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junior high PE question


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I was thinking about this the other day, and how weird it was. I'm wondering whether anyone else experienced this?

 

When I was in junior high school (7th and 8th grade), PE was mandatory. We did block scheduling, so we had the class on alternate days. After playing / exercising, we would grab a towel or two on the way to our lockers, undress, wrap a towel around us, and head to the shower. After washing up, on our way back to our lockers to get dressed, we were required to "open" our towels to show a teacher's aide (usually an 8th grade student) that we were indeed wet, thereby proving that we had actually showered, and we would get a check mark on the clipboard. We could then dry off back at our lockers. 

 

Junior high was traumatic enough without being subjected to that humiliation every other day. I was so relieved when the teacher announced on the first day of high school PE that there would be no shower checks, that they trusted that we understood that as a courtesy to our fellow students in the next class we should wash up. 

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When I was that age (1973ish) they made the boys shower but not the girls.  Sometimes the coach would go into the locker room and supervise showering and other times they just stood outside and checked to be sure the boys had wet hair. 

 

I clearly recall being glad I wasn't a boy, because that was annoying. Girls at least had a shower curtain, but boys just had a large open shower.  I don't think I showered very often after gym class but I also rarely broke a sweat during gym since I wasn't very athletic. 

 

Our favorite time in gym was between Thanksgiving and Christmas because we did square dancing then and didn't have to dress out or shower.  Square dancing- what I remember most about junior high. That's a pretty pathetic statement about my junior high education. 

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Wow, we always had PE last. So no showering and no shower checks. I think I would have died. I went to a small private school. High school was the same, PE last period and no mandatory showers at school. My high school was also another small private school. It was bad enough having to change into PE clothes in the same room. :-/

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I was thinking about this the other day, and how weird it was. I'm wondering whether anyone else experienced this?

 

When I was in junior high school (7th and 8th grade), PE was mandatory. We did block scheduling, so we had the class on alternate days. After playing / exercising, we would grab a towel or two on the way to our lockers, undress, wrap a towel around us, and head to the shower. After washing up, on our way back to our lockers to get dressed, we were required to "open" our towels to show a teacher's aide (usually an 8th grade student) that we were indeed wet, thereby proving that we had actually showered, and we would get a check mark on the clipboard. We could then dry off back at our lockers. 

 

Junior high was traumatic enough without being subjected to that humiliation every other day. I was so relieved when the teacher announced on the first day of high school PE that there would be no shower checks, that they trusted that we understood that as a courtesy to our fellow students in the next class we should wash up. 

 

We had PE and showers every day, and the female teacher checked to make sure everyone showered naked. Absolutely shocking by today's standards.

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We did square dancing in junior high, also. My parents belonged to a square dancing club, and they hosted several family events over the years, so I actually knew what I was doing and enjoyed that. I was incredibly tall, skinny, and awkward at most other sports. Gymnastics was a disaster, but my 8th grade PE teacher was a semi-pro softball player who didn't "dig" gymnastics, either, so she graded me totally on effort, not results. 

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The coach walked around the locker room and watched the showering. If you were caught not taking a shower you had to tell her why, in front of the class. So if you had your period you announced it to the whole locker room. The coach actually kept track of each girl's menstrual cycle in her notebook. I had a period twice a month quite a few times when I was that age, and she called me out in front of the class saying that I was lying. I had to have my mom take me to the doctor for a note stating that yes it is rather possible and normal for young teens to be irregular and have periods close together.

 

It was horrible then and I still think it's horrible. We would never dream of treating adults that way. 

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When I was in junior high, we had to wear these ugly, one piece gym suits. The shorts part was navy blue and the connected top had white and navy horizontal stripes. It zipped up the front. They had a big curtain that separated the boys side from the girl's side of the gym and the only time we were together was during square dance week. We were required to shower in a big, open shower room, but our PE teacher took pity on us and let us go in wrapped in a towel and just stick our arms and legs under the water. As long as we headed into the shower area and got some small part of our body wet, she left us alone. I was athletic, so only the locker room was humiliating.

