Teachers learning wellness best practices — for their students as well as themselves

Attendees stretch and bend during a fitness break built in to the symposium agenda.
Movement as medicine: Attendees learn stretches during a fitness break built right in to the symposium agenda.

As summer comes to a close and teachers prepare to welcome students back to school, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in DC and the Tri-state chapter of Action for Healthy Kids, coordinated the Teacher Wellness Symposium, August 11-12. This two-day event consisted of sessions to help teachers bring best practices to their classrooms, deepen their knowledge of wellness and, to improve personal health.

Hosted by Kaiser Permanente at the Center for Total Health and with more than 100 people in attendance, the symposium was open to teachers in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. During the two-day conversation about health policy, student health behaviors and trends, educators tackled tough topics.

Attendees reviewed the impact and design of the DC Healthy Schools Act, the Healthy Hunger Free Schools Act and, explored the connection between healthy students and academic achievement.

Other topics included how to form school wellness councils and shape wellness policies for individual districts and campuses.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Kaiser Permanente’s lead partner in the national Thriving Schools program, talked about creating a healthy school framework.

Educators walked the talk with a sample routine during a 90-minute yoga and stretching workshop coordinated by Yoga Foster.

Diversity and cultural sensitivity were foremost and during Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ youth, attendees looked at thecomplexities of LGBTQ youth’s experiences in the classroom and school system.

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