As a teacher, stress is part of the job. A focus on health and wellness, however, has been shown to work wonders for the mind, body and classroom. It is well established in the business world that healthy people will be better at their jobs, leading to a healthier bottom line. And it is the same with teachers.
Teachers who focus on staying healthy are absent less frequently. A healthier and more energetic attitude is also a contagious model for happiness in the classroom.
For now, it is largely up to the individual teacher to pursue a more active and healthier lifestyle. But school districts are also getting involved in helping teachers get in shape. Recognizing that healthier teachers make for better teachers, some school districts actively encourage time for 30-minute walks. Health and wellness is stressed by many school districts and outside groups such as the American Heart Association.
One idea that has even been bandied about is partnerships with athletic apparel companies to outfit teachers in workout gear or uniforms. The idea is that teachers will not only have exercise on their mind, but they will also model a healthy lifestyle for their students.
So are you, as a teacher, ready to take the challenge and transform not just your mental outlook, but that of your students? Is being a healthier teacher on your personal agenda?
Shifting perspectives on health
When it comes to hard work, and teaching is certainly that, the perception around work ethic has shifted. A good worth ethic now includes an emphasis on health and wellness. It is emphasized that to be an effective leader, a teacher needs to be strong in mind and body.
The road to becoming a transformed teacher is paved with being good to yourself. It is all about putting down the asphalt. Like many professionals in high-stress positions, developing a model for a healthy lifestyle will deepen your understanding of a healthy diet, exercise and stress management strategies.
Diet and exercise are the keys. Understanding the benefits of certain foods and the positive effects of daily exercise will go a long way toward social wellness.
7 steps to becoming a healthier teacher
- Seek out information regarding the harmful effects of sugar, fat, salt, and processed foods. Explore specific foods and their effects on the human body. This will allow for an understanding of personal consumption compared to the recommended amounts.
- Read about and learn the many benefits of various fruits, vegetable, grains, and spices. Choice will allow investigation of nutrients that appeal to you. Prepare meals for one week that incorporate some of your choices.
- Read book reviews of some of the leading nutritional texts. By comparing and contrasting you will gain a deeper appreciation for the many benefits of the foods you experiment with.
- Examine many of the benefits of physical exercise. Physical and psychological benefits of short term and chronic exercise should be explored. Examine some of the most important reasons one should exercise and the effects it can have in other areas of your life.
- Scrutinize social wellness and be allowed opportunities to learn effective methods of communication to your school and community. Identify “Stressors” in your and methods to avoid such situations.
- Create a personal 30-day challenge. Follow this plan. Get other teachers to do it with you. At the conclusion of 30 days, analyze the effects and discuss with the others.
- Finally, create a health and wellness plan for your students. Utilize the information you have learned and design a way you implement it for the classroom. Think of ways you can pass on this knew-found knowledge.
Health and Wellness help is out there
With more teachers across the United States taking a personal approach to implementing health and wellness in both their daily lives and the classroom, courses designed around this concept are springing up.
These professional development courses exist to get teachers started on their new path to success by guiding them through many of the steps outlined above. So just do it, as they say.