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Our gym teacher in jr. high stood at the open showering area, with her clipboard,  and watched everyone shower.  Then we had to stop and tell her our shower number so she could check it off on her clipboard on the way out.   We were only allowed to use the private showers that had curtains during that time of the month. 

 

I've never talked about this with anyone over the years.  I only attended one jr. high school and my high school was like yours,  but I have wondered how typical this shower monitoring stuff was/is.  Our gym teacher seemed to enjoy this part of her job too much, and I'll leave it at that.  

 

I was so happy when our school added a dance class as a gym alternative.  I could get away from that gym teacher and the "fun" gym activities like push ups, ropes , and sports,  and dance instead!    Then one day the dance teacher started showing us her "herbs" and some kind of pipe during class.   The "herbs" didn't interest me a bit, but there was no way that I was going to mention this at home to my mom.  She would've sprinted to the principal's office and I would've been back in the other class so I kept my mouth shut.

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In Junior high (7th-9th grade for me) we had HIDEOUS gymsuits. 1-piece romper thingys with blue shorts , striped top, and a zipper. :ack2:  High school (10th-12th) we had a dress code- school color shorts/shirts/sweats. And in high school we had swimming for 1 semester every year.

 

Showers were mandatory.  Large open room, no curtains. Both schools showers were monitored. We could get a total of 4 points/class. 1 for showing up, 1 for effort, one for skill, and 1 for a shower. ANd yes, we were watched to make sure we actually got fully showered. Showers were even mandatory for the last class of the day. Also, we had 5 minutes. To undress, shower, and dress again.

 

Ugh. Horriffic memories. :banghead:

 

 

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We started having to dress down for PE in 6th grade.  The teacher was a guy, so not allowed in the girls locker room.  We were told it was mandatory to shower, but I don't recall if anyone checked.  I got a note from my dermatologist to get me out of daily showers because it would make my skin condition worse.  I got to use that note every year in Junior High and then in High school PE was the last class of the day, so we were told we could skip showers and take them at home.  We never really worked hard enough to sweat all that much anyway.

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Reading some of these experiences make me feel so angry just thinking about it! Some of it is the same kinds of things the Nazis did to their prisoners for the sake of humiliation and dehumanization. Sounds like abuse to me, and would be nowadays. 

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Wow. That's so bad.

 

PE was not mandatory at my middle school (late 80's). My mother made me take one quarter of it once. I failed because I kept skipping. It ruined me getting on the A honor roll that quarter so my mother backed off. Win! Not only did they not do checks, showering was super optional. I don't think anyone did it for PE classes - probably the sports teams used the showers. We did have to change out into gym clothes though. But no uniforms. Just T-shirt and sweat shorts or pants.

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For 7th and 8th grade PE, we had to change clothes. A short/shirt combo in the hideous color combination of purple (almost navy) shorts and a gold (think Century 21 realtor jacket) shirt. Your last name had to be imprinted on the back. My maiden name was very common -- think Smith or Jones, so they squished my entire name on it -- I still remember getting flak for it from the PE teacher in 8th grade. "What you think you're so special, [full name]? You can't just use your last name? Blah, blah, blah." If I remember correctly, she called me Princess *Smith* the entire year. 

 

Showers were mandatory and you had to stand in a line to get your name checked off a list that you showered. The shower was a large open room, and the towel was approx. the size of a kitchen towel. So, no, no privacy allowed. I shudder even thinking about it now. 

 

In high school, we still had the ugly uniforms, but the showers weren't used by anyone as far as I know. 

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They had shower checks when I was in Jr. High and High School.  (Grades 7-10.)  We didn't have to open our towel, but they would check to see if we had drops on our shoulders.  Yes, it was obnoxious.  Especially since the high school gym teacher was weird and she seemed too interested in what there was to see.  She would sometimes watch while girls showered, or touch us to verify we were wet.  I soon learned that nobody would check if I used the private showers (meant for girls having their periods), so I used them exclusively for most of high school gym.

