Erg Ed Program Information

New Erg Ed Teacher Information 2013

Erg Ed – Information for New Teachers

Thank you for your interest in bringing Erg Ed to your physical education classes. Before submitting the Application for New Teachers, please read this packet for an overview of the Erg Ed curriculum and roles of the teacher. If you have questions, please contact Heather Alschuler, Erg Ed Coordinator, at or (206) 486-5574.

Background Information

Erg Ed is a program of Row to the Future, the youth development initiative of the George Pocock Rowing Foundation. Erg Ed began in September 2010 and incorporates indoor rowing into Seattle Public middle and K-8 schools’ physical education classes and introduces thousands of youth to rowing. In Erg Ed, students learn basic rowing skills through active participation on rowing machines and receive information about accessing neighborhood swimming pools, boathouses and waterways. Following the completion of Erg Ed, students have the necessary skills and knowledge to use rowing as a tool to support individual lifelong health and wellness.

At first glance, rowing may seem like an odd mechanism for inspiring youth to meet their potential. However, because of its proximity to waterways, Seattle is uniquely poised to connect youth to this new and fun activity. Rowing provides a vehicle for students to participate in non-exclusive, vigorous physical exercise; active participation in what is often referred to as the “ultimate team sport;” and opportunities for continued participation.

Beyond the classroom, many students face significant barriers to participation in traditional youth rowing programs, including expensive program fees, lack of transportation, and lack of comfort and familiarity with water sports. In recognizing these barriers, the George Pocock Rowing Foundation founded Rainier Valley Rowing (RVR) in 2008, a cohort-based program that offers students comprehensive support, including program fee scholarships, uniforms and training gear, and mentorship, as they learn to row at their neighborhood boathouse. During the summer, RVR students come together for a summer rowing camp, which provides intensive life-skills training and builds relationships to support academic and athletic success.

 Objectives of Erg Ed

  • Introduce students to a new and fun lifetime sport that is widely accessible in Seattle.
  • Teach students basic rowing technique.
  • Recognize opportunities for continued participation and life long fitness

 Why the Erg?

  • The erg provides an excellent vehicle for improving cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition—components of Five for Life!
  • The Concept2 Indoor Rower fits people of all sizes.
  • The user controls the intensity of the exercise, so students can row as hard or as easily as is appropriate for them.
  • The performance monitor provides simple but useful data that kids understand— distance, calories, time.
  • Some students will be much more successful with rowing than with other fitness options.
  • The units of output can be easily adapted to classroom activities: meters convert to distance on a map for geography projects; watts relate to science class.
  • Recent articles suggest that exercise can be an effective treatment for attention-deficit disorders, and rowing is one of the exercises helping some students to focus better.
  • The mechanics of the indoor rower itself are simple and easy for students to understand.
  • In learning to row, students are learning a sport they can do for the rest of their lives.
  • And finally, students seem to just like rowing!

The Erg Ed curriculum

Core Curriculum:

Day 1: Introduction to the erg, basic rowing stroke and rowing terminology

Day 2: Using the Performance Monitor

Day 3: The Science of my rowing stroke and workout intensity

Day 4: Workout structure and goal setting

Day 5: Teamwork and racing

Row On Curriculum:

There are over twenty additional lessons that are provided to you to use with your students, once the core curriculum has been completed.


Erg Ed Teacher

If you sign up to participate in the Erg Ed program, you will be the vital link between Row to the Future and your students. You do not need to have any prior rowing knowledge.

Teacher qualifications

  • Teaches a minimum of four periods of middle school physical education

Teacher responsibilities

  • Commitment of one week per semester (minimum five full days of class) to the Erg Ed program
  • Identification of proper Erg Ed equipment storage location
  • Facilitation of Erg Ed equipment drop-off and pick-up. Equipment will be dropped off the week prior to the program and picked up the week following the program.
  • Prepared for Erg Ed lessons with equipment set up and copies of handouts
  • Attend annual teacher training

Teacher trainings

First Year Erg Ed teacher-training: (dinner is provided and clock hours can be claimed for training)

Tuesday, September 17th 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Madrona K-8

Experienced Erg Ed teacher-training: (dinner is provided and clock hours can be claimed for training)

Thursday, September 19th 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Aki Kurose MS

Time commitment from teachers

  • Yearly Teacher trainings
  • Feedback form (completion at the end of each program week: one/semester)
  • Program Evaluation Discussion (one get-together per year—optional)
  • Lesson preparation (photocopying/collection of forms etc.)
  • Additional time may be asked of the teacher if they select to participate in any “beyond the classroom” activities


Row to the Future Responsibilities

 Row to the Future and the George Pocock Rowing Foundation agree to provide the following:

  • Erg Ed curriculum and lesson plans
  • Teacher training
  • Equipment (20 rowing machines)
  • Teaching support
    • First Year, Semester One: Full time, in-class instruction
    • First Year, Semester Two: Part time, in-class instruction
    • Second Year, Semester One: Part time, in-class instruction
    • Second Year, Semester Two and beyond: As needed support


Class Size

Row to the Future will provide 20 rowing machines and can accommodate up to 40 students per class period.


Taking Erg Ed beyond the classroom

Becoming an Erg Ed teacher and joining the Row to the Future network opens up many opportunities for your students to further explore the world of water accessibility. The following are some options available for you to bring to your students:

  • Boathouse field trip
  • UW athletic facility field trip
  • Erg competitions (Ergomania! and Erg Ed Games)
  • Information about community events (free learn to row days)
  • Information about Rainier Valley Rowing opportunities
  • Olympic/National team rowing guest speakers
  • Rowing camps
  • Lunch hour rowing challenge (provides erging opportunities to students outside of the Erg Ed program)