Tag Archives | Today’s Health Class

Puberty Resources & Advice For Parents of Preteens

We’ve just finished up with our puberty unit for the 6th graders, and oftentimes, it’s more stressful for the parents than it is for the kids. Comfort levels vary, and they might not have received any education on the topic themselves, except for a slightly awkward conversation with their own parents.

They want to do right by their kids and support them as they’re going through these changes, but they need a little support from us as their health teachers as well.


Teaching Kids How to Cultivate Happiness

“I have chosen to be happy, because it is good for my health.” –Voltaire

As health teachers, we spend a great deal of our time on prevention—against injury, illness, addiction, unhealthy relationships—and much of it comes from a reactionary place… How can we stop the kids from doing things that we think could lead them to harm?

With physical health, we have specific actions to teach them. Exercise, eat real food, get lots of sleep, wash your hands, look both ways before you cross the street.


The Kids Have Spoken — It’s Time to Update Sex Ed

It started in December while they were working on an 8th grade media studies project. Thirteen-year-olds Tessa Hill and Lia Valente were researching for a documentary about rape culture in the media. Through their research, they began learning about consent, and then they began wondering why—in a country where 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime—they hadn’t really learned about it before.

Their school in Ontario, Canada had a health class, and they were taught sex ed… but the curriculum hadn’t been updated since 1998, long before technology put a computer screen in everyone’s hands and teenagers spent an average of 7 hours a day consuming media.


Teaching Cell Phone Etiquette in School

Two weeks ago in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio overturned a 9-year-old ban on cell phones in schools. For the most part, everyone was happy with the decision—especially students and parents—but there were some teachers who voiced concerns over how it might impact student learning.

Frankly, the headlines caught me by surprise. Not because the ban was being lifted, but because it had survived this long at all. How could an institution designed to train kids for the future prevent them from working with one of the tools they will most definitely, without a doubt, need?


Teaching Kids About Food When Everyone’s On a Diet

New Years is an exciting time to be a health teacher. Everyone’s resolved to make a fresh start, gyms are full, people are eager to overhaul their diets, and there is an insane amount of information in the media about how we can make healthy choices. Our students are being surrounded by positive influence, and come back from the break full of questions and information about nutrition.


Inspirational Starters for a Lesson on Goal Setting

It’s the New Year, and for over half of us adults, that means we’ll be setting resolutions. Unfortunately, only 8% of us will actually stick to them, so that’s not a whole lot of positive modeling for the kids.

That’s why it’s a great time to kick off a unit on goal setting, and fill it with positive examples of real people who not only stuck with and reached their goals, but did so while demonstrating character, resilience, and grit.


10 Healthy Ideas for Teens Over Winter Break

It’s winter break!!! Why not use your extra time to try something new or develop a healthy habit? While I don’t believe in homework over break—especially for health!—here are some things you can do with your time to improve your health, so you can go into the spring semester refreshed and ready for action.


The Power of Social Media to Teach Kids Advocacy

The Internet is an amazing thing. When we look at the impact it has on the social and emotional health of our kids, it’s easy to go negative—especially with some of the headlines out there—but if we take time to focus on the good, then they’re more likely to come to us when they need help with the bad.

One of the ways we can do that is by sharing stories with them about kids who are using the Internet to bring about big social change.