Our school, Kingwood Elementary School, is in Kingwood, West Virginia, the county seat. We serve many students who live in poverty. Through The Walking Classroom podcasts, my students have gained so much. They have discovered the satisfaction that comes from physical exercise, the wonder of learning about something new, and the emotional benefit of a sense of belonging within the classroom community.
The program’s health messages spark discussions and deeper thought about topics my students haven’t considered. This element is of particular importance to me, as I encourage my students to understand that the choices they make NOW can impact the quality of life they have when they are older.
A few students moaned and groaned initially, complaining about having to walk for so long. The Walking Classroom has motivated them to challenge themselves. These same students are now flush with pride that they walked the whole time, and have increased their speed and endurance.
If I can instill in students a respect for their bodies, a desire to make healthful choices and develop greater self-awareness and self-respect, they can reap life-long benefits! The link between emotional, mental, and physical health is clear, and this is part of my personal teaching philosophy.
Sarah J. Fowler
Fourth Grade Teacher
Kingwood Elementary School