Teaching Health Education Today

Message of the Day – To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.- Buddha

DSC03669I am very excited to begin today, since it is my first day teaching health education classes in the schools.  It seems an appropriate time to review these concepts since so many people have been sick with colds and fevers.  However, I should take some of my own advice, particularly regarding nutrition, because I have eaten too much rich food and should be eating a healthier diet.  Luckily, Stephen, Sheba, and I seem to be well while others around us fall ill.

I notice some of the children are not at Assisi this morning, and I wonder if it is because they are sick.  There are only 30 children, which is about 10 less than usual.  Of those who are at the daycare, they are all energetic and appear well.  I hope it continues that way and future absences are few.

When I return to the guest house, I put the finishing touches on some colorful drawings of viruses, bacteria, as well as signs reminding children to wash their hands with soap and water, brush their teeth, avoid tobacco products, and sneeze/cough into their arms instead of their hands.  I think the signs look amateurish, but I will soon find out that the kids really like them.

When I arrive to Christ King School, I speak with the principal to remind him that I will teach health education at the beginning of the fourth and fifth grade classes.  I also ask if it is okay to teach third, second, and first grade classes.  He agrees, and I’ll see how successful I am today before getting excited to teach tomorrow. I begin with the fifth grade class, which is a joy.  They are so smart, mature, and fun to work with.  It really is an ideal situation.  They are very responsive to the pictures I have drawn and they seem to understand everything.  It’s fun when we sing the happy birthday song to demonstrate how long to wash one’s hands.  By the end, I feel confident that the material is relevant and understandable.  The children take a short quiz to make sure they retained the information, and they all do exceptionally well.  I’m so proud that I hand out stickers as a reward.

DSC03660The class then reviews verbs, including to be and contractions of to be.  The kids are adept at making contractions and the review game we play goes very well.  Happily, we have a new winner for grammar champion, and I am proud of how well the class performs in both the exercises and the game.  I hope I’ve helped them develop health bodies and minds.

I am relieved to see the fourth grade teacher is back.  (She had been absent the previous day due to illness.) I deliver the same health information to the fourth grade class and they seem to understand.  However, the teacher sometimes has to translate the information since some of the concepts are a bit beyond their understanding of English.  The class does very well, but I leave my drawings behind so that they can hang them up as reminders for proper hygiene.

The rest of the class focuses on identifying different types of punctuation and we play a game to review.  Like the fifth graders, these younger students seem to enjoy the concept of a game and play to win the super star prize.  Today, one student in particular is outstanding and he ends up winning the star.  I’m very happy they are trying so hard.  I leave feeling like today is the best day I’ve had with the children at the school and I hope I can keep the momentum going.

In the evening, Sheba and I walk to SEAM to visit with the children.  We decide to bring crayons and coloring books.  While we work, one of the boys asks if yellow is a good color for a lion.  I cannot remember if I have a picture of a lion saved to my phone pictures, so I begin to look.  The children become enamored and want me to take videos of them horsing around.  I cannot help but oblige and we spend the rest of the evening playing and recording the play time.  We do not discuss health education, but our focus on fun activities makes me think we did some good for our mental health.  Who can ask for more than that?


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