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Socially Distanced PE : Nurturing Our Mind, Body, and Soul

May 19, 2020 | Zachary Licato

Virtual physical education/health class creates a unique set of challenges for the 6th-8th graders. However, with very little hesitation, the middle school students have created a classroom that is thoughtful and honest. This helps us build relationships as a group that are strong and solvent during what has been a long stretch of distance between us. Each team of students has built an encouraging and authentic place to discuss a wide variety of topics. Some of these questions consist of;

  1. How are you taking care of yourself this week? Or your family?
  2. What’s a story – from a book, a movie, an article, a conversation – that you’ve been gripped by recently? Why did it capture you?
  3. What’s the most generous act you’ve seen recently?
  4. What do you hope we all learn or take away from this experience?

As we find ways to stay together while we are apart, it is vitally important that we exercise and release endorphins as well. The 6th-8th grade has also been able to workout from home and discuss workout variations and ideas about how to stay active. The most challenging type of workout given space and equipment considerations is a HIIT workout, also known as high-intensity interval training,  The students will vigorously exercise for 30 seconds and then take 30 seconds to rest. We do that for 20-30 minutes and can do about 10-15 different exercises in that time. The students have done an amazing job. Perhaps there greatest strength during our class time is their thoughtfulness and their ability to carefully listen to each other. The students know that we are always stronger together. They have far exceeded expectations and I am so proud of them.

Zachary Licato

Teacher, Physical Education and Health; Learning Support (7th Grade)

Mr. Licato is a proud lifelong resident of Hudson County. In addition to teaching Physical Education at Mustard Seed, he also coaches the Weehawken High School varsity baseball team, the Weehawken HS varsity football team and the Weehawken HS girls’ varsity basketball team.

During his time as a high school student, he played varsity football, baseball, and basketball, lettering in all three sports.

Mr. Licato grew up in an artistic family: his mother is a writer, and his father is the Artistic Director of Hudson Theatre Works, a professional theatre company located in Weehawken.

His greatest passions are coaching and teaching, but he also enjoys reading, listening to music, exploring the wide cultural food palate of local restaurants, and traveling with his wife, Gina.

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