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

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 4: Recap

Results and highlights from day 4 at the 2019 All Native Basketball Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 3: Recap

Highlights from around Day 3 of the tournament

Longe sentenced for manslaughter in death of Malcom Tallio

Longe was originally charged with second degree murder

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read