Physical Education Introduction


Dear Parents,

My name is Debra Grundahl. I will be your son or daughter’s physical education teacher. In this letter I want to briefly describe the physical education program at Saint John School and what your child can expect to learn over the next few years. Let me begin, however, by describing my professional background. My degree is in physical education K-12. The core courses for the degree included work in English, history, math and science. General education courses included work in educational psychology, child development, and educational philosophy, The specialized courses included work in understanding children’s physical development and how they learn motor skills, scientific aspects of physical fitness and sports, as well as effective teaching techniques and progressions for a variety of lifetime sports and fitness activities.

In my 35 years of teaching I have attended one or more professional conferences each year and have also been involved in state level organizations. I have designed a program for children that help them develop their physical competencies that lead to confidence and participation in physical activity for a lifetime. My goal is to help children find a variety of ways to enjoy being physically active so that they will be able to get all of the physical, emotional, intellectual and social benefits that come to someone who is physically active throughout his or her life.

At Saint John School your child will have physical education three times a week for 30-45 minutes. The program has been designed to focus on three major areas that contribute to one’s physical health and well being.

Movement concepts: In the early years, for example, the program emphasizes the variety of ways we travel (example: running, skipping, hopping), changes of direction and speeds, and different ways to balance, jump and land.

Skills themes: Basic motor skills such as throwing, kicking, volleying and striking with a racket are taught in the primary grades. In the upper grades the children are taught how to use these fundamental skills in games and sports, gymnastics and various forms of rhythmical movements.

Wellness concepts: They include safety, flexibility, muscle endurance and cardiovascular health.

As at teacher I recognize that children are at different developmental levels with a variety of needs and interests. In every class I attempt to provide all of the children with learning experiences that are both beneficial and enjoyable. In closing I want to invite you to observe your child in his or her physical education class at anytime during the year. If you have the opportunity to visit you will quickly see that your child’s physical education classes are very different from the old “gym classes” that consisted of running laps, jumping jacks, captains picking teams and competitive sports.

I am very proud of the physical education program at Saint John School and looking forward to being your child’s instructor.


Debra Grundahl

Physical Education Teacher

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