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Teachers Beware

Monday, February 01, 2010

I absolutely know we influence the children we teach in many ways, but I am discovering the influence of life style on the children of my class. It isn't that I saw any unflattering reflection of my personal habits before, but it has been very interesting to see how my being more attentive to my health has affected children in my class.

I don't make a big deal of it, but the children are just so observant! I have been bringing my green smoothies to work for my midmorning and mid-afternoon snacks, so I don't jones for chocolate when I get home in the afternoon. Without fail, a child will be right next to me as I pour my smoothie, and ask,'What's that?', usually with a tone that indicates I might as well be drinking raw sewage. I'll pour a little in a cup for the child and ask how s/he likes it. Every time, the response has been very enthusiastic. I only say what is in it after the child has tried it. I already know my students' allergies, so I don't fear giving someone something they shouldn't have. Already several parents have asked for recipes and a few of my students are bringing green smoothies to lunch.

Then the other day, when I took my class bowling, a child discovered the pedometer I wear to track steps and miles. The inevitable "What's that?" ensued. I explained what it is and why I wear it. For the next couple of days she kept checking to see how far I'd gone. And guess what... now a couple of the children have pedometers.

These are the subtle things that children can pick up and emulate from exposure. It has been fun to watch their interest in nutrition and fitness unfold from the quiet example I have set without setting out to be an example. We are role models, good or bad. A conscious positive change in attentiveness to health and well being can have an unexpected ripple effect.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    How cool is that? emoticon

    It works with friends too. When they begin to see positive changes they want to know how we are doing it. Spreading the good stuff wherever we are.
    3033 days ago
    The children in your class are very fortunate to have a teacher who is interested in her health, they just don't know it yet!
    3033 days ago
  • MARY1313
    that is awesome! Now will you share the green smoothie recipe please???

    3033 days ago
  • LV4TAY
    It's a great feeling to know that you're being a good role model. I've always thought that character education programs are superficial; there's nothing more powerful than the example you set.
    3033 days ago
    Being a retired teacher, I know exactly what you are talking about. I sometimes think being a teacher is the scariest profession in the world. You never know what will make a difference to a kid from positive to negative. While I miss non of the non-teaching aspects of the job, teaching yoga has kept those synapes of education going.
    3033 days ago
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