opportunities To Come At Ogden
Tyler, in his first year at Ogden, was excited to arrive at a school district that saw the power of PE and Athletics. He credits fellow teachers and coaches like Jared Adreon, who have empowered a fitness initiative throughout the district,
“Jared works across all grade levels, so it has been really fun to take a collaborative approach to our physical education and athletic program.”
And as Tyler settles into his new role as PE teacher and Head Football Coach, he has made fun a top priority to keep building the program,
“It can be as simple as playing a game of tag or knockout for warm-up. But we also have more special occasions like pancake breakfasts or a Halloween costume workout day.”
Altogether, Ogden Community School District has invested in the power of PE and is seeing students thrive in a fitness-focused curriculum. As Ogden continues to evolve the program, Tyler looks forward to more opportunities to come,
“This can impact everything we do. From improving student wellness to seeing results in the field, there are many reasons this program and initiative are worth the investment. And the best part is we are just scratching the surface.”
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