The relationship students share in Partner’s PE


Sophomore Casey Buss is spending quality time with junior Brandon Gomes in Partner’s PE.

When senior Efrain Guerra wanted to get a schedule change, he ended up joining a class he never thought he would enjoy.

“I wanted early release, but my principal thought I’d fit perfectly into that class, so I decided to give it a chance, and I ended up falling in love with it,” Guerra said.

The class he came to cherish is called Partner’s Physical Education.

“Partner’s PE is an opportunity for students in the general education to partner with students that are receiving the special education services,” special education administrator Robin Clark said.

“Whether it be they have just slight social issues where they can’t sit in a normal classroom and talk to other students that way, or their issues are to a degree of that they can’t walk, they can’t talk, they can’t really move a lot,” freshman Mary Faith Jones said.

This class requires a lot of dedication and attention from the student helpers, who assist the students in need.

“We’re there to help out the special needs students, like it’s 90 percent about them, and 10 percent about us. We’re there to make sure they’re doing what they need to be doing; make sure they’re getting their daily exercise,” senior Mason Kimball said.

While students help others with special abilities develop physical skills, they also form enduring friendships.

“Just to see them have fun and run around and get to do things, ‘cause most people, they don’t like being around them. But when you’re with them, they love every moment of it,” Kimball said.

“They’re just so upbeat about everything. Even though when you are having a bad day, instead of you being the one helping them, they’re the ones helping you. So just working with them is the best part of it,” Jones said.

“You feel like when they interact with you and stuff, it’s really nice, and they’re really sweet people and you know, you just feel great,” sophomore Amrita Telidevara said.

In addition to gaining a relationship, students also say they learn unexpected things from the PE class.

“Finding the positive side of a situation even when you feel like there aren’t any. Like I know I’m learning to maintain patience with a lot of kids that I work with and my partner specifically,” senior Jailyn Jolly said.

“Just having conversations with them, you’ll learn stuff that you didn’t even know. Even if you know stuff, their perspective of life is very different from us. So hearing their perspective of it or what they like talking about,” Jones said.

“Being able to comprehend people that are disabled and also learning how other people are… Like they’re exactly how we are, and that’s exactly what we learn,” Guerra said.

Even though this class is unique and different than others, teachers are struggling to find students to participate.

“We need more partners. We would love to have more students get involved in Partner’s PE. I think that a lot of students aren’t aware that this is an option for PE, so the more students we can get, the better off everyone will be,” Clark said.