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Community Teaching Essay

Health promotion is very important in today’s society. There are many things people can do in order to maintain good health, yet most are uninformed about this. Obesity is one of the leading health concerns in America and must be dealt with immediately. It is because of this that a student has decided to teach a fifth grade class with twenty three students about what obesity is, what problems it causes, and how it can be avoided. The teacher uses visual aids, games, trivia, and much more in order to get the students more interested in what they are going to learn. The teacher informs the students about how important it is to make healthy eating choices by using the food pyramid as a guideline. Students are also informed that exercise is key to living a healthy lifestyle.

The teacher begins the class by playing a quick game. The teacher then asks the students to each take out a piece of paper and write down as many fruits and vegetables as they can. The students are told that the person who has thought of the most fruits and vegetables will win a prize. When finished with the game, the teacher will then introduce the topic of obesity to the children and the importance of preventing it by eating healthy foods. Students are told that “obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity is more than just about looks. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure” (J.Crawford,2014).

The teacher then tells the students that in the past ten years, obesity in children in the U.S has gone from 7-18 percent (CDC,2012). The main portion of this lesson revolves around the food pyramid. The food pyramid consists of 6 essential healthy food groups: Grains/rice, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat/fish/poultry, fats/oils/sweets. The food pyramid acts as a guideline by showing students the necessary servings of each food group in order to stay healthy. It is essential for students to understand the food pyramid because it is a roadmap to healthy living. The students were not only taught about healthy eating, but also other ways to ensure that they maintain their health. One thing they were taught is the importance of being active daily.

Students can do things such as playing sports, running, or bike riding in order to stay healthy and have fun doing it. It was said that rather than avoiding all types of junk food, it is better to simply eat it in moderation. The end of the lesson consisted of trivia questions that the children answer in order to win a prize. By teaching the students this information, the teacher can ensure that they will live a better life.

The epidemiological rationale for this topic is very serious. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years (CDC,2014). The percentage of children age 6-11 years in the U.S. who were obese increase from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Rate of obese adolescents ages 12-19 years increase from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period (CDC,2014). Obese adolescents are more likely to have pre-diabetes. Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for coronary heart disease, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, social and psychological problems such as poor self esteem. “Reducing childhood obesity is a public health priority that has substantial health and economic benefits”(Maurer, Frances, C. Smith, 2013.)

The teacher claims that the overall teaching experience was quite enjoyable. It is extremely beneficial to be able to teach young children about topics that they are not well informed about. By teaching children about such serious health hazards at a young age, it is more likely that they will strive to take the necessary measures in order to avoid these hazards. The teaching experience allowed the teacher to see how much children knew about health promotion as well as what they wanted to know. The teacher learned how to make different topics easily understandable for children and as well as making the entire learning process fun and enjoyable. This experience helped the teacher realize that even by teaching a small group of children from one school, it is possible to make a difference in the health and wellbeing of America’s children.

The community responded rather positively to the teaching. The students were excited to learn about new health promotion tips through a series of games and activities. The children were shocked to see how serious obesity really is as well as how many children it has affected throughout the country. Before this lesson, the children believed that eating healthy meant cutting out all types of sweets and sugary drinks completely. The children were elated to hear that they can be healthier while still enjoying some of their favorite desserts. Kids react positively to games and rewards because it makes learning more fun.

By getting the kids’ attention, the teacher ensures that they are listening and paying close attention to everything that the teacher has to say. After learning about obesity and the many negative affects that come from it, the children promised to change their eating habits as well as be more active in order to make sure that they stay fit throughout their lives. The children agreed to eat more fruits and vegetables and to play outside much more. The children have promised to limit the amount of time they watch television and play on the computer and replace it with riding their bikes or going to the park.

This teaching process has taught the teacher about not only her strengths, but her weakness’ as well. The teacher is easily able to relay information in simple terms so that the children can understand as well do things such as creating games and trivia in order to make the lesson more exciting. Some weakness’s or improvements that the teacher can make includes being able to connect with the students on a closer level in order to truly help them understand the topic as well as finding new and creative ways to reward the kids when they answer questions correctly. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to take a short survey regarding how well the teacher taught the lesson as well as how much the kids enjoyed it. Though the teacher received high scores from each child, she knows that there is still room for improvement and is determined to make these changes for the next teaching session that may occur.

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