As we look to wrap up another year in which health dominated our lives thanks to the ongoing global pandemic, here’s a look at the top 5 most read #slowchathealth blog posts.
#1. Choosing Your #OneWord2021 was by far the most popular post of the year, perhaps because it followed a pattern of annual posts in which I shared why being guided by one word was simpler, more forgiving, and for me, more effective than setting a New Years resolution. It was also a very classroom-friendly blog post which included an interactive opportunity that allowed readers to share their chosen word and have it sent back to them in the form of an image that could be posted on social media. I will, of course, share my one word for 2022 in due course.
Q1. Have you embraced the #OneWord concept to guide you? Share your experiences.
#2. Dear Students Please Turn Your Camera On, was the post about which I received the most messages from teachers thanking me for what I had written. Written just as I was to start a second consecutive semester of teaching remotely, I had noticed an increasing number of students were choosing to not turn on their cameras. This post was a plea for students to see this from my perspective, as a teacher who thrives on connections. Speaking directly to students, I wrote that “If the old adage “Out of sight, out of mind” has any truth in it, if I don’t hear you, or can’t see you, I fear that you won’t feel like you are a part of the class and will feel isolated (at a time when we are all feeling more isolated than ever before).” Thankfully I have returned to in-person teaching this year, and although it still doesn’t feel like ‘normal’, and although it is still one of the most stressful teaching years of my career, it’s still much better for me being able to physically reconnect with my students.
Q2. In what ways did remote teaching impact your relationship with your students?
#3. Virtual Classrooms was the most popular post of 2020, and continues to be useful for many teachers in 2021. One of the benefits from teaching remotely was the creation of digital resources to be shared with students, and although many of us have returned to in-person learning, these creations still exist and the good ones should still be used. This blog post definitely crossed-over and reached teachers of other subjects who obviously appreciated the sharing of creative examples from health and physical education teachers. If you are looking to be inspired, and to find ways in which to use simple tech tools to create interactive resources for your students, then you’ll appreciate this post.
Q3. Have you found ways in which to incorporate your remote-teaching creations into your in-person instruction?
#4. Ten Dimensions of Wellness is another evergreen post, originally written in October 2019. It’s a great example of how I embrace participatory teaching methods, sharing ways in which I make my lessons interesting, increasing the amount of time that my students engage actively with the content. Featuring downloadable cards that can be used in the classroom to create unique scenarios for your students to discuss, this blog post is the one that is most often shared on social media by teachers impressed at how well the dimensions of wellness activity works. I get a real kick out of hearing from teachers who have adapted the materials from this blog site and used them in their own classrooms.
Q4. Which participatory teaching methods work best in your classroom?
#5. 5 Mindfulness and Meditation Apps, is another of those blog posts that can be shared with students, encouraging them to explore one of the recommended, and free, apps to find one which resonates most with them. Although I am a regular user of both the Calm app, and also the meditations on the Peloton app, remember that Headspace offers FREE access to ALL K-12 teachers in the US, UK, Canada and Australia!
Q5. What has been your experience of using meditation and mindfulness with your students?
2021 was another good year for the blog and it continues to go from strength to strength as it has done since it’s inception in 2015. The second #microblogmonth event was a huge success, featuring short blog posts from 47 educators from across the globe, some blogging for the very first time.
Guest blog posts are always entertained, and were one of the original features of the site. You can find links to each of the guest authors here. The most widely read guest post of 2021 was another evergreen, easy to share with students, post entitled 10 Health and Well-being Perks of Journaling for Teenagers, written by Isabell Gaylord.
2021 also saw the return of the #HealthHaiku competition, with the winner coming from my period 7 class!
Looking for reading inspiration? Check out our ever-growing Book of the Month list.