Teachers Turned Coaches: School’s PE Department Built On CrossFit Methodology

Jan 28, 2020 by

If ever there was a dream job for a CrossFitting high school teacher, we think we’ve found it.

“The office” is a brand new facility — a classroom-turned-box at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, IL — with Rogue equipment, two monster rigs, barbells, dumbbells and 16 pieces of Concept2 equipment including rowers, ski ergs and bike ergs. A set up to make any affiliate green with envy!

What’s more, all 25 staff have just completed their CrossFit Level 1 Certification in an effort to bring Coach Glassman’s methodology to the school’s 3,100 students.

Source: Supplied
  • Glenbrook’s Director of Instructional Innovation Ryan Bretag said: “While still in the early phases, the idea is truly to embrace constantly varied, functional movements at high intensity.”
  • “The intention is to create an inclusive space that allows students regardless of age, gender, disposition to engage in functional fitness,” he added.

The school’s also partnered with local affiliate Crossfit Rally Point to help with the ‘big picture’ stuff.

  • Classes will be programmed in a similar structure to a 60 minute CrossFit class. The teachers-turned-CrossFit coaches have a four-year-plan to nurture the students through grades nine to twelve.
  • The facility opened on January 22 and now the students will train there every other day for 90 minutes.
  • Each class has capacity for 36 students and the center can facilitate two to three classes at a time (that’s more than 100 students at any one time!)
  • The center is also in the process of applying for not-for-profit affiliate status.

It’s not just training.

  • All classes will be based around the CrossFit pyramid and follow the same hierarchy of development. Nutrition will also be a big focus.
  • “Our PE teachers are so committed to a fitness experience that helps students move better, live better and perform better,” Ryan Bretag added.
Source: Supplied

Teachers are learning too.

  • When the staff at Glenbrook South started exploring new methods of teaching two years ago: “The majority were aware of CrossFit but had not experienced it directly themselves or it had been a few years,” Mr Bretag said.
  • “The energy emerged after seeing how CrossFit was an inclusive fitness experience that was anchored to helping people move better to live and perform better,” he added.
  • The faculty worked with CrossFit HQ to have all 23 teachers and two administrators take their L1 together at the new facility.

Glenbrook is not alone.

  • Vision Charter School in Caldwell has been running a CrossFit program for four years after science teacher, Jason George, earned his Level 1 Certification.
  • The school is now building a new gym and also received a $10,000 grant from the CrossFit foundation to purchase additional equipment.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly named the school as Glenview South High School. It is actually Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, IL. The story has been updated to correct this error.




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