John Kruse (center)
John Kruse (center)

There was one girl in particular who never met the goal in all the times we’ve used the monitors. She was kind of apathetic and not super-motivated. I mentioned it to her and kind of beat around the bush telling her that she needed to put in a little more effort. I was trying to gently suggest that she be more active, and I looked at her partner and said, ‘can you help me out here?’ She knew what I was getting at. “So you basically want me to make her run?” Exactly. She said she could do that, so I watched them for a little bit. She started hitting the ball to her cross-court so that she’d have to run back and forth. It ended up being the first time she’d met the goal. I gave her a lot of praise that day, and then the next day I shared that with the class. She’s the type of girl who we, as a group of teachers, called in the parents because she was at risk. Low grades, bad cooperation, poor work ethic. For me, it’s a victory because we’ve had three days in a row where she’s met her goal. She has a big smile on her face now, which is good. – John Kruse, PE teacher at Nobel Charter (Calif.) Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District

John Dunlop
John Dunlop

“I took a picture before I did a presentation to our SHAPE convention last year. Two kids who are in the same 7th grade class. I have a boy who, in my 24 years of teaching and coaching, is as athletic a kid as I’ve ever come across. This kid’s a beast. Then there’s another boy who’s about a foot-and-a-half shorter than him, and they’re in the same class doing the same things. How do you meet the needs of both of these kids when you have them at the same time? The other kid hates PE, he doesn’t really like school and he struggles a little academically. When we started using the heart-rate monitors, I saw a complete change in his attitude, especially at the end of class when he’s downloading and looking at his data. He said, ‘hey, I did pretty good today.’ I don’t know if that kid has ever experienced success in PE until this year. Those are the kids you worry about. It’s the kids who this doesn’t come as easy for who need to experience success and get some feedback as to what they’re really doing.” – John Dunlop, PE teacher at Portage Central (Mich.) Middle School

“She gets it. Her dad got the email from the software. Turns out her dad is a biomedical engineer. He was excited about the technology. I think the girl is excited about what she’s learned now.” – John Kruse, PE teacher at Nobel Charter (Calif.) Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District