Health,  Teacher Reflection

Are you checking in?

As a Teacher at an International school, the medical coverage is particular to the school and the country in which you live.  We have been very fortunate to have had access to a very high standard of care in each of our locations and every summer we are required to get health checkups (or prior to the new school year).  A #physed teacher and coach need to take care of their bodies and health – you rely on full health and an injury free existence for a great teaching day.

As #physed teachers, it is very important that you take your health checks seriously as any issue can be compounded by activity, weather, seasons and purely by time.  As an Australian, I have grown up with very harsh sunlight and this has taken a toll on my skin.  I want to use this post to encourage you to ensure that as you spend another year outside in the sun, wind, rain and the rest -that you are making sure that your body is coping and that you are having check ups to make sure that even if you are in picture perfect health, you are not going to receive a nasty surprise that could have been avoided.

wrinkles are beautiful

Wrinkles are beautiful by Elizabeth Haslam CC BY NC

I have been to see a skin cancer specialist this year as an addition to the usual routine, this comes as I feel that I am spending a lot of time outside  (compared to the other teachers at my school) and have done so my whole teaching life and it was time to take a look and check that my skin was not suffering from my job.  Skin cancers can affect anyone of any age and the most aggressive forms are more prevalent in people aged 25-40.  Applying sunscreen 1x day is not enough, and I resolve to apply at least 2x day moving forward to a new school year.  I usually offer cream in the summer time to my students, and hope that I can encourage others to offer this – they don’t usually take it – but with me modelling this, I have had greater success in students applying as well.

Skin cancers and other cancers or disorders don’t necessarily show symptoms.  It is important to have your health check ups, even in these busy times and to be looking at preventative care rather than having to deal with something after it is found.  If you can afford it and have the time, it may also be worth having someone check out your gait, your joints and muscular wear and tear to assess how you are traveling and where you could make some changes as you move about your very busy job – my experience has been that I need to do more strength training and less flexibility work and look at keeping balance as I am very left sided (much stronger on the left making muscular imbalance for my back).  Could something like this be affecting the way your work?

I didn’t care so much a few years ago, but I want to work and be active in PE for years to come, and investing time now I hope will give me more years of happy #physed teaching! I know that I am lucky that my workplace sees this as important and I would encourage you to see if your school would cover the cost of suncream or doctor visits or insurance in our outside occupation.

I hope you are travelling healthy and injury free – if you have any suggestions or stories, it would be good to share.

 

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