 

I hope they don't do that any more.

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We had showers but no one ever used them. It was annoying enough having to change with all the other girls around.

 

Us, too. I don't recall ever seeing the showers in use. I certainly wasn't getting in one.

 

Just changing in the open room was mortifying enough. I was a chubby preteen and horribly embarrassed of my body. I was also one of the first girls I knew to start her period. I perfected the art of changing clothes without ever actually getting undressed.

 

I was in junior high in the '90's when longer basketball-style shorts were coming into style, but our school was stuck in the '80's short-shorts time warp. My uniform showed everything I spent the rest of my life trying to cover up. I wasn't un-athletic but junior high gym was one long three-year humiliation for me. The only saving grace was the week you got to be "locker room monitor" and study in the locker room instead of participating in class. Too bad that was only once a year or so.

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I can see the point of showering, but they never gave us enough time to shower, dry off and get dressed before the next class.  (And the grade would be docked if you didn't line up on time.)  Also I hated that you had to be naked in front of 30 other people.  Especially at an age when kids are painfully self-conscious and looking at how they "measure up" to others, and some are not shy about mentioning the differences.  Some of the girls would admire their naked or half-naked selves in the mirror, and that weirded me out too.  Yuck, I think locker room time was my least favorite part of puberty.  :p

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We didn't have showers in middle school.

 

I suppose those kind of checks must have started because kids wouldn't shower and the results were smelly.  It's kind of a weird way to go about it though.  Why not just privately talk to any girls who are evidently not showering and are getting stinky?

 

I have mixed feelings about the idea of public showers.  I know at that age i would have been mortified, on the other hand I think we in North America are far to uptight about public nudity, and it wouldn't be a bad thing if people were more comfortable with it in places like locker rooms.  I found it weird at first when I was in the army, but I got over it, and actually it was very freeing to do so.  We now have things like photographers compiling pictures of people's breasts so that we can see what is normal, but I don't know that we really need to be that unaware of it in the first place. 

 

But having it only in jr high is probably not the way to proceed making people comfortable with nudity.

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I'm not sure there is any good way to tell a pubescent girl she is stinky.  (This is why I'm glad my kids started using deodorant before they were old enough to feel funny about it.)  As for nudity, I'm not sure.  I hope it's true that because my daughters change in the rec center locker room 2x per week, they will not care about doing it at school in 7th grade.  But then again, girls get weird.  I remember seeing a documentary about nudist colonies, and even there, the parents said the girls would be fine with nudity until around puberty, and then they would get shy and want clothes on.

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In Junior high (7th-9th grade for me) we had HIDEOUS gymsuits. 1-piece romper thingys with blue shorts , striped top, and a zipper. :ack2:  High school (10th-12th) we had a dress code- school color shorts/shirts/sweats. And in high school we had swimming for 1 semester every year.

 

Showers were mandatory.  Large open room, no curtains. Both schools showers were monitored. We could get a total of 4 points/class. 1 for showing up, 1 for effort, one for skill, and 1 for a shower. ANd yes, we were watched to make sure we actually got fully showered. Showers were even mandatory for the last class of the day. Also, we had 5 minutes. To undress, shower, and dress again.

 

Ugh. Horriffic memories. :banghead:

 

I remember my mother complaining about strange hideous gym uniforms.  We didn't have that either.

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We had PE three times per week for 7th-12th grades with mandatory showers and shower checks only in 7th grade. There was lots of talk and drama leading up to the first few PE classes, but everyone seemed to adjust to it very quickly, and the checking became unnecessary. There were no private showers, just two big group shower rooms. As far as I can remember, everyone showered after PE and sports practices, so many of us had two showers at school almost every day. It just became part of everyday life and seemed completely normal and not a big deal at all.

