GYM-NEWS-IUM-December Issue

Health, Fitness, Wellness and Motivation for C.M.S Staff

Teachers' tips to managing stress and staying healthy:

Set a consistent schedule for yourself and your students. Consistency and routines are very important to help keep your body in a balanced state. Try setting a regimented schedule and stick to it. Write it down in a place that you can see and have immediate access to, such as a planner, bulletin board, or a cell phone. The transition may be difficult at first, but with consistency, the adaptation process will become easier.

Come to work each day prepared. All teachers have experienced on one or more occasions being unprepared for the day, resulting in stress, anxiety, and panic. Students know when you are not ready. The best solution is to plan ahead. Completing lesson plans a week in advance is one way to achieve this goal. Be sure to have all your supplies readily available. This will allow you to be more successful during planning. These few steps will help create free time throughout your week.

Sanitize the classroom to provide a germ free environment. When school starts it is common for teachers and students to become sick. Children's bodies harvest viruses and bacteria that are easily contracted. Washing your hands often helps in preventing the spread of bacteria. A great back to school tip is creating a classroom cleaning schedule. Schedule one day out of the week to clean toys (if age-appropriate for your classroom), floors, desks, and students chairs. Plan to sanitize tables, door handles, and countertops daily to prevent illness from occurring. Nothing can be more bothersome then coming down with a cold or flu virus.

Proper hygiene is always essential in any social setting. Let's face it, dirty clothing, unruly hair, bad breath, and rancid body odor are not something anyone should have to endure. Not taking care of your personal hygiene is dangerous and can lead to other serious health issues. This also means dressing appropriately for your work environment. If you are not sure what kind of attire is acceptable, please be sure to ask your principal for guidelines and regulations. Emulating a professional image is important to your career and your self esteem.

Healthy eating enhances the mind and the body. An important health tip for teachers is to develop proper eating habits. There are a variety of ways of incorporating a healthy diet into a busy work day. Eating several small meals five to six times a day will help you stay full and keep your metabolism from dropping. Due to the fact that your day is so hectic, making a drawer in your desk just for snacks helps you to achieve the proper sustenance needed to complete the day. Try finding foods that are high in fiber and protein such as fruits and nuts. When your body has nourishment, you are more energized, able to concentrate, and able to listen more effectively.

Exercising regularly not only strengthens your body, but your mind too. Studies show that exercising releases endorphins that give the body that feel good high. It helps increase energy levels that keep you from getting tired and sluggish midway through your work day. This is one healthy tip for teachers that even their students can participate in. Take your class outside and participate in numerous activities such as walking and running. Just remember to be creative and have fun.

Start each day with a positive mind set. Teachers constantly need to have high energy and be enthusiastic. In order to establish this energetic attitude, your thoughts must project a positive way of thinking. A great health tip to make this easier is to make a list of things that make you happy. It can be anything from words to inspirational quotes. Anytime you find yourself thinking negatively, refer to your list. Quickly you will find yourself feeling better and your spirits will begin to lift. This could possibly be a class exercise as well to raise the class moral.

Be sure that you make time for you. This is the most imperative health tip to follow. Teaching requires a huge portion of your time, energy, and emotion, which can be mentally and physically draining. If you do not set aside some quiet time for yourself, you can experience burn-out very quickly. Take about an hour to two hours each day to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Whether you choose to read, meditate, or take a bath with candles, it is important to revitalize your inner being. If you want to stay healthy, make it a priority to put you first.

10 simple activities to encourage physical activity in the classroom

1. Secret Password: Every day establish a secret password activity such as 5 jumping jacks, stand on one foot for 5 seconds, hop three times, etc. Then establish when the student needs to use the secret password - i.e. after a drink of water, before receiving a hand out, when entering the classroom, in between subjects, etc.

2. Walking Worksheets: Tape worksheets on wall, easel and chalkboard. Students move from worksheet to worksheet and answer the different questions.

3. Opposite Hunt: Divide the class in half. Half of the class write a word on an index card. The other half writes the definition. Shuffle the cards and hand one card to each student. The students must move around the classroom and match the word with the definition. For younger students match up sight words, letter or numbers. Try math problems and solutions.

4. Pencil Jumps: For a quick movement break in between lessons have each student place a pencil on the floor. Jump over the pencil a designated number of times.

5. Race in Place: When reviewing material, have the students stand up and run in place by their desks. On the teacher’s signal, student stops running in place, listens to question and writes down the answer on paper.

6. Daily Rule: Establish a new daily rule every day that includes physical activity. I.e. walk backwards to water fountain, tip toe to the bathroom, stretch before sitting in chair. See if you can catch the students forgetting the daily rule.

7. Shredder: Cut up worksheets in quarters. Students can help scatter the worksheets around the floor face down. On the teacher’s signal, the students can crawl around the floor, find the four quarters of the worksheet, complete the worksheet and give it to teacher.

8. Push Up Line Up: When the students line up against the wall to leave the classroom, have each student face the wall and perform 10 wall push ups. After all push ups completed the class can walk in the line.

9.Mobile Math: Divide the class in half to review math problems. The students can stand at their desks (paper and pencil on desk). Call out a math problem such as 4+5=. One half of the class jumps 4 times and the other half jumps five times. Each student writes down answer on paper. Continue with other math problems. Vary movements.

10. Q and A Stretching: Provide students with paper at desk. Students can stand or sit. Ask a question and student writes down the answer (very large) on one sheet of paper. Each student holds paper up, with two hands overhead to stretch. Teacher checks answers. Multiple choice questions work best.