Which elective is the most popular on campus? Is it band? Drama? Art, maybe?
The answer: Nope, nope, and nope.
It’s Rec Admin‒a unique, engaging class with an interesting history and the support of many.
Rec Admin’s main objective is to teach juniors and seniors how to be elementary Physical Education teachers. The program was started in 2001 by teacher Joe Mazzuca, who got the idea from his own high school in Monterey Bay. It first has the students undergo a month and a half of training‒or “pure coaching”, as Mr. Mazzuca calls it. Later, they split their time between the classroom and Dry Creek Elementary School.
From Tuesdays to Fridays, students take charge of two PE classes each day, leading elementary kids in theme-based exercise activities. They either help the “master teacher” or take their place. Mondays are spent planning, researching, and “refining” the teaching strategies being used.
So what exactly makes Rec Admin so well-liked?
Well, for one thing, it’s a very hands-on class. There aren’t any textbooks used. Students can brainstorm ideas and then immediately apply them at their next visit to Dry Creek. “[There’s] the ‘Learn By Doing’ philosophy. I’ve taken the same model here,” Mr. Mazzuca explains. He adds that it’s accepted because it’s “completely tied in with the whole Common Core”, which encourages this sort of critical thinking and creativity.
But there’s something else going on‒something intriguing. High school students who are now teaching the PE classes used to be the elementary children who learned under the Rec Admin program. Some could have signed up in part because they remember what it was like to be the ones being taught. “I try to believe it’s taken off because we’ve seen a complete cycle in it,” says Mr. Mazzuca.
It has taken off. Mr. Mazzuca never had to work to recruit people for his class. “Word-of-mouth did it,” he observes. He’s held seminars about the program and helped other schools launch Rec Admin. In fact, Roseville High started offering the elective only about an year ago, and it’s held on since. “It’s very unique in the state of California, and in the United States,” he concludes. “People…want to offer this same course.”
That’s all very obvious here. Of Mr. Mazzuca’s four classes of Rec Admin, every single one of them is completely full. There’s hardly an empty chair. And when a new school year rolls in, there’s always several familiar faces. Faces of the seniors who are retaking the class‒not because they failed it, but because they want to do it all over again.