Educators seminar to focus on students’ special needs

By Jim Harris

Do you remember the kid who was always picked last in gym class? That kid might have been picked on because of conditions he could not control.

Some of those conditions will be addressed in a seminar next week geared toward physical education teachers.

James Rimmer, physical education associate professor, has taught classes in adapted physical education for 18 years. He has conducted many workshops on activities for special students.

The latest of these, “Physical Education for Students with Behavior Disorders and Exercise-Induced Asthma,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18. at the Multi-University Center, 101 Jorie Blvd., Suite 2000, in Oakbrook.

According to Jeanette Heinisch, the director of non-credit programs for NIU’s College of Education, the seminar is primarily designed for physical education teachers who work on the elementary, middle school and high school levels.

Special education teachers and elementary classroom teachers also are expected to show interest in attending the seminar, she said.

The seminar is designed to get teachers to design appropriate activities to involve all types of students and to help teachers better understand students with behavior disorders and asthma. These students also can take part in gym class activities and the seminar will show teachers exactly how to get these students involved, Heinisch said.

According to Heinisch, there are several different parts of the seminar. Legal issues will be addressed, as will the special disabilities and how they could be understood and worked with. Activity suggestions for these students also will be provided and suggestions on how to build a physical education curriculum to include these will be given. Important information about asthma and behavior disorders, and how to manage these, will be dealt with in greater detail.

Rimmer will then take a hands-on approach and engage participants in the certain types of activities described. Because of the active participation nature of the workshop and because of the space needed to hold it, Heinisch said, the registration fee for the workshop is $175. Rimmer said he takes a lot of equipment with him, and copies of his book on this subject will be given to participating teachers.

According to Heinisch, several school districts will pay the fee for their teachers to participate, but some teachers may have to pay their own way.