I’m in a great professional development cohort at school that meets regularly to discuss ways in which we can cultivate student leaders and provide them with leadership opportunities within our classroom.

One teacher presented the following John Quincy Adams quote that I had never heard before:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”

This prompted me to think about recent lessons in my health class and called to mind a task that I set my students last week. We are currently half way through a personal health goal project. Tying in with National Health Standard 6 I am providing my students the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to use goal setting skills to enhance their health.

In the most recent lesson I paired students with another student whom they didn’t really know. They interviewed each other to find out how each was doing in the pursuit of their health goal. Specifically students were to share their successes and failures and obstacles that they had faced. The room was a buzz of conversation as students listened to each other’s obstacles and then provided possible solutions.

In the 250 word reflection written as a homework task, some of the students wrote some great comments, proving that they were able to inspire their peers to learn more and to do more, and potentially to become healthier individuals.

“ [My partner]  suggested that I could find workout videos or websites if I wanted to try something fun, and thats what she does with her track group during the off season. I am definitely going to try that.” 

“I said that it would be a good idea for him to post a sticky note somewhere he sees every day reminding him to do his goal, like I did with my sleeping goal earlier.” 

“[My partner] said some days before he had 2 sodas a day so he is really cutting down. He said he feels better drinking water but he did say he occasionally wanted a drink that had that sweetness so I suggested juice.” 

“[My partner]’s goal was to exercise 3 times a week, and she told me how she has been jogging after school. Since I run cross county and track, I gave her some tips about my favorite routes to run in the offseason.”

This simple task allowed each student to demonstrate expertise in a subject that they had claimed ownership. They became leaders among their peers. Each one of them.

With another 5 more weeks of our goal setting project to come I am excited to see my students further develop their health literacy and I look forward to sharing their results in a later post.


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