Preparing for a new school we are nervous, excited, overwhelmed and either over or under prepared. This whirlwind in the weeks before the first day of school has us question our role in the life of the students, school and communities we serve.
Are we Physical Education Teachers? If so we would find ourselves preparing simply for lessons that help our children live healthy and active lifestyles. In our ever changing role in the school community many of us have taken on other roles such as Physical Activity Coordinators, CATCH Champions, School Health Advisory Council Chairs, and leading numerous other school related wellness programs. We do it because we know that Coordinated School Health is the way to reach our students and families. With this coordinated approach we can advocate for healthy and active lifestyles in all parts of our students lives, but again what is our job?
As I prepare for a new year these multiple roles each take time in the planning and preparation of the Healthy Families Initiative. One thing I am learning this year is that a coordinated approach is about the whole community working together to bring the different components of CSH to life. With Quality Health and Physical as the backbone we can generate enthusiasm and help the school come to a community vision of where CSH efforts will be placed. Consider the graphic below
School communities function as small cities. Each school has a number of people with the talents needed to take a physical education program to a Coordinated School Health Initiative. However, if we hold on tight to our own vision, desires, and program then we never give it a chance to evolve into a coordinated approach. Let Go. Let go of the way you want it to happen and look like. Become an activator, facilitator, and motivator for school wide health initiatives in each of the eight CSH Domains. Affirm other people's role and impact they will have on the students you both serve. Acknowledge their efforts in a way that they will feel comfortable with. Also think outside the school walls by working with organizations such asNon-profits who share your mission. Find them then support them to make healthy change in your community, but remember the backbone.
Health and Physical Education will always be the way your student directly experience the knowledge and skills that will lead to a healthy and active lifestyle. Make sure the backbone stands tall to show your community the importance of wellness in the life of your school and the households you serve.
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