Phorms Campus München – Role reversal in PE
Yoga mats, TheraBands, fascia rollers, and motivated year 12 students are all that’s needed to challenge teachers during a workout at the bilingual secondary school Phorms Campus München. Two students, each wearing white shirts with ‘P-Seminar Abi 2020’ printed on them, walk around the room confidently, motivating teachers of different subjects to do knee bends, squats, and other strength exercises. Keeping a close eye on everything, they ensure that the teachers perform the exercises correctly and sometimes gently guide a teacher’s trembling knee into the correct position. This is the 11th of a total of 12 work-out sessions. For Julia and Ila, both year 12 students, it is the last session and the one that is graded for their Abitur exam.
‘Schüler machen Lehrer fit’ (‘Students make teachers fit’) was created as part of the study and career guidance project seminar. Over time, it has generated more and more enthusiasm. Essentially, the secondary school students are responsible for jointly developing a concept that leads to a finished product: a training programme for volunteer teachers, in this case.
Up to eight teachers took part in the work-out sessions. After the first few sessions, some participants found that their muscles hurt when they climbed the stairs, but the benefits ultimately outweighed this: ‘It’s great fun and allows you to get to know the students on a completely different level. It’s also very motivating to work out in a supportive atmosphere and we get fitter along the way,’ reports Julia Gleich, who teaches German and Ethics at the secondary school in Munich.
The seminar role reversal was particularly interesting for teachers and students alike: ‘The fact that the students can get to know us from a very different perspective helps to promote harmony and togetherness in the classroom,’ explains Gleich. For Julia and Ila, the situation took some getting used to at first, but the motivation boost that the work-out sessions gave them helped to step away from their usual role. Ultimately, they came to the following conclusion: ‘Yes, it was fun! Our relationship with the teachers has become more relaxed and friendlier – we bond through the work-outs,’ reports Ila.
‘What makes the seminar so special is really what I have always wanted as a teacher: to be allowed to implement projects and ideas that aren’t part of the curriculum,’ affirms PE teacher Florian Kempf, who supervised the programme as part of the Abitur exam at the secondary school in Munich. Kempf already has an idea for the next seminar, one that revolves around the topics of sustainability, exercise, nutrition, and health. We look forward to seeing how PE continues to develop at the Phorms Campus München.