VIDEO: B.C. teacher starts kickboxing class to combat poor attendance

Dane Waldal, a teacher at C.H.S.S in Prince Rupert started a program during the school’s “flex” period

Nick Laws, Prince Rupert Northern View

A teacher at Charles Hays secondary school is trying something new to fight back against poor attendance at his northern B.C. school.

Dane Waldal although relatively new to Charles Hays, has been teaching for quite some time and he has noticed a pattern, a pattern he is trying to change.

“ Every school I’ve worked at has always had its issues with attendance, so I figured I could contribute a little bit in my own way.”

Waldal’s way is a kickboxing class that gets the kids off their seats and on their feet. The catch? Attendance is mandatory, but not for his class, for all of the student’s other classes.

In order for kids to participate in the twice-weekly class, they will have to attend all other classes, and have their slips signed by their teachers. The results speak for themselves.

Anna Ashley, a fellow teacher at Charles Hays has noticed a change in the students enrolled in Waldal’s class.

“I have noticed that since he has had an incentive program with them, they are doing more of their work and they are paying attention in class because they want to participate in his class.”

The school switched from a semester program to a trimester program, which gave teachers the opportunity to open up two 45-minute classes per week. Waldal’s love of martial arts is what drove him to start the class.

“I’ve been a martial artist for over a decade, I’ve competed in wrestling, jiu-jitsu, boxing and kickboxing, so I wanted to give the kids an opportunity to participate in the same thing that I love.”

Waldal has tweaked the traditional kickboxing training techniques, for a more school safe environment. Instead of the traditional heavy bags, pads and mats, Waldal has implemented the use of shortened pool noodles as instruction tools.

“We don’t have the equipment for wrestling or jiu-jitsu, but with kickboxing, we’ve got a big open space and some tools we can use to modify it.”

READ MORE: Charles Hays Wrestling on the Rise

Waldal says that he chose martial arts partly because of his love for the sport, but also for the discipline factor involved in martial arts, taking years of repetition to reach your potential. Something he equates to school and life in general.

“I’m encouraging them to get to class, get there on time and put the work in every day and then good things are going to come from there.”

Although the early stages have yielded positive results for both sides, Ashley warns that too many incentive-based programs may not be the path to go down just yet.

“It’s a win-win for both sides right now and I think there’s always room for things that incentivize children to do different things. That being said, I don’t know if we always want to say in order to get this, you have to do that.”

For Waldal, as long as the kids continue to have fun and keep their attendance up he is going to keep the class going.

“ I can’t be happier with the direction it’s going, just hoping more kids get into it and more kids want to sign up.”

RELATED: Charles Hays Secondary School earns spot on Fraser Institutes most improved list



nick.laws@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Dry weather leads to historic low water levels in local rivers

The prolonged cold, coupled with the lack of precipitation, has contributed to the situation

Bella Coola businesses still eligible for Wildfire Business Transition Training Program

Small businesses are eligible to apply for reimbursement of training expenses up to $10,000

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

Bella Coola expected to be hottest spot in B.C. today

Temperatures are predicted to rise to 18 C

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read