When I interviewed for a Health teaching position, I was asked how I would teach Health. My reply was, I focus on one key thing, my student’s future hopes and dreams. The Principal pulled out our State Health Standards, tapped on the page and said what does hopes and dreams have to do with these Health Standards? My answer was, Mr. ____________ if you don’t have hopes and dreams, it doesn’t really matter what you do today.
So, steal something, get in a fight, sex text, sell drugs, don’t do school, cheat, disrespect any authority, typical stuff you spend your day dealing with. This stuff doesn’t matter because for some reason many of our kids aren’t planning on being anything/doing anything that matters today. For some kids every day is today. I often wonder where did their imagination/ambition go?
The greatest value health class can create in our students is to activate their imagination about their future. Once you are goal oriented all the health units/standards orient to how will this information helps me get where I want to go. At the end of each unit — do a cost/benefit analysis. Here’s an example of an analysis:
What is the benefit of smoking marijuana? What will it cost me? Consider all in terms of education, career, relationships (with spouse, children, boss, neighbor etc.), health, financial stability and future retirement. In other words, is the benefit I get right now worth what it will cost me? People make decisions based on emotion (fear). They know what they don’t want. They justify their decision with facts.
Here’s an example: We had a student who was very intelligent, but was an under achiever, to sexy for his shirt and rebellious in class. He was beginning to be involved with a gang. He was the oldest child in a fatherless home with a very concerned Mother who looked to the school for help with her son. The school counselors picked up on the fact that he had a baby sister that absolutely adored him and he loved her and was very protective of her. He was a totally different person (very sweet/tender) when they were together. The counselors focused on one thing — your baby sister adores you. It matters what you do, how you dress, how you talk (particularly to your mother) and who you hang with. You are showing her how to be. Because she adores you, when, she gets older she will be attracted to boys who look, dress, talk and act just like you. You may be a teen age boy but to her you are a father figure. Do you want her to be attracted to an 18 year old version of you? He knew the answer to that. The answer was NOOOOOO.
What value did those counselors create? The student began to value what he did every day. He had to become the kind of man that he would want his sister to be attracted to 15 years in the future. She deserved the best because he loved her. You sacrifice for who/what you love. He quit doing all the dumb stuff he had been doing. He had a purpose/ a goal and as a result he began to change. His thinking about himself changed.
I believe until a person THINKS and FEELS about themselves the way they should, he/she may make poor decisions that may cost them their future.
THE PURPOSE OF UNITS LIKE:
is for the student to understand why they think and feel the way they do and to help them learn how to think not what to think.
(I like the Margaret Thatcher saying — watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.)
The NHES are written expectations for what students should know and be able to do by grades 2, 5, 8, and 12 to promote personal, family, and community health. The standards provide a framework for curriculum development and selection, instruction, and student assessment in health education.
Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information, products, and services to enhance health.
Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.
Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health.
Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting skills to enhance health.
Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.
Common Health Education Content Areas