By John Henry Ledwith | November 13, 2014
I love teacher trainings! As long as I’ve been going to these events—and I’ve gone to a good many—I always learn something new.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Buffalo, New York, with a group of about 80 teachers being introduced to their new health curriculum—ETR’s signature product, HealthSmart. The training was facilitated by Susan Telljohann, PhD, one of the authors of HealthSmart, a master trainer, and a leading thinker in school health theory and development today.
This was quite the group. First of all (and speaking as a native son) these folks were New Yorkers! They were smart, dynamic, personal, and totally willing to participate.
Second, they spanned an impressive range of experience, all the way from teachers with 25 years in the system to some who started just this past September.
What I especially enjoyed about this event was watching the arc of the day—where the group was at the beginning of the training, and where they arrived at the end. Never a dull moment. They challenged, they questioned, they affirmed—and all of us were changed in some way by the end of it.
One of the great take-homes from Susan’s discussions was this:
Don’t just teach the curriculum. Understand the Characteristics of Health Education and incorporate them into how you interact with your students.
If you follow this curriculum and also bring something of yourself to it, make it your own, make it real and immediate for your students, you will be offering them an incredible gift. You won’t just be passing along skills and knowledge. You will be helping them take health behavior and the choices they make seriously.
By the end of the day, this is exactly what the group was doing—figuring out how to make this curriculum resonate with their own students and teaching styles. They were excited to get started with the program. And, like the fine teachers they were, they were ready to make the effort, dive deeper and do the very best possible for their students.
Thanks, Buffalo, for the inspiration!