MIAMI (CBSMiami) – At New World School of the Arts, physical education moves to the beat of a different drum.
It’s lead by 80-year-old Dr. Lois Kirns, whose 55 years of teaching has helped her evolve the curriculum into a fast, high paced, energetic class.
And as CBS4’s Mike Cugno admits, it’s tough to keep up.
“It’s different than physical education was years ago when you took it,” Kerns tells Cugno. “You played basketball and football and volleyball. And now it’s all lifelong. Today we do step aerobics, we do a lot of tabato, where you’re exercising at a high intensity.”
Students are stepping, crunching and lifting their way to a better workout, but her lessons go way past working up a sweat.
Dr. Kirns also demands a better diet from her pupils.
“If you ask the kids what their first homework assignment is, their first day of school, is there’s no more soda in the house. That’s a strict thing,” she explained.
Dr. Kirns is a machine. In addition to teaching and doing many of the workouts for every class, she also runs 5 miles a day on Hollywood Beach.
“She just goes and goes and keeps on going,” said student Brandon Vega. “I’m like wow, I gotta get on my game.”
“I really like her energy,” added student Claudia Vivas. “There’s never a day she’s like tired, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ She always wants to push forward. Seeing her energy being like that makes you as a student be that way as well.”
With a background in psychology, this teacher knows she has to practice what she preaches.
“CPR is in there,” Kirns said. “Consumer health and mental health. It encompasses all kinds of fitness not just physical. And I’m a believer that if your body is working, you have a better shot for your mind to work.”
New world asks a lot of their students, who told CBS4 that they’re sometimes at the school until 10 p.m. perfecting their artistic disciplines.
That’s why Dr. Kirns does what she can to help, like providing gym clothes.
“If they forget their PE stuff or really like today, they get really wet because they’re sweating a lot, they can borrow,” Kirns said. “When they’re finished there’s a box under the desk. They put the dirty ones in and every couple of days I take them home, wash them, and put them back so nobody gets an F.”
It’s all in a day’s work for the woman who lives by the motto “age aint nothing but a number.”
“I just absolutely love it and I think I’m good at it,” she said. “And I think the feedback that I get, the kids are motivated.”
Cugno’s lesson may be over but for Dr. Kirns, she says she’s going to keep teaching as long as she can; 55 years and counting.
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