In my first post, I expressed excitement when the Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, NJ adopted The willPower for girlPower® program. Now, my goal as a passionate educator, is to develop willPower for girlPower® beyond an activity. I want to instill healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
I opened the first girlPower® session with healthy nutrition, encouraging each girl to eat a banana. (I brought them in for less than $5!) I explained that bananas are light enough to eat before workouts, and how potassium fuels muscles… and they obliged with a smile. We moved on to “Why Barefoot” – as I knew the girls have been guided by the media – and the “need for shoes”. They looked down at their naked feet awkwardly as they tapped and wiggled toes, rocked and rolled ankles; provoking laughter; a nervous reaction to fear. Clumsiness continued through our full body warm-up, but there was a buildup of excitement – they knew they were awakening parts of their bodies they never had before. As we moved into the workout, I turned the music up, and they became more comfortable and fluid. Finally, I exhaled deeply. (This is working!)
We wrap up girlPower sessions with “Footnotes” – a time to reflect and share in writing and discussion. I learned that they were “grateful for bananas”, and “loving all of it”. I smiled at comments from one young barefoot skeptic who did not like the toe taps. One student wrote to me “I already love this class. I hope it will build up my confidence and the motivation I need to push myself to be happy. Thank you for caring about us so much”.
The next day the girls wore their sore muscles like a badge of honor, arriving to school talking about their thighs, butts, and, more importantly, their posture and how they felt taller.
Session two brought more smiles, bananas, synchronicity, and a student photographer. The young women flowed beautifully and I felt compelled to dive deeper into willPower philosophy. The Word of the Week was patience, so we discussed patience in movement; lengthening their muscles instead of locking joints. We pondered patience in life: with family, friends, boyfriends, school and tedious tasks.
And so we moved forward. I’ve encouraged the girls to bring more “willPower” into their lives, after referencing this word with exercise and with daily living. The young women defined grace as “how elegantly we carry ourselves”. Several girls described managing a sticky situation with grace. As a group, we’ve discussed the importance of regular exercise, hydration, and smart nutrition for a healthy, fit body, and a sharp mind. These young women have also mastered our girlPower mantra “I’m strong, I’m confident, and I can do anything I set my mind to.”
It’s happening! The girls understand that this is more than “just” a physical exercise class. My school is recognizing the effects as well. willPower for girlPower® is now accepted as an official Student Activity (an important part of their transcripts for college applications).
I am more convinced than ever that high school aged girls will truly benefit from the all the positive philosophies that The willPower Method® offers adults around the world. Our kids are smart – and we have an opportunity to change the course of their lives through healthy teaching.
For more information about success at my school, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.