My EHE 317 class indulged in a 14 day Personal Health Action Plan as a part of the Inquiry Process for Healthy Decision Making identified in the provincial curricula. Students at all grades engage in action plans that promote skills such as self-responsibility and ownership of healthy changes to behaviours. It only makes sense for us to embody the process to strengthen our future abilities to lead students in this valuable life experience. Below is a portion of the reflection I wrote following my experience:
I believe that it is essential for us as teachers to practice what we preach. We must experience the activities ourselves before we present them to our students. This will ensure that we have a developing understanding on the activity’s potential outcomes. My participation in this assignment will benefit me as a future teacher because I now have a better understanding on the inevitable barriers my students are likely to face when they partake in a similar assignment. In my experience I recognized that I was my own greatest barrier. Before participating in this activity, I understood that I needed to make a physical change in my daily habits but did not have the internal motivational factors needed to get the job done. I was dependant on the peer support aspect of this assignment to receive the external motivation needed to accomplish my goals. I recognize the importance of peer support and believe it is essential to implement this aspect of the activity within my future classroom. I am confident that other students will benefit from receiving peer support during an activity such as this to keep their actions accountable.
I believe that it would be beneficial to first introduce an action plan assignment at the beginning of the school year with the ultimate goal relating to classroom management. Creating a set of classroom beliefs with the support of my students would support me greatly as a beginning teacher. I also believe that my students would benefit from indulging in their first action plan that is based in the environment where they spend a large amount of their time. This will provide students with endless opportunities to give and receive peer support. I also believe that it will encourage classroom togetherness through constant moments of respect and understandings. Once the students have developed an understanding on what it takes to design and implement their own action plan, I would like to change the focus on their own individualized health goal. I believe that students need an opportunity to practice designing and implementing an action plan before they can successfully indulge in a goal that will impact them on an interpersonal level in and outside of the classroom.