Here at Springfree, we had the chance to interview five educators on the importance of including physical education in each child’s curriculum. Now more than ever, making time for physical breaks is key to keeping your kids focused on their schoolwork and living a happy and healthy lifestyle. Mental and physical health work hand in hand and the entire family can benefit from balancing both in their everyday lives. From a short break outside to a healthy snack session in between virtual learning and school work, these small breaks can make a huge difference.
Photo Courtesy: Ms. Chisholm
We had the pleasure of being able to chat with Ms. Chisholm.
Ms. Chisholm is an educator, currently teaching the third grade in Nova Scotia, Canada. She has been a part of the Halifax School District for 35 years teaching primary school up to 6thgrade, children 5 – 12 years of age.
With her large scope of experience, she has seen the challenges and changes in the education system.
“I’ve seen many changes in my 35 years as an educator, but COVID-19 is definitely the largest.”
Ms. Chisholm spoke on the importance of having physical activities as a part of a child’s everyday life. Not only are educators feeling vulnerable during this time, but students and their parents are as well. Even before virtual learning was a part of the “norm,” little bodies need to move. As adults, imagine how you feel during a 2-hour meeting. Now picture a 6-year old having to sit for 6 hours and also having to learn, retain and focus on new information and knowledge. She gave great examples of when physical education is a piece of the curriculum, her students are more engaged in the classroom.
“We would have 2 blocks of gym during the day. My students would go to gym class, then come back to the classroom. They would be more focused, more settled and were ready to learn. Whether it’s yoga, just letting the students run around, or free play, they need that movement break.”
Now with COVD-19, most schools have moved to virtual learning. The students are having to sit in front of the computer to complete their lessons.
“I make sure I call the parents at least every 2 weeks to ask about my students. How are they doing? What can I help with? I had a parent in tears once say, “My kid does okay in the morning, but after a few hours, I just can’t get him to focus.” I told her take walks, bike around the neighborhood, make it easy, but definitely add multiple activity breaks to their daily routine. Ride a bike then have her child write or draw what they saw on the ride.
These kids can’t see their regular nanny, can’t see their cousins, their friends, stress is everywhere. Mental health is more than a pat on back. It is smiling, laughter, having family time, time with brother or sister.”
When asked what recommendations she has to being active outside, Ms. Chisholm suggested, “outings as a family, walks, bike rides, grab the wagon, fly kites, garden, bounce around on the trampoline, be inventive. Getting outside and being active will not only benefit the children, but the entire families’ mental health will benefit.”
Photo Courtesy: Ms. Motl - Photo Credit: Nino Photography
We have the pleasure of being able to interview Ms. Motl and ask her a few questions about her occupation, owning a Springfree and the benefits of physical education for children.
Name: Ms. Motl
Occupation: Ballet Director
Anne has been a dancer her entire life. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 2002 and began teaching dance at various studios. She currently teaches dance in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, in North Texas.
“I teach a wide range of ages and styles, but I love teaching Ballet and Modern Dance. The best part of teaching dance is that there's always a challenge. Dance is hard, but there's joy, love and passion that everyone can experience inside the studio.
The benefits of living an active lifestyle have always proven good. I learned at an early age that discipline, hard work and perseverance pay off. As a parent, I always try to instill these values in my children because I know how much these values have served me both inside and outside of the dance world.”
1. How long have you had your Springfree Trampoline?
2. What have been the main benefits of Springfree to your family?
Great exercise option. It has been a lifesaver during COVID. Always something for the kids to do.
3. How does being active outside help children learn?
It gives them a brain break and helps oxygen flow to the body.
4. What are the benefits of exercise for children’s academic development?
When children are active for at least 60 minutes a day, they are more able to sit quietly in classroom settings.
5. Why is it important for children to maintain a physical activity schedule when schooling at home?
So they have breaks and to get excess energy out. Also, helps with childhood obesity. When at home they snack more because they are bored. Having exercise options helps.
6. What are your top tips for helping parents to get their kids outside and active during schooling at home?
Set a timer. Go outside with them. Bring chalk and do art on the trampoline.
7. How can parents enhance their kids virtual learning experience?
Set a schedule. Set timers. Create a classroom type setting for each student so they have their own unique space.
8. What do you do at home to de-stress and relax?
Watch movies as a family, take family walks and bike rides.
9. What would you recommend to parents to help their kids de-stress?
Make time for fun outdoor and indoor activities.
10. As adults what is your at-home workout routine?
Since I teach dance for a living, I’m physical for 3 or more hours a day. We go for walks with our dog, swim in our pool, jump on our Springfree, we have free weights, and workout bands and try to demonstrate health and activeness, with nutrition and good sleep habits to our kids.
A big THANK YOU to these two brillant eductors for taking the time during their hectic school year to answer a few questions for us.
For more Interviews with Educators - Here is Part 2.