The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. – William Arthur ward
Educator’s job is essential in the school. It is not only limited towards the academics but beyond that. They have to inspire and nurture student’s emotional, physical and social development as well. Here are some tips for the teachers to support students health and development.
- Be a Strong Role Model: Teachers should model healthy behaviors to students by being active and consuming healthy food. In the school they should initiate ‘School wellness programs’ which must include onsite opportunities for physical activity such as encourage students to use staircase and provide access to healthy foods in the school canteen.
- Endorsing Good Habits While Keeping Children’s Health: Rewarding children in the classroom need not involve candy and other foods that can damage children’s diets and health and also reinforce harmful eating habits. A wide variety of alternative rewards can be used to provide positive reinforcement for children’s behavior and academic performance.Teachers can offer stickers, books, extra time for recess, or walks with the principal or teacher. Do not hold back food or physical activity time to discipline for academic performance or poor classroom behavior.
- Nonfood birthday celebration in school: Teachers can encourage or make some policy in the school for parents to celebrate the birthdays without pastries, cakes and sweets. Instead of bringing in treats, parents can be asked to work with their child’s teacher to create a special project, game or other fun way to celebrate the birthday. Parents and teachers can create a birthday book or card from the class, having a guest reader come in, having the child read a special book to the class, donating a gift to the class in their honor, having a special show and tell for the birthday child, playing a special game, and more.
- Include Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Topics in Health Education: Encourage students to participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day, consume a healthy diet based on the school dietary guidelines. Incorporate health education into other subjects such as math and science. Extend healthy lessons outside of school by assigning homework for families to complete together. Meet with the school nurse to promote consistent health messages in your classroom. Consider asking the school nurse, or other health services staff, to lead a specific health lesson.
- Secondary teachers watch Out for Student Weight Concerns and Stigma: Address and intervene on all types of bullying, including weight discrimination and teasing about body shape or size along with school counsellor. Refer students with signs of eating disorders, binge eating, or other weight concerns to the school nurse, counsellor or psychologist.