 

One of my dorms in college also had only groups showers, and I've also experienced them at the YMCA. While I agree that middle school may not be the best time to introduce group showers and the checking seems over the top and unnecessary, I certainly wouldn't want to be in class with a bunch of smelly students. I had an amazing PE teacher and we really worked out during class, so the showers felt good afterwards. Similarly, I had a half hour bus ride home after sports practice, so showering before that just made sense.

 

From my friends who send their kids to public school, I've heard that the majority of kids will not shower at school after PE or sports practices and the resulting smells can be very unpleasant, especially at dances after football games. While I understand the reluctance to take a shower after a mandatory PE class, it seems a bit strange to me to be unwilling to shower with your teammates after practice or a competition. However, that doesn't mean I think anyone should be forced to do it.

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I'm not sure there is any good way to tell a pubescent girl she is stinky.  (This is why I'm glad my kids started using deodorant before they were old enough to feel funny about it.)  As for nudity, I'm not sure.  I hope it's true that because my daughters change in the rec center locker room 2x per week, they will not care about doing it at school in 7th grade.  But then again, girls get weird.  I remember seeing a documentary about nudist colonies, and even there, the parents said the girls would be fine with nudity until around puberty, and then they would get shy and want clothes on.

 

I agree it would be fairly embarrassing to be told you are stinky.  But I think it is probably much better to have a kind person do it in private than have the other kids say it, or no one say it.

 

I used to work with a guy who was stinky.  It was a topic of conversation, in part because we worked in close quarters.  I think he didn't realize he needed to wash his uniforms more often.  I don't think most teens would want to be that person.

 

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In middle school, PE was required and was daily. We didn't even have to change clothes if we were wearing casual clothing. There were certainly no showers.

 

We were required to take one year of PE in high school. Then, we had to change clothes (no uniforms though) and if you didn't, you couldn't participate that day and so got a zero for the day. There were showers but I don't recall anyone ever using them. I don't remember hearing about the boys using them either. I also don't recall anyone getting stinky from PE. It was a 50 minute class, with ten minutes at the start and finish for changing, you're already down to 30 minutes. Then, with roll call for around a hundred kids and three teachers and stretching time, we really only had twenty or so minutes of "activity."

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I can't imagine that flying these days.

When I was in school, all grades, we never ever took showers. We were given about 5 minutes to change in and out of gym clothes that we kept in our locker and often reused several times before bringing them home to be washed.

Ditto this.

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I never took a shower at school.  My high school son has the option of showering after football practice, which he does if he's going out right afterwards, but not after PE.  They don't have enough time.  He did try wrestling, and that coach was pretty insistent on showers after practice, because MRSA and other contagious skin infections are such a huge issue in wrestling.

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How many people wore something like this?  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/dd/8d/84/dd8d84ecdb76df53ae4724cf45d5b375.jpg

 

We had these in junior high except ours were navy blue.

 

We did, except ours were navy blue. And I was too long-waisted for it to fit -- it strangled me. My Mom had to take it apart and sew in a band a few inches wide to lengthen it. 

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PE was mandatory in my school district.  Beginning in 5th grade we had to change clothes for gym class. We wore shorts or sweatpants and tee shirts.  Our sneakers had to have light-colored soles and were supposed to be worn only for gym class.  At the start of each class we lined up for inspection: proper attire, no jewelry except stud earrings, long hair tied back.  Students who forgot their gym clothes were required to remove their shoes before stepping on the gym floor.  They received a zero for the day and had to sit on the sidelines after inspection.

 

I hated changing for gym in 5th grade because I was one of the few girls who didn’t wear a bra. My chest was still flat in 6th grade, but I had finally convinced my mother to allow me to wear training bras.  

 

We were supposed to shower after gym class in grades 7 and 8.  Showering was loosely enforced.  On days when the teacher was monitoring, we would strip in the changing area, wrap towels around ourselves and file into the shower room.  We’d turn the showers on and splash water on ourselves.  The teacher stood outside the shower room with her clipboard marking off names as girls came out of the shower.  Any girl who didn’t look sufficiently damp was sent back into the shower room.  The key was to splash water on the neck and shoulders as well as the arms and legs. She never asked us to open our towels.  She also never entered either the shower room or the changing area. The locker room was cold in the winter.  The teacher was no so cruel as to require showers in those months.  The boys always had wet hair after their gym class. Rumor was that the boys’ gym teacher actually entered their shower room. 

