Malden High School’s Swimming Flex Block

Students in the swimming Flex block. Photo taken by Mack Keating.

Malden High School’s Flex block system started a new rotation on January 3rd. Every rotation brings new opportunities for students to try new things. Run by gym teachers Mark Gagnon and Mary-Jo Urquhart in the pool at Malden High is a swimming Flex block. 

This Flex block takes place during both Enrichment and Joy, and students have the opportunity to “play organized games, learn to swim, and just have some fun,” according to Gagnon. He elaborated that this is a recreational swim. Both teachers can be found around the poolside during this Flex, keeping students safe yet entertained.

Instead of the usual lap lanes, the pool is divided in half during this block. Students have two options, one being to stand up in the shallow half of the pool. These students can throw around footballs and other pool toys or even just hang out with friends. The other side of the pool, the deep end, has competitive starting blocks for students to dive off of, and students are most commonly seen racing, diving off the board and other competitive activities. Other equipment, such as pool noodles and flippers, can be found on both sides of the pool, for all to enjoy.

During the fourth Flex cycle, many students joined the swim block. Freshman Marie Cheng was one of those students, and she spent the periods swimming with her friends. Cheng explained that she had a lot of fun, especially since she got to “hang out with [her] friends and practice for the swim team,” which she is currently trying out for. While she “might not sign up again,” she said that “it was fun to hang out with friends and practice for swim.” If Cheng was not trying out for the swim team she commented that she "would do it again, but that's a lot of swimming in one day." Her friends in the block seemed to share the same sentiment, as they also signed up for the swim team. Many students found this block to be a great way to relax between classes and a good destressor.  

Teachers have come up with many different ideas for Flex blocks, each cycle filled with creativity. The swim Flex was a perfect example of this, and managed to include both of those in its designated time by teaching swimming and letting kids take a break from school to hang out with their friends. Next Flex cycle, any students looking to get a slow workout in, hang out with their friends, or splash around in the pool for a while, this block would be an excellent choice.

Previously Jessica Li was misattributed for the photos.

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