AVON LAKE, Ohio — For the last six months, health experts have stressed the importance of finding ways to stay active while working from home.
For parents working several hours a day while home-schooling their children, finding that balance has been easier said than done.
“So you try to be creative,” Jason Hayne said. “You try to come up with, you know, outside-of-the-box thinking to create equipment at home.”
With many schools in Northeast Ohio choosing the online-only route, virtual learning is taking a physical and mental toll on students and teachers like Hayne.
“Educators were always so used to being able to control the environment that we work in to make sure that it's safe for students,” Hayne said. “When my students come to my room, I know the environment that they're going to be physically active in is safe, but when students came to the point where we had to allow them to have physical education at home, that changed the game a little bit.”
Hayne is an Avon Lake City Schools P.E. teacher gaining recognition for his creative methods of keeping students engaged.
“We’ve got to stand up,” Hayne said. “Not only do we have to stand up, we’ve got to get those chairs and we have to put those in a space that is away from our physical, active space so that we can be safe.”
Hayne is now sharing his innovative ideas with students and parents online.
“I don't have control over the environment at their home. There could be a number of different obstacles in the way,” Hayne said. “Some students are literally having class right in their kitchen where mom or dad is cooking in the background.”
Since the new school year began, Hayne has created easy-to-follow video tutorials and live classes for students and parents by utilizing household items that won’t break the bank.
“This week my students were practicing juggling skills, so I had them grab plastic grocery bags and they were juggling grocery bags,” Hayne said. “No one has tennis rackets at home, but I knew that they had remote controls for their TV and I needed to show them how to hold a tennis racket. So I said, ‘Okay go and grab the remote,’ because that's similar in the shape.”
With students out of the classroom for the foreseeable future, Hayne is stressing the importance of how physical health affects mental health.
“Even though you're stuck at home and you're learning your content, your literacy and math skills at home, it’s still extremely important that you make time in your day to be physically active,” Hayne said.