Bringing Health & Wellness To Your Classroom

Bringing Health & Wellness To Your Classroom

“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives” – Robert M. Hutchins

Childhood is the most influential time in an individual’s life. What you learn in your early years becomes the building blocks of your future health, happiness and development moving forward. Schools play a pivotal role in ensuring that the children are equipped with every possible learning to face in life.

In November 2010, the U.S federal government announced that 14 states would be given more than $7 million in grants to improve child care wellness. If we teach the importance of wellness at a young age, it can be highly influential to what they practice for the rest of their lives. The mental, physical and emotional well-being of a child is as or more important than academic achievement. And as teachers, it is an inherent responsibility to provide them with all of the crucial information to lead a healthy life.

Wellness Initiatives in Place

A teacher can achieve so much in a child’s life. And when a group of teachers join together to get their children what they deserve, they become a formidable force. The UFT or the United Federation of Teachers working in New York City’s five boroughs is an excellent example. Their flagship health and wellness initiative, Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities, is doing great things in achieving child health and wellness. Their Cookshop and Move-To-Improve programs are informative and beneficial to our youth’s health.

The Cookshop is an initiative that all teachers can implement. This is a federally funded nutrition education program of the Food Bank For New York City. As the website explains, this program “provides children, teens, and adults with the knowledge and tools to adopt and enjoy a nutritious diet and active lifestyle on a limited budget.” Interactive lessons and workshops are the mainstay of the CookShop and the UFT is committed to providing school staff with all that is necessary to get this program up and running.

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This is brilliant considering the alarming rise of childhood obesity and the massive increase in consumption of junk food among children. Putting programs in place to teach children facts about how food can affect their bodies helps them make educated choices about the kind of food they eat. They may still reach for the sugary floury treats but showing them fun ways of enjoying healthy food will eventually get them thinking twice before they eat that piece of candy.

Ideas To Implement In Your Classroom

Fitness Gurus – A teacher is the biggest mentor for a child worldwide. Considering this, be their fitness guru. Get all your fellow teachers to be healthy and lead by this example. The CDC does recommend at least 60 minutes of activity for children each day to stay healthy. Arrange for fun filled games during recess or incorporate physical activity into your lessons. There are so many ways in which you can incorporate fitness into their everyday lives and there are so many different companies, for example, somewhere like LCR, who are trying to their best to promote health and wellness among different age groups. Hopefully, they will see you making a concerted effort to stay fit and it will become a lifestyle choice for them too.

Power Breaks

Short, active, power packed breaks are great brain activators and fitness boosters. 10-minutes of physical activity in between academic learning can have a major impact. Teachers can even decide on a time and do it together with all of their students. This 10 minutes of uproar is manageable and seeing all kids up and active is a great motivator!

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activities in classroom

Photo Credit: www.army.mil

Bully Prevention

Bullying is a major cause for stress in children. Reports show that this is the prime reason for suicide among children. Harassment, cyber bullying and harmful peer pressure is obviously a very real threat to the wellness of our children. Creating a forum of open communication where students can come to teachers with these concerns goes a long way in ensuring emotional wellness.

kids bullying one kid

Family Days

Rope in the family too. This can be a major breakthrough for your wellness goals for students. Have a Fitness Day and you teachers can put up a show. Creatively incorporate nutrition and fitness ideas and tips into plays, songs, and activities. Get the parents involved and get them to work actively on their children’s wellness goals as well.

variety of sports equipment in the field

There is so much that comes under the sphere of wellness for children and there is so much you can do as a teacher and mentor. Brain storm with your colleagues and see how you can help. Building forums or a newsletter for children on issues like coping with tragedies and disasters, maintaining oral health, or just being a good friend is a wellness initiative. So look for ways to help your children achieve a holistic wellness.

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