There are a few things I would have been if I didn’t fall (in love) into poetry. A health mentor is one of them, not necessarily conforming to the education system & teaching but I would still be able to be creative, sporty and flexible with what my sessions look like and how much impact I can have (as an individual) on young people.
Don’t get me wrong; I am very happy and content with my life, my job at Beatfreeks and my 10-year goal to become Prime Minister. On the off chance I wasn’t content, this would be a perfect career for me.
I don’t have formal teaching qualifications but I absolutely love facilitating young people and inspiring them to be healthy (mentally and physically); as well as exploring different ways they can express themselves; through poetry and creativity of course.
Being a health mentor would mean a few things:
1. I can run breakfast clubs for them. Poetry and Weetabix at 8.15am – yes please! This way, the kids who are coming from far, running out of the house first thing to escape or the kids who’s pet peeve is being late are there, and I am there for them. Sometimes we can talk, sometimes we can write bad poetry, other times we can write incredible pieces that are published in the schools newsletter (yes we will get that good). On the rare occasion, we will play tag in the playground and release all our morning stresses out into the air for the wind to blow it away.
2. I can sit down with ‘the me’ in class and try to understand why they don’t want to participate in activities, or get them to create mood boards about what they think they’ve just been taught. I would figure out how they want to learn and be able to give them one-to-one support in doing so. I want them to know I am there to support and help them, not to hold them back.
3. At lunch I will run around with the kids who hide at the back of the school to avoid people and play hide and seek. After running till our breath escapes us, we’ll sit in a circle on the floor and talk about what our futures look like. We will lay down out of tiredness and visualise what the world would look like and how we want to change it. I will tell them it always, always starts with them.
4. During class, when the child who isn’t engaging starts to put their hand up, I will smile to myself and look at the teacher for reassurance that I’m having an impact on this child’s life. I will realise this child has similar traits to my brother and the child who isn’t participating to be rebellious is me, and I’d find a beautiful balance and connection to both.
5. After school, when the kids hang around college stores buying little bags of sweets and avoiding the buses to go home. I will take out a portable microphone and amp, stick it in front of them and tell them to try taking me down. “Go on, try beat my bars”, I’ll hear a boy say, and we’d spend an hour or so - outside the school learning how to connect with each other through words.
When I was in school, I wanted someone to pull me out of the classes I hated and ask me why. What did I love? Why did I not want to participate? I would have talked a little more to them, and explore new things I could love.
Being a health mentor is more than sports, it’s more than physical and mental health, and it’s about understanding children and young people and making an impact on their life.
Who do I remember from school?
My English Teacher and Behavioural manager. Why? I fell in love with poetry because of English and I finished school because of my Behaviour Manager’s support.
I will never forget them; so let them never forget you.
Imprint love, health and a positive life on them and you would have changed the world.
Changed your world.
Evolve helps children be the best they can be. They place passionate and confident people within schools to run physical and creative activities to help children be happy and healthy. Beatfreeks are working with Evolve to find more superheroes to join their progressive, growing and leading company as Health Mentors. See how you can apply now: http://www.evolvesi.com/health-mentors/
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