Mr. Coach Eby, one of the two elementary physical education(PE) teachers shared with the parents at the February parent cafe. Mr. Hughes is the other elementary PE teacher.
Coach Eby came to Japan in August 1976, and joined the CAJ staff for the 1976-77 school year. He and his wife were dorm parents, when CAJ had dorms. He also taught Biology and Geometry for about 20 years. He has been the Athletic Director for 32 years and moved to elementary PE about 12 years ago.
Eight years ago his name changed from Mr. Eby to Mr. Coach Eby when his eldest son, Caleb, joined the elementary staff as a computer teacher and introduced himself as Mr. Eby. Caleb and his wife are now serving the Lord in Gifu. But Mr. Victor Eby joined the CAJ 4 years ago. He too is a coach so to try to distinguish themselves his dad still goes by Mr. Coach Eby. Working at CAJ is truly a family affair for the Ebys as his wife often volunteers in the elementary classrooms and his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Dr. McGlothlin teach in middle school and high school.
Elementary students have PE four times a week for 30 minutes. The expectations for elementary PE are:
- Be ready to listen and follow instructions
- Be ready to use the equipment properly
- Be ready to help others
- Be ready to try their best- actively participating
CAJ is blessed with a large variety of equipment. The PE teachers try to keep all the students as actively engaged during the class as possible. Lower elementary grades (K, 1 and 2) generally begin with 1 to 1 ½ minute of running. They then work on ball skills and usually end with a game. Upper elementary grades(3, 4 and 5) usually begin with 2-3 minutes of running, then go to ball skills and finally some type of game or sport.
A variety of games are played at each grade level. One of the favorite among the upper elementary students is big-foot. It is a modified kick ball game which allows more than one runner on a base at a time.
Each student participates in a 6 minute run twice a year. Students work on building up stamina from the beginning of the year. Students also regularly participate in a 10 minute relay. Points are kept for the number of times the baton passes Coach Eby and classes are encouraged to do better than their previous score or better than another class.
Students are assessed in three areas:
- Understands content and skills
- Kindergarten includes gross motor skills
- Contributes positively to the class environment
- Participates appropriately
What can you do to help your child? For kindergarten students, practice skipping with your child, play catch with a soft ball and kick a ball around with your child. It really doesn’t matter which foot your child uses. Jump rope is another good activity for students of all ages. As a family be involved in some type of physical activity, swimming, hiking, biking, etc. Ask your child about PE class: What do they like? What is something new they have tried? Go to or watch on tv a professional sport and explain the rules to your child.
Most of all, enjoy being active with your child.