The PE Experience

Gaeun Suh and Sanjay Mallikarjun

Since the beginning of the school year, the physical education department at Lexington High School has been producing the “PE Experience,” a series of videos to promote physical wellbeing and educate students on the components of fitness. 

While teachers specifically assign these videos to students in PE classes, anyone is able access them through YouTube. 

The PE teachers have dedicated much time and effort into producing engaging and informative videos. They aim to produce high quality videos each episode.

“I think we want each episode to be better. Our goal is not to just throw something out there for the sake of throwing something out there,” Frank Pagliuca, a PE teacher and the co-host of the “PE Experience,” said. “There is a lot of timing, planning, and organization that goes into these videos.”

Due to COVID-19, PE classes are unable to be conducted as they ordinarily would be. 

“We don’t get to connect with the students on a face-to-face basis as much as we normally do,” Christiana Bakolas, a PE teacher and an executive producer of the “PE Experience,” said.

However, through the videos, students are able to learn more about their PE teachers in addition to the topics covered. 

“Trying to engage as many people as we can and bringing out our personalities is a part of this experience,” Bakolas said. 

Sachin Kewalramani, a sophomore, has watched all of the videos that were produced up to date. 

Through the videos, I got a better understanding of the [PE] teachersthey seem like funny, approachable people,” Kewalramani said.

Showing a different side of themselves and engaging with students has remained a goal for the PE department. 

“Maybe students don’t realize that we’re a bunch of normal people because we’re teachers, but we have conversations that you guys have,” Mandy Ciarletta, a PE teacher and content producer of the “PE Experience,” said. “We ask each other, ‘What Netflix show are you watching?’ or ‘What do you think about that?’ I think the fact that we’re so comfortable with each other is what allows our ideas to just naturally come through.”  

The P.E. teachers have particularly enjoyed the chance to collaborate with one another while producing these videos.

“We’re like a family, and that’s obviously made the creation process so much better,” Bakolas said.

Despite the enjoyment that comes from creating the videos, the PE teachers have been presented with challenges in producing the series. However, they have learned how to troubleshoot in order to produce high quality content. For instance, in response to feedback regarding the videos’ audio quality, Josh Sideman, a PE teacher and the co-host of the PE Experience, recommended purchasing new microphones, thus improving the audio quality of the videos. 

Ultimately, the PE teachers hope that students will maintain their wellbeing at home. 

“I think we also want to make sure that people understand that physical education is so important in a normal year, but especially during the pandemic, wellness matters so much. Obviously, we want kids to be active,” Sideman said.

In addition to encouraging physical wellbeing, the PE teachers also encourage students to pay attention to their mental and emotional health. 

“I think the videos provide nice, comic relief given our situation…sometimes, laughter is the best medicine,” Ciarletta said.