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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

iZone Summer Institute: Healthy Teacher, Healthy Student, Healthy Environment

Donna Elle was the guest speaker for this session. She's an educator, motivational speaker, personal trainer, radio personality, and an awesome example of dedication and determination!

This session revolved around being a healthier educator, and a better role model for our students.

As teachers, we tend to focus on the lesson plans and day-to-day education of our students. We tend to forget that our students are watching us. All the time. We need to remember that we are preparing our students for LIFE, not just the test at the end of the lesson.

Donna started the session by showing us this video:

Powerful, right?!
 I know that this video shows that healthy habits start at home, but did you notice that the teacher in the video encouraged the behavior as well?

Now, I'm just as guilty of this as the next teacher. Candy is fast, cheap, and easy. It's bribery, pure and simple, and I'm guilty of using it. Often.

I like to think that my classroom is a little bit healthier than some. We are in charge of our school garden, and had fun trying the squash we grew. I also like to add motions and song in my lessons to keep students engaged and moving. But seriously, is that enough?

So, here are some things that I'm going to incorporate into my class this coming year:

  1. Fewer candy treats. Notice I said fewer.  Candy isn't terrible, but it shouldn't be the one and only treat given as rewards. I'm going to try bringing apples, Cuties (those small oranges), really just fruit in general. Granola bars, NutriGrain bars, and those kinds of items are better as well. 
  2. More feet time. This is as simple as walking laps around the classroom. I do this already, but there's always room for more. And, this coming year I'll be working off baby weight. There's my motivation right there!
  3. Brain and Body Breaks. We teachers know that students have a limited attention span. If students are too long on their seat, make them move their feet! Have students get up, do some stretches, run in place, play some music and encourage movement. This is great for refocusing their attention and getting their brains active again by encouraging blood flow. 
Thank you, Donna Elle for making sure we teachers help our students' bodies as well as their minds!

Some websites to check out!

You can find Donna Elle on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

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