Classes are already in full swing in some Florida schools, while others will soon be heading back. As you think about your plans for the coming school year, whether you teach the arts, mathematics or the sciences, think about the material you present in your class. Teaching lessons on tobacco prevention will have a lasting impact on the future of your students, their families, and possibly even yourself.
The Florida Statewide Tobacco Prevention and Intervention course for DOE certified K-12 administrators, classroom teachers and guidance counselors is in its third year statewide and its sixth year in Palm Beach County. The online course, which is the equivalent of a three-credit college course, allows our participants to move through the instruction at their convenience, 24/7. The course also provides up to 60 in-service credits towards recertification. After completion of the online portion, participants must teach at least six (6) lessons on tobacco, which are provided for you.
According to our statistics from last school year, over 15,398 students were impacted by the 290 educators in 54 counties who completed this course. Over 84% of the participants were public school teachers and 4% were private school teachers; others included guidance counselors and administrators. All subject areas were represented, and students from pre-Kindergarden (2%) to 12th grade (30%) were taught about the dangers of tobacco.
Participants from last year commented on the informative nature of the material, the amount of content, and how the interactive multi-media and videos kept them interested. They expressed surprise at the way youth are targeted by the tobacco industry and the amount of money invested toward getting them hooked on tobacco. Several participants also stated that the information they learned helped them to kick their own personal tobacco addiction.
But the greatest responses from our participants is how the information they presented in their lessons had an impact on the lives of their students. Students took the lessons home and shared the information with their families, and several students stated their relatives had either quit or reduced their smoking. Less smoking within families means our students are less likely to smoke in the future. It is also exciting when our pariticipants tell us they now understand the importance of tobacco prevention in saving millions of lives, and are recommending the course to other teachers.
The new school year has barely started and already the Florida Statewide Tobacco Prevention course has 16 educators registered from 11 counties. Take a moment to look at our course and enroll at: http://www.tobaccopreventiontraining.org/. Some districts require participants to contact their professional development department prior to enrolling.
Welcome back teachers!