Class that breaks barriers


Tatem Petet, Staffer

When I got to Oak Park, I knew there was an adapted PE class, but my elementary experience in Adapted PE wasn’t ideal, so I thought I would make my high school focus on academics rather than my physicality. 

Now, looking back, I sorely regret that decision, when I enrolled in my sophomore year, I promised my dad I would put focus on my physical success, and what I did not realize is that what I initially saw as a way to please my father would soon become the place where I feel I most belong.

Whenever I express my love of the class, my previous paraprofessional Hannah LaFollette loves to bring up the fact that I didn’t want to join freshman year.  

Adapted PE is a class where disabled people are paired with able-bodied teacher’s assistants and do various sports and activities.  The activities range from board games to adapted versions of traditional gym games..  

My favorite is a game called Capture the Pin. Capture the pin is where you are on two teams, each team gets three pins which they have to guard from the other team so they don’t knock them down. Half of the team is throwing at their competitor’s pins, and the other half is rolling around on scooters trying to catch balls to throw.  I enjoy the game because it is a fun twist on a classic game–capture the flag

The first time I went to Adapted PE in person the first thing I noticed was how enthusiastically my classmate was telling a story and how intently her partner was listening.   I remember thinking it was amazing how seriously they took her and how excited it made her to have someone listen.

In my time being in Adapted PE, I have had an experience like that almost every time I entered that class.

Being in Adapted PE has provided me with a community of friends that I wouldn’t normally connect with due to being in mainstream classes, but now they are some of my closest friends.When you enter the doors of the main gym in 4th block on A days, it’s like all preconceived notions seem to disappear for the hour and half you are in there.