The Teen Doctor

Answers to your questions about adolescents

I Hate High School PE Class

I may not graduate because of gym class. Read More

Children these days are so special

I'm sure all those fancy colleges these days are going to welcome this special student with open arms without a high school diploma.

98.75% graduated isn't graduated by even 0.01%. You either have the degree or you don't. Will this arrogant student tell his colleges and universities what course requirements he's willing to meet and which don't suit his tastes? When he gets a job (if he gets a job) will he be picking and choosing his work assignments? Will he tell the IRS whether he feels like paying taxes or not?

I can't wait. I hope this writer comes back on a yearly basis and tells us how life is going for him.

I support the writer

I found PE embarrassing, humilitating, and useless. It discouraged me from doing any physical activity on my own. Being somebody nobody wanted on his team hurt!

Physical "education"

He understandably feels that he will not gain knowledge or a sense of a healthy physical lifestyle. From my personal experience, I feel that time is wasteful since I remember playing either highly competitive or mostly inactive games, neither of which taught or encouraged me to exercise. PE is a pointless credit where students are not being educated. He should put up with it for now to graduate, but hopefully he will advocate to change the requirement for future students.

I side with the boy. I do not

I side with the boy. I do not think that graduating should hinge on taking phy-ed.

Considering that you are at the mercy of a teacher who will grade you on how well you do in useless sports like basketball or the like.

There is nothing wrong with phy-ed but there are plenty of kids who don't care about sports yet are forced to take it seriously.
Being able to bounce a ball won't mean anything in real life but if the school is that adamant then there is nothing you can do.

I mean you can be a good student otherwise but if you don't like chasing after a ball like a dog then you just don't get to graduate I guess.

Besides, just because someone objects to something doesn't make them arrogant nor does it make them a candidate for tax evasion like the first poster implied.
The kid who wrote is a human being too, just because he is young doesn't mean he is automatically lazy/stupid/arrogant/etc


PE was worthless as far as physical fitness. We played sports like baseball, which mostly involve sitting or standing around, waiting for something to happen. So boring, so pointless, so discouraging.

As an adult, I go hiking and take aerobics classes. I've learned that fitness can be enjoyable. It doesn't have to involve competition and humiliation, like PE did.

Well, this is the person who

Well, this is the person who wrote in. So you know.
I'm not the best athlete by far, but I'm not bad - if anything, my physical prowress/body image have improved in the past year or two (and I can grow a mustasch!) So, that's likely not part of the decision.
And, I'm not sure when you all went to school and what kind of PE teachers you have, but all of mine that I can remember so far graded things on how hard you tired, not on how well you did or if you gained any "skills." (good thing, too)
And I understand your view that balance with physical and - mental? - in education is paramount. And I definitly don't have that balance when school is going - too much time spent with academics. Yet in 9 years of PE, I haven't picked up anything that helps me be more physically fit when not taking PE. So I believe I could spend time learning history (or science, or french, or orchestra...) much more efficently - and that I'd retain more of it.
And, to the first comment: Perhaps I will post a yearly update here! Might be interesting to see who proves correct.
And, Henry David Thoreau refused to pay taxes to a goverment over slavery and the Mexican-American War. I'm not sure how tax evasion is filed under a list of arrogant actions....

Personally I opted out of the

Personally I opted out of the PE requirement at my high school in 2004 in favor of doing community college classes instead of HS classes. I took a PE 100 / health awareness class which helped me set personal fitness goals and I dropped 45 lbs in the six months before heading off to university. I reinvented myself.

Perhaps you can speak with your counselor about creating a specialized health/wellness/fitness goal for yourself which could help you grow as an individual as well. Or just suck up your insecurity and take the PE class.

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Barbara Greenberg, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of adolescents and their well-intentioned but exhausted parents.


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