Development of Peer Mentoring PE class


Kelsey Jones

Junior Abel Tajonar (left) and sophomore Nathan Taylor (right) hug during an activity in their PE class on Aug. 10.

Over the past 10 months, physical education teacher Leah Enterline has worked hard to develop a peer-mentoring class that gives opportunities to a diverse group of participants. In this course, disabled students can gain physical fitness and others can learn important qualities, such as leadership, friendship and teamwork.

After the fall break of 2017, Enterline accepted the position to teach this group of students. She saw an opportunity to build a lasting program at SHS that would give many people unique opportunities. She recruited students from her other physical education classes to help her during their free time.

“Before they were just kind of there to help me, but it was during their study hall time, so it was really them giving up a free time that they had to come help,” Enterline said.

It gave them an opportunity to learn and try new things, but Enterline thought for giving up their time to help her that they should receive credit for their time. As the 2018-2019 school year started, Enterline made it possible for the mentors to earn a credit for their time spent with her during that class. With that, comes many exciting things about enhancing the learning of her students.

She hopes to progress this year by implementing many new activities during class time. This includes starting a journaling program within the class. This year the students will be able to make progressive journal entries depicting different things about their experiences. Enterline is excited to see the learning this will inspire.

Another activity Enterline is trying to push this year is letting her mentors teach small lessons and activities. This is a new idea that students won’t be able to find many other places in the school. They will be able to plan activities and follow through with them during class time, much like teaching in the real world.

“They are an extension of me,” Enterline said. “They are like another student, but a student that can be hands-on teaching a small group of the adapted P.E. kids.”

Students interested in teaching and physical therapy can gain helpful experience through mentoring with the students in the class before continuing in further education.

While Enterline enjoys finding new ways to challenge her students, she gets most excited to see the progress made by her students.

“Just to see the progress of certain students that I was told probably wouldn’t try a lot of things that are now participating the whole time is really a rewarding thing to see,” Enterline said.

In many ways, students are able to learn new things, but freshman Haley Ancelet’s favorite part about being involved is helping others. She says that she is already feeling the impact on her life though only participating for a short time. Ancelet has been able to easily create new and impactful friendships in her first few weeks of high school.

“I like to be able to help them and know that I am doing something good,” Ancelet said, “It’s really nice to see the kids’ faces light up.”

In the future, Enterline hopes to continue to make this program better as a way to benefit all of her students’ physical and social development.

“This whole semester is going to be sort of a learning experience,” Enterline said, hopeful to see where this year takes her.