 

In high school, I had gym last period.  Usually the gym teacher ran class right up to the last bell. We didn’t have time for showers.  Most days we wore our gym clothes home. The only students who changed back into school clothes were those with afterschool extracurricular activities. They had to change to avoid violating the school dress code. We were not permitted to wear shorts in the school building outside of the gym and locker room areas. Technically, wearing gym clothes home violated the policy, but the violation was overlooked.

 

I have no idea whether students who had gym earlier in the day showered.   I don’t think it was as big of a deal as it was when my parents were in high school.  Then, a fair number of students lived in homes without bathrooms.  They bathed on Saturday evenings at best. By the time I was in high school, most students bathed or showered at home on a daily basis.  They might smell a bit ripe by the end of the day, but it was only one day’s worth of sweat.

 

 

 

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I'd have been mortified to have anyone checking to see that I took a shower, and I imagine my parents would have complained if I had. That's just wrong! And announcing your menstrual cycle!

 

We had to wear navy shorts and gold shirts in middle school, where we had gym every other week each year. For half the year the non-gym weeks were health, and for the other half, they were music. We did not have to shower, and in fact, although the locker room had showers, we were not allowed to use them. I hated gym, being short and not athletic, but at least the gym teachers were actually pretty nice, not the humiliating type, so it could have been much worse.

 

In high school, we had two semesters of gym, usually ninth (opposite a semester of health) and tenth (opposite a quarter of driver ed and a quarter of study hall), but for some reason, I took it in eleventh instead. I don't recall why. We just had to wear shorts and tee shirts, but I don't think they were of any particular style or color. Again, the building had showers, but we were not allowed to use them. I was an A student in the academic classes, and I can recall lamenting that it wasn't fair that other kids could pick on me for not being good at gym and get away with it, but I would never be allowed to, even if I would (which I wouldn't have), pick on them for not getting good grades. But even though my classmates were jerks (and that's not the only reason; they really weren't very kind people in high school), the gym teachers were reasonably decent people who graded on effort and improvement, rather than skill. Also, part of our grade for each unit was based on written tests on the rules and equipment of a sport, which I was able to ace, so that was at least nice.

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How many people wore something like this?  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/dd/8d/84/dd8d84ecdb76df53ae4724cf45d5b375.jpg

 

We had these in junior high except ours were navy blue.

 

Ick, we had those (blue too) in grades 8-10.

 

In grades 5-7 we had a different one - worse.  It was 2 pice, but the bottom was this fluffy thing that looked like a diaper cover.  Gross.

 

We had gym 2x per week in grades 5-7, then I switched schools to where grades 7-8 had gym every day, all year.  Then in grades 9-10 we were required to take one semester of gym per year (every day).  It was a graded class and you had to keep re-taking it if you didn't suck up well enough.  When I was in 10th grade, there was a 12th grader who wasn't allowed to graduate because she cussed out the gym teacher after the end of the last day of school.

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Advantage of attending a tiny rural school K-8..... mandatory gym, yes but no changing clothes and no showers.  Everyone had to have a pair of tennis shoes at school (to change out of snow boots) and you wore them in class, including gym. 

 

High school, we had to dress out for gym, but showers were only mandatory if you had swimming class (shower before entering the pool).

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I went to a K-8 school, and we started changing for PE in 7th grade. Showers were not required and honestly I don't think we ever hot sweaty enough to need them.

 

In high school showering was not an option as our school was under construction and the locker rooms were not available my 9th and 10th grade years.  I believe we changed in the school boiler room those years. 

 

Showering after PE seems even less common anymore.  Oldest DS did shower after practice in high school.  A friend's son has basketball practice before school at his middle school and the boys are expected to shower rather than go through the day smelly.

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