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Empowering Through Education by Judianne Jayme

Health is wealth

Well-being in the school setting

by Judianne Jayme

The division I work in has begun initiatives, including in the publications sent to staff members, surrounding and encouraging health. Health goes beyond portion control and physical activity. We now understand that health collectively encompasses your emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being as well.

It’s easy for early service educators (five years and under) to prioritize tasks over their own health, perhaps without realizing it. Now in my fourth year, I remember how I would come to school an hour before the bell rang, and would stay another half hour after dismissal – preparing for the next day, setting up for lessons, doing my lesson plans.

While working hard is not a crime, you have to remember that working hard comes at the exchange of something that is possibly of more value in terms of your overall well-being. Do those extra hours keep you away from loved ones? Does it keep you away from getting your daily dose of exercise? Does it take away from meditation and unwinding? Like all things in life, the key is moderation. You cannot do your job well if your job is the only thing you do. Remember to find a healthy work-life balance. When I do put in my extra hours for school-related tasks or projects, it’s with a refreshed state of mind, making sure to schedule activity or social breaks in between.

Parent tip: Balance!

We have to remember that, as adult learners, we have needs for balance – to socialize and take activity breaks. The same can be said for our youth! Ensure that your scholars are given time to unwind after they come home from school. Most students may say that this will be their time for video games – and while video games do develop certain critical thinking skills, encourage the flow of endorphins by suggesting an active game they can play. One game console we have in our school is the Nintendo Wii because of the fact that it is controlled with the remote and most of its games involve physical movement to play. This can also be said for the Xbox Kinect. These consoles combine the best of both worlds – fun and keeping fit, especially for athletic kids.

Another way to promote that balance for students is to simply have them reflect on their day. This could be done through conversation, or, for some students who are more introverted, getting them to write in a journal. If your child is more musical or artistic, help them set up their art station, or ask to hear the latest song they have learned.

Don’t forget that children learn best from their role models. Take time out of your day to balance your work life and share this experience with your children! Until next time, remember that your health is wealth. Best of luck, and stay balanced!

Judianne Jayme is an educator teaching sixth grade in the Winnipeg School Division.

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