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

No injuries after collapsed floor traps worker at former mill in Campbell River – fire chief

Company says it’s investigating after incident at decommissioned Catalyst facility

Jolly Giant convenience store robbed in Campbell River

Campbell River RCMP asking for public’s help in identifying suspect

MARS seeing influx of sick, injured eagles from north part of Vancouver Island

Factors for increase in eagle cases can be anything from lead poisoning to vehicle strikes

Bowl for Breath on Feb. 2 and 3 supports work on cystic fibrosis

School registration forms for Campbell River event are due Jan. 18

Campbell River Storm blow away Glacier Kings on the road

Team remains well in the lead league-wide and a whopping 23 points up on Nanaimo in the division

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Speaker Darryl Plecas’ report details ‘flagrant overspending’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Suspect allegedly armed with handgun robs Island gas station

Incident occurred Sunday night in Nanaimo

Most Read