Both state and national standards exist for student physical fitness, but there are no official standards or guidelines for teacher physical fitness. With more schools integrating a lifestyle-based physical education program into the curriculum, entire faculties are becoming responsible for promoting student health and physical fitness.
- When teachers who aren’t healthy and physically fit themselves try to promote health and fitness, students don’t take them seriously.
- Teachers who aren’t educated about health and nutrition can provide misinformation to students or may hesitate to approach topics they’re not comfortable with.
- Finally, a school’s overall health includes the individual health of everyone on campus, including all staff members.
A teacher wellness program can help prepare a school’s staff for educating students in areas of health, nutrition, and physical fitness while improving or maintaining their own health. Teacher wellness programs also prepare teachers with stress management techniques and encourage a healthy work-life balance because teachers who achieve these goals have more energy to teach and set excellent examples for students.
How does a school implement a teacher wellness program? Physical education videos are a good place to start. PE videos for teachers are designed to get staff members up to speed on what’s going on inside the PE classroom. By teaching staff about the same physical education topics the students are learning, they can effectively integrate these ideas and principles into their own lesson plans, in addition to their own lives. It also puts students and teachers on the same page and creates a closer community as they learn together.
PE videos are fast and effective learning tools, but they are just a start to teacher wellness. Teacher wellness also addresses health issues that are specific to teachers, and physical fitness is just one component of these issues.
- An effective program should give teachers easy access to ideas and activities that improve all areas of their own health, including physical activity, nutrition, stress reduction, mental health, and overall wellness.
- A good program also provides activities, programs, support, tools, equipment, and training.
- Finally, a successful teacher wellness program trains teachers to effectively pass healthy values on to their students.
Teachers are unique and special role models for the many students whose lives they touch over the years. For some students, their teachers are the only good role models they ever have. With obesity at an all-time high and the state of our nation’s health at an all-time low, teachers have a unique opportunity to set standards and start a turnaround in the health of an entire nation.