Forty years in the classroom shows. Rita Pierson can speak with such clarity, such honesty, such confidence and such knowledge. She is a jewel. Her talk is all inspiration because 40 years in a classroom has made her capable of understanding and knowing that it all comes down to relationships and connections. It is the stuff of the personal and social capability. Students will enable themselves when they have a champion. They will do better, try better and achieve more when they have someone who knows how to get the best out of them. The personal and social capability is about this: communication, developing leadership skills, understanding relationships, becoming confident and resilient, recognising personal qualities and achievements. Rita Pierson’s words can ring out and resound because she has spent 40 years in a classroom and she knows what she is talking about. As she speaks she is connecting with her audience and teaching them too about personal and social capability. We are educators. We can do this.
My students had overwhelmingly responded that working on their health and fitness would improve their personal capabilities. It was a clear message which came through. We should all be working on our fitness! The University of Bristol has done some studies on working on fitness and the Daily Telegraph reported the following:
The key findings were:
Seventy two per cent reported improvements in time management on exercise days compared to non-exercise days.
Seventy nine per cent said mental and interpersonal performance was better on days they exercised.
Seventy four per cent said they managed their workload better.
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Bob Doyle on the selfgrowth blog has 10 really good reasons for encouraging fitness at work. It is about energy, enthusiasm, being there and not just doing your job. Healthy people are more productive and are happier. Fitness Australia also looks at workplace health and fitness.
Schools are well placed to create happy, healthy environments since they already know how to manage and create teams and teachers are familiar with team building approaches. It is not just that, though. When my year 8s were responding to the indicators for the personal capabilities they were looking at taking responsibility for their own health and welfare. They were looking at how they could improve their eating habits and how they could improve their fitness. That’s a message we could build in schools which could be carried over into adult work environments so that the workplace could then help create workers who thrive.