The school year began. Some were in class for a few weeks, while others were there only one week until the Chicago Teacher’s Union strike launched.  Approximately 26,000 teachers and over 350,000 students have been out of the classroom for over a week. We can’t seem to escape the news coverage on the negotiation points which include salary raises and evaluations among other things…but what about the kids?!? I have some suggestions to keep their mind and body active while on a hiatus from the classroom.

  • Develop a list of academic goals for the school year
    • i.e. improve math grade and/or reading comprehension
    • Setting goals could be used as an accountability tool. Be sure to reference the list in the coming weeks to remind students of their mission and asses what actions they have taken to reach their goals thus far.
  • Start a journal
    • It helps inspire creativity and assist with building writing skills
  • Set a school year schedule which would include the following:
    • Consistent Study Session
    • Family/Meal Time
      • i.e. Game Night
      • No Phone, T.V., or Computer Usage during this time
      • This quality time will encourage dialogue between members of the family that influences the student’s social and mental health. It makes them feel good that someone cares about their day while building meaningful relationships and lasting memories!
    • Bedtime
      • Research encourages students get at least 8 hours of sleep to be productive during the school day.

These are just a few suggestions that could positively affect not only a student’s academic success but their social, physical, and mental health. It takes consistency and dedication to a plan of action to yield results. So I’m challenging readers to discuss and create a plan together with students that will motivate academic success and bridge positive health outcomes….LET’s DO IT!

Please feel free to leave comments with additional suggestions.

Lauren Walton, Public Health Assistant