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P.E. teacher takes class on the road to bring exercise lessons to students

Mikel Rathmann is the P.E. teacher at Christ the King Catholic School in Milwaukie. He's been visiting students' homes and leading exercises from a distance.

HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. — Time is probably running together for kids and parents alike, but one Milwaukie teacher is giving students a little bit of time to look forward to.

“I love being able to interact with the kids and basically seeing the smiles on their faces,” said Mikel Rathmann, the physical education teacher at Christ the King Catholic School in Milwaukie.

About seven weeks ago, Rathmann saw some Portland teachers parading past their students’ homes, and that gave him an idea. 

“Our school is pretty spaced out, we have kids from down in Oregon City to north of Vancouver,” he said. He has an online sign-up sheet where school parents can schedule a time for him to come and do 10-minute workouts with kids. Exercises like jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups and planks. On this day, Rathmann was in Happy Valley.

“I drive to their house, they stay in the driveway, I stay in the street,” Rathmann said.

Credit: Mikel Rathman

“I’m glad that he can come to our house. Not on screens, but actually in real life,” said 7-year-old Carter.

He’s made about 60 visits so far and takes a selfie at the end of each workout. It’s something he loves to do for the kids. He said it's good for the body and mind, since schools are closed and families are staying home. 

“Have kids love being physically active so they stay active their whole life, and obviously the importance of physical activity is to get the blood flowing and some stress relief,” Rathmann said. “People think stress is a bad thing, but there’s good and bad ways to relieve stress.”

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