3 Must Do’s For Fitness Professionals Wanting to Work With Schools

Are you a fitness professional wanting to share your passion for healthy, active living in schools? Wondering how to do it?

As a teacher, curriculum consultant for Ontario health and physical education, and fitness professional “getting in” is one of the questions I am frequently asked from the fitness community. You’ve got the passion, drive, and certification, you just need to get in the door. So, here are my three must do’s to help you get passed the principals office!

1. Connect to the Curriculum

Whether you’re looking to work with the cute little kindergarteners or high school seniors, every class has a curriculum to follow; placing your program within these guidelines will allow educators to easily see the value your program provides! The Ministry of Education website provides free, downloadable documents. It will help you make sure your target audience is appropriate and can provide further enriching content you might not have considered covering!

2. Meet the Safety Standards

All publically funded Ontario schools follow the minimum standards set within the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines. Whether you’re leading yoga, rock climbing, or Cross Fit, meeting these standards will keep the students safe and everyone having fun! Note that these are the minimum standards, schools, and schools boards may have standards beyond those listed here so do your research!

3. Keep it Fun

With the goal of promoting lifelong healthy, active living be sure to keep your classes inclusive and fun. All students should be active at all times maximizing participation and student engagement. Ensure all levels and abilities of learners are supported in what you offer and that each child feels a sense of success when your session has ended.

Special Thanks to Sweat Equity Magazine for helping me share this message in their latest edition. Check out the article below or get your own copy at your local Whole Foods or Chapters Indigo!


Yoga in Schools? It’s Elementary!

This month I have the honour of sharing my passion for yoga, quality physical education, and community as a profiled contributor in the current edition of Sweat Equity Magazine. SE is a yoga, fitness, and lifestyle magazine based out of the GTA which profiles health and wellness trends from around North America. SE is published six times annually and can be purchased at Whole Foods and Chapters Indigo.

As I’ve shared previously, there are many benefits to yoga in schools.  Some of these benefits include the development of physical literacy and the fundamental movement skill of balance, improvements associated with the components of health-related fitness including strength and flexibility, the development of personal skills such as self-awareness including mindfulness, and of course, it’s inclusive and fun!

To have the chance to share this message on such a large scale is a wonderful opportunity and hopefully even better for the children and youth in Ontario schools and abroad. You’ll find a copy of the article below. If you’re an educator looking for ways to integrate yoga in your own classes ,here are some strategies I share in the article.

Sample Activities for Physical Education

Are you a teacher or classroom volunteer looking to help your students get their Om on? Consider including some of these elements of yoga in your physical education or classroom practices:

Breathing exercises: Have students take a few minutes to find a relaxing space in the gym or classroom and focus on their breath. Encourage students to breathe slowly in through their nose and out through their nose. Use the breath to calm or energize the body and to connect to the central nervous system.

Games: Integrate yoga postures into some favourite gym games. When playing tag, have students who are tagged hold their favourite posture until they are freed. During classroom reading, have students create postures based on character traits of some lead characters.

Yoga Postures: Have students move through teacher lead, peer lead, or individual yoga sequences. Have students create sequences based on those learned throughout the class. Consider displaying potential postures on chart paper or index cards and have students write their sequences done. Students can trade sequences to perform individually or lead small groups through their sequences.

Mindfulness & Reflection: In a relaxing position in the classroom or gymnasium, have students take a few minutes to think and reflect on experiences throughout the day, what makes them happy, what it takes to be a good friend or a variety of school or community related topics that connect to personal, interpersonal, and critical and creative thinking.

Connect to the Community: Reach out to experts within your community. Consider a class trip to a local studio or bring a trained professional from the community to guest teach in your classroom.