Fitting More Exercise Into Your School Day
Today is the first day of The Teachers’ Tone Up, my 8 Week Online Group Fitness Program just for teachers. Throughout the month, I’ve been sharing fitness and lesson planning tips for teachers and today I have a post to share that combines both! Special guest and educator, Eileen Rossall, was kind enough to stop by to share her tips on fitting exercise into your school day. I hope they inspire you to get yourself, and your students moving this year!
Fitting Exercise into Your School Day
I have recently returned to teaching after an extended injury related absence. This has been a long road and I am so glad that I made it. I had medical professionals tell me that I wouldn’t be able to teach again. They referred me to counseling and told me to look for other options.
In order to return to teaching, I had to rebuild muscles that had turned off and get more active. I found a physiotherapist who knew what the problem was and how to treat it. He was great. We exchanged heated words regularly. I may have even called him names at various points. I followed the program he set and got to a point where I could run again.
This year, I took up running. I was getting up at omg o’clock to go training before work. This worked because I didn’t have to leave for work until later. Now that I am back teaching, I have less time in the morning, but more time in the afternoon – most days. I have also had to reduce my high impact, cardio exercise for the moment, so I had to make some choices.
Once I met my class and looked at their current routine, I knew it had to change. I teach in a special school. I have 6 autistic students, one with a global developmental delay and one with Downs Syndrome. Three of the kids are already overweight.
The routine when I arrived involved a lot of desk work, lots of technology and a lot of “my choice” activities, which usually involves individual activities and iPads. I have reduced the “my choice” sessions to one per week. I have increased the physical – exercise and sport type activities so that they do something active every day.
Between me leaving and coming back to the school, about five years passed. The school upgraded the front play equipment to exercise equipment. It is great.
We are able to tie in PDHPE outcomes as well as Mathematics and Communication outcomes. The students are able to make choices and take turns while they get some much needed exercise and while I move between the equipment, imitate the movements and get some exercise in as well.
Every afternoon, we do an afternoon circle, which is part of a goodbye routine. Before that hits, we have a dance session of 1-3 songs depending on time available. (This will later form part of our assembly item). Of course, we get to dance along with the YouTube video and the children.
One afternoon a week, we do a yoga session, following a YouTube video. You have to love technology and a smartboard! I had a meeting with one of the parents last week who advised that their child had lost weight. They were so happy.
I’ve also noticed that since I’ve been back, with exercise and activity incorporated into every day, I’ve lost weight and it makes me a happier, more centered person.
For me, exercise isn’t a choice. It’s a necessity. It should be a necessity for the kids in our classes as well. Look at what outcomes need to be achieved for the students in your class. Get creative – a lot of the time, you can achieve a lot of outcomes without actually having the students sit at their desks in a classroom. Get them out of the classroom and outside, moving. If you incorporate it into your school day for your class, it will work for you to be involved in it too.
About the author:
Eileen Rossall is a trained primary teacher in Sydney, Australia. She currently teaches in a special education setting. She has loved writing her whole life after being influenced by her mother as well as teachers throughout her school years. The Adventures of Christina Crankypants is her first book. If you would like more information, please visit Parent Haven or the Parent Haven Facebook Page.
Isn’t Eileen’s story inspirational? Now that you’ve read it and her tips, we’d love to know how you’ll incorporate fitness into your school day this year! Share with a comment: