5 Ways to Promote Student Health

Dec 21, 2018 by

1. Bring Movement into the Classroom

In many ways, teachers are like superheroes. While they don’t leap tall buildings or fight crime, they do help shape and meld the minds, personalities, and lives of young learners. Kindergarten teachers spend half their day merely introducing new students to general classroom practices. They’re teaching independence and responsibility while fostering self-confidence and doing it all with a smile. As students enter high school, teachers are now given the great responsibility of helping young adults choose their future career paths. But all the while, teachers are focused on more than just a student’s academic success. Students truly become a part of most teacher’s lives and make more of an impact than they may realize. One of the ways that teachers help foster their students growth and development is by promoting their overall health and well-being. Here are 5 ways its done.

Sitting at desks for hours on-end is an inevitable part of the school day. While older students have the luxury of moving from class to class and younger students may leave the room for special programs, a lot of time is spent sendatery. This isn’t good for a student’s mind or body. The best way to combat stagnant students is by getting them up and moving around periodically throughout the day. You can simply have students stand and stretch every half hour. Plan games or activities that require them to move throughout the classroom, like scavenger hunts. There are some great online resources to use as well that offer dances, yoga, and other movement activities for students and are easily displayed on a teacher’s laptop or whiteboard.

2. Support Outside Activities

Teachers inevitably become involved in students’ life outside the classroom. This means getting to know their families, what they do for fun, and hobbies they enjoy. As a teacher, showing interest in sports and other physical activities students participate in can encourage them to get involved and remain active. Most younger students begin with organized sports like soccer or T-ball. Karate is a great option too that teaches discipline and responsibility. Older students may play for several sports teams through school or have lifeguard jobs over the summer. Ask questions about the student’s teams and activities. Encourage them to wear their sports gear to school and maybe attend a game. Your support will help them stay motivated and committed.

3. Make the Most of Recess

For younger students, recess is one of the only times during the day where they have the chance to get outside and run around. Try making the most of their recess experience. Make sure that students stay moving and active during their time outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine works wonders for a student’s mood and energy levels. They’ll likely return to class completely refreshed and ready to tackle the day. If recess is after lunch, make sure students move slowly as not to upset their stomachs. Encourage those students who tend to sit down or limit their movement during recess to get up and get active! Organized and group games are a great way to achieve this.

4. Lead by Example

Teachers are role models for their students. Students look up to them and in some cases, idolize them. By living an active, healthy lifestyle, teachers can set a great example for their students. Tell your class about activities or events that you’re a part of. Have you recently signed up for a 5K or other charity walk/run? Keep the class informed about your training and when race day is. They’ll be excited to share in your experience and will soon become your biggest cheerleaders. You can also mention that you take walks with your dog, bike ride with your children, or enjoy kickboxing classes. Tell them how good you feel after you exercise and how it positively affects your day. Chances are, they’ll want to imitate you and you’ll be planting the seed for increased activity.

5. Offer Healthy Snacks

The rules for snacks vary from school to school but when possible, offer healthy snacks to students. If you’re planning a classroom party, ask parents to donate vegetables and dip, cheese and crackers, fruit, and other healthy snacks. That doesn’t mean your students can’t enjoy themselves. Plan a group activity to make fruit kabobs or other fun and decorative healthy snack options. You can also lead by example with your eating. If you have lunch with your students, pack healthy snacks like nuts, granola bars, and fruit. Make a large salad topped with grilled chicken and lots of colorful veggies. Making these healthy snacks available for students is an investment in their success.

A teacher’s role may be first to foster a child’s mind and love of learning, they’re often responsible for far more. Through actions alone, teachers act as an example and role model for young kids. When students are in good health, they are more likely to succeed. So try investing in the health of your students and you’ll quickly see the amazing effects.

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