Opinion: Why cameras make some P.E. students uncomfortable


High school students feeling judged for how in shape they are during P.E. is already a problem for some, and now they’re live on camera instead of having the option to hide in the back of class.

At MCHS, physical education is important for students to participate in. It teaches them skills that are important to live a healthy life.

“We feel our number one priority and responsibility is to get to know our students and try to build a relationship that is built on commonalities and respect,” Mr. Matt Williams, P.E./Drivers Education/Health department chair, said. “During this remote learning time, we feel it’s important to see our students in action so that we can provide meaningful and positive feedback.” 

While it is a requirement for every student, it is much harder for some students to feel comfortable exercising while a camera is on them. Teenagers are already insecure as it is and being on camera isn’t helping.

“I feel uncomfortable because I’m afraid people are watching me and laughing and judging me,” Peighton McManus, junior, said.

Some students already feel insecure in class, but now it’s easier for students to pin one person or watch closer while others are participating. They can do this by pressing on the pin icon that appears above the person they would like to see. This makes it so that the viewer can only see the one person on their screen.

Physical education teachers have been trying to find ways around this problem to make sure their students are as comfortable as possible.

“[Being on camera for PE is] fine but it’s only because Mr. Boe doesn’t let it go to anyone else. He puts [the Google Meet] on a setting where only he can see it,” Kenzie Mangun, junior, said.

While this is a great solution, it isn’t fool proof. Even if most of the class pins the teacher, there still may be a few who keep it in grid form so they can see everyone. 

Switching schooling to online is not only difficult on the student, but teachers as well.

“As a teacher, we also feel awkward and weird being in front of a class of 35 students on a camera,” Williams said.

Remote learning is new for everyone and it might just become our new normal. Eventually we will adapt and learn what works for everyone. Although we hope we won’t have to be online forever, we have to be prepared for it. Students and teachers are all just trying to adapt to this new way of learning and participation.

“We know and understand that remote learning can be awkward and uncomfortable for students, with that being said, we also know and understand the importance of the education our students need and deserve, so that is what we are trying to provide to all students,” Williams said.