Teaching Profession

This Week in Teacher Humor: Horror Stories From the Presidential Fitness Test

By Ross Brenneman — July 31, 2015 1 min read
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Welcome back to our semi-regular(?) series. Enjoy a little levity this weekend.

Do you remember the President’s Fitness Challenge? It was that period of adolescence where you couldn’t play kickball or the other fun sports in gym class because you had to do a million-billion push-ups because Lyndon B. Johnson was a jerk. Rodger Sherman, a writer at SB Nation, collected some of the worst stories to come from the fitness test, including some that reinforced the stereotype of the mean gym teacher:

I had a dance competition the weekend before the test and came to school seriously tired on Monday. Surprise! Presidential Fitness Test Day! Halfway through the run, my knees gave out and I crumpled to a sad, blubbering heap on the ground. The gym teacher yelled at me for faking it as I hobbled to the nurse's office and cried. Thanks, Presidential Fitness Test! -- @knottedodyssey

The first year I took the test, I couldn’t do a single pull-up. My gym teacher told me to set a goal of being able to do one by the following year. I failed that year, too. A more appropriate test would have prepared me for carpal tunnel syndrome.

The test was discontinued in 2012. (#ThanksObama).

Here’s some topical humor:

It’s funny, but like in a terrifying way.

An important question: How did PBS ever decide to run “Wishbone”? Abbey Fenbert offers one possible scenario for the pitch meeting over at The Toast, in what might be the best thing ever written online:

Shoutout to whatever writer thought to name the bully from that show “Damont Jones.” Nailed it.

If you missed it this week, the hit sketch show “Key & Peele” asked why teachers don’t get as much attention and glamour as professional athletes:


Past fun:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.