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Health Class: Impacting Lives and Raising Awareness of Real Life Issues

Health class is often looked at as just another place students must go.
Very little is thought of it and its importance is often undermined by students, teachers and administrators alike.
This article is not being written to scold people for looking down upon health classes as a throwaway subject or to suggest that health class and those who teach it deserve more respect (even though they do) this article is being written simply to shed light on how health class can be used as an impactful tool in schools that gives students and teachers a chance to discuss and learn about a wide range of important topics, topics that will most likely not be discussed in any other class a student will attend throughout his/her schooling career.
Of all the classes a student will attend from the time they enter elementary school to the time the graduate from high school none present the opportunity to bring to light more relevant and useful information than health class.
With such a wide range of possible topics there is almost no end to the amount of information that a teacher can present to his/her students that will be beneficial to them in daily life.
How many classes taught in schools today continually touch on topics that will affect people every day of their lives? English, probably not, math definitely not, sciences such as biology, physics and chemistry play roles in our lives every day but we do not look at them in that light.
Social studies have a chance but much of those classes are focused around old history.
Health class is really the only class that can present relevant, interesting information to students on a daily basis.
It is the only class where topics that students actually care about can be discussed in an open forum and not just while the teacher has their back turned to write on the board.
Subjects such as bullying, diet, death, and relationships, things that affect every person at some point in their lives are only discussed in school during health class.
The impact that a good classroom discussion can have on a student who is trying to cope with the death of a family member or someone who is bullying fellow students because they do not realize the huge negative impact it can have on someone can be immeasurable.
There is only one classroom setting that can generate this type of conversation and can help students in such positive ways.
That class is health.
Aside from bettering students emotionally health class can also be used to bring forth little discussed issues that outrage many but the majority of people simply do not know anything about.
Take water fluoridation for example, how many people even know that the water they drink contains fluoride which when swallowed is poisonous.
People hear the word fluoride and assume that is it just a chemical that helps keep our teeth healthy.
In reality the fluoridation of public water supplies is used as part of population control and its uses can be traced back to Nazi Germany.
Not only can this information be presented to students in order to help educate them on dental health and public health initiatives but it can be a jumping off point for a larger issue, which is the numerous actions taken by the government that they say are in place to help us when in reality they do much more harm.
The number of possibilities for activities and units that can take place in health classes relating to these issues is astonishing.
If more people were educated about what goes on in the world maybe positive change could take place.
Educators who teach health have a rare opportunity that most teachers do not have.
They get to spend every day with children talking to them about real life issues that play themselves out every day in real life.
If nothing else health class can be a place where agents of change can be created and if even one student learns something in a health class and decides to set out to make a difference then as a teacher I feel I have done my job well.


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