I was thinking earlier about what to blog about. There are so many topics I have opinions on and feel passionately about, but I decided to choose something I have been thinking about for a while. The ongoing debate about the use of social networking sites in schools. Is it an effective tool or are we opening up a recipe for disaster?
I personally think it depends on the person using it, do they know what they are doing and have they set their privacy in the correct manner. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and this blog. My privacy settings are always set to the most private I can be to avoid any children finding me. However, with the ever changing sites and settings it can be easy to forget about this. To pupils, teachers are perceived as almost inhumane…like we don’t have a life outside of school. So for them to find us on twitter or facebook could be a big thing to them and highly amusing. But I do think it is important for us to have our own lives and keep up with the times and we shouldn’t not have an account out of fear.
What I am talking about though is the use of school accounts. How can we use social networking sites to promote our schools. I have asked the question before and been turned down. I would like to see our school have an account, it would allow pupils, parents and the local community to see what is happening at the school. We have some fantastic events and showcase the talent in the school throughout the year and in my eyes, not enough of the community get to see this. If we gave notice and advertised on twitter and facebook we could get more people through the doors and get a more positive perception.
Of course, this could go the other way with people giving us negativity, but couldn’t we then get feedback on how to improve the school. There are ways round this, by setting privacy to only send posts and not let people comment. So maybe this is a point to consider. As a PE teacher, I would love the set up a PE department twitter or Facebook account and post results of fixtures, club news and match reports. This could increase the number of people coming along as I think participation at school clubs is dropping. I would also like to tweet fitness and nutrition tips to the pupils in the school. This could help increase their knowledge and maybe help them lead a healthier lifestyle. This alongside my boot camp could make a difference to some of the children. This might not seem like a lot, but I know if it changes a few children’s lives, then it could have a knock on effect. I guess I won’t know until I try.
So, I am now making this another one of my missions. I want to positively effect as many pupils lives as I can, not only the ones I teach, but the ones who want to improve their lifestyles. I am going re approach the powers that be and see what I can do.
This morning I read on twitter that half of all 7 year olds are inactive or not exercising as they should be. Wow! I was a little shocked! When I was 7, I am pretty sure I was out climbing trees, kicking a football and generally just running around as all children should. So it got me thinking…what has changed? Why as a nation are we changing our lifestyle. I am only 26 and it is my personal mission to be as active and as healthy as I can for as long as I can. I aim to be out running still when I retire.
There are a few conclusions that I have come to. One being that primary school teachers don’t have the knowledge to teach PE to a high standard and deliver a variety of exercises, although I know this is changing. Year 7’s seem to not have the coordination and general fitness they should have. However, I believe the main reason for this figure, is the lives they lead at home. Teachers can only do so much, they don’t buy their food, or let them play on their consoles or smart phones. These days 7 year olds probably do have some form of phone. So, how can we educate parents to help their children exercise more and eat the right things. The government needs to do something. I know there are some fantastic schools that are already encouraging healthy eating. But, parents seem to be the problem.
On a personal level, in September I will be starting a boot camp at school. There will be a separate girls and boys group to avoid putting some of the girls off. I am hoping to not only give them ideas about what fitness they can do outside of school, but also educate them on how to eat right. I want to do whole school assemblies to help get the message across that something needs to change and how they can lead a healthier lifestyle at home. Hopefully, the message will get home, or I could even run parents sessions and see what the uptake is…if they can be bothered to learn. I might then contact local primary schools and see if I can run nutrition seminars for pupil and parents. I can only try.
What makes me feel sad is when I see overweight parents that pass on bad eating habits to their children, thus they are overweight or obese at a young age. I believe its purely because they weren’t educated right themselves. Al I want to do is help them. But, as adults, no one likes change. Thats the hard part, getting people to change.
There is only a week left of the summer holidays, after my survey results, 86% of all the girls at my school wanted to improve their fitness and health. I wonder how many of them have made the effort to get off their butts and do some exercise, or how many of them have just relaxed and done nothing. I am looking forward to going back and having a productive year. I really want to help educate them on their nutrition and how to exercise more efficiently. I guess only time will tell, we will see how many people both boys and girls will be willing to commit to a 10 week programme. If I can change the mindset even of a small number of children then I will be happy. Watch this space.