There’s a spring in the step of the City College physical education department, as the summer semesters will see the return of more face-to-face activity-based classes.
Since COVID-19 forced all City College courses online in March of 2020, the physical education department has been gradually adding more in-person classes since Fall 2020. Health protocols have been strictly followed and will continue to remain in place.
According to Physical Education Department Chair Kathy O’Connor, the goal is to have all regular pre-season athletics plus some regular classes return to face-to-face instruction over summer. Three of the 11 department course offerings in the Summer I session will be in-person, and as many as 30 sections have the potential to be held face-to-face during Summer II.
O’Connor also said that the current target is to offer 90% of classes in-person in Spring 2022, comparing online classes to those offered in previous years.
“Activity classes generally don’t lend themselves well to an online environment,” O’Connor said. “All the faculty and coaches have been creative. We are really happy and anxious to be back face-to-face with some classes this summer.”
One of the classes that will have both online and in-person courses is fitness yoga, which will be offered online in Summer I and in-person in Summer II.
Instructor Rosabeth Dorfhuber has increased the scope and breadth of her online course by providing more robust readings and filming her own example videos. She’s also found ways to adapt her teachings to take advantage of the at-home environment.
“Online is way more accessible to a lot of people,” Dorfhuber said. “Styles like restorative yoga can be done at home more so than in class because it requires additional props like walls and pillows.”
Instructor Bonnie Lewis, though appreciative of the technological skills she’s learned to help support students, is eager to see and “sense” her classes again in-person.
“I want to make sure everyone’s safe and lined upright, and has the modifications that they can incorporate for good practice and to understand their bodies,” Lewis said.
O’Connor credited the faculty for going through training and rising to the occasion to meet the needs of teaching in a pandemic.
Though holding activity-based classes in an online environment has not been ideal, interacting with students through Zoom also came with some benefits for instructors.
“I learned how to speak clearer and slower,” said Assistant Professor Sandrine Krul. “When I get back in the classroom teaching boxing and kinesiology, I’ll be more aware of the cues I’m giving off and be much more aware of my tone.”
O’Connor noted that many of the lecture-based physical education and health courses will remain in an online format for at least the fall semester.
“We’re just hoping students feel safe, [and] that they’ve been vaccinated,” O’Connor said. “We’ll keep using the health protocols; be it cleaning, masks, whatever is required of us we’ll do.”
Physical education courses are still available for both the Summer I and Summer II sessions.