Schools, Happily Fat and Sedentary?

I’m in week #3 of, a space where I’m learning along with educators from across the globe about modern learning. Maybe it’s just where my thinking is on a personal level, but I find myself comparing the way schools are today, in general, with my fitness and health levels.

When I’m ignoring everything we know today about health and wellness in the world, I’m quite happily fat and sedentary.  I can eat fast food and ice cream, drink lots of soda, sit on my butt during my spare time, and ignore the scale. I’m not unhappy that way, honestly. But I KNOW there are other ways of doing things and that they’re better for me too.

When I’m paying attention and being the best version of myself, I’m getting up a bit earlier to do the treadmill and yoga. I’m eating more salads and avoiding fast food and ice cream. I’m planning more for healthy eating and activities. I’m avoiding soda and I’m moving more. I pay attention to the scale. I’m happy, happier even, because my clothes fit better and I’m feeling good about myself. My practices change and I’m better for it–I eliminate those things that aren’t needed in a healthier life and I add in those that help me to improve. It’s more work, but it’s worth it.

Without considering changing our schools, isn’t it the same as remaining complacent about our personal health and fitness? Are our schools happily fat and sedentary? Are they functioning as they did for over a century without considering everything that we know today about learning and the world? Are we continuing practices just because it’s the way we’ve always done things? Are our students learning in ways outside of our classrooms that are helping them to improve and to be the best version of themselves while we give them limited opportunities to do so in our schools?

At SGI, let’s ask these questions and work at getting fit as a school district. Let’s reconsider all of our practices to determine which will help us to be the very best version of a public school district that we can be–keeping all of our healthiest practices, eliminating the junk food and soda, and adding in new practices.

Let’s plan our learning for today’s students so that we’re preparing them for the top ten skills they’ll likely need to thrive as adults.

The BOE members and administrative team and I will begin this work this summer. I’m hoping that many of our school community members–students, teachers, school employees, families and local business people–will be interested in working with us during the 2017-18 school year to figure out where we’re going and what we want an SGI education to include. It’s good now but let’s work together to be as fit and healthy–as long lasting–as possible.

What do YOU think, who’s ready?

  1. Ah, in re-reading this, now I better see your point. I was still focused on the “why we need recess” tweet. 🙂

  2. Thanks Julie!!–we’ve made gains with healthier options and will continue to do so as far as school wellness policies go. In the post I was trying to carry the analogy beyond health and wellness, albeit poorly based on your comment!

    I really want to consider what we want an SGI education to be–from a broad perspective and then narrowing to a small number of ambitious goals that will provide a clear focus on improving instruction–developed through shared engagement with our school community. Just like we make different choices for personal fitness, what systemic choices can we make for school system “fitness” that will impact student learning in big ways?

  3. Great idea.I loved that one of my son’s elementary school teachers took the kids for a walk outside almost every day. I always thought my kids (and all kids, including those in MS and HS) felt better and learned better when they had some time during the day to get some fresh air, exercise, and just run around and blow off steam. (I know I function much better when I’ve had that opportunity.) And I like the idea of healthier options, for school snacks and meals. Can’t wait to see this become more of the culture at SGI.

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