The Daily Mile builds school community

Going to school isn’t just about academics. Yes, learning is important. But another big aspect of the school environment is relationships formed at school. Those relationships aren’t only between students and their classmates.

So many relationships are present on a school campus. Here are a few:

  • Teachers and their students
  • Fellow teachers
  • Teachers and their administrators

Can you think of others that are present at your school?

It’s important to maintain and nurture all these relationships. But that can sometimes be difficult during the school day. As a teacher or administrator, you are balancing a big workload and other pressures. How are you supposed to find the time?

One way to make time for relationships is to do something called an active break.

What’s an active break? An active break is a time set aside for physical activity that gives students a break from learning. The idea is that after an active break, the students are more focused and ready to learn.

An active break is not PE or recess. It’s a short break that happens during curriculum time with a student’s classroom teacher.

Research shows that active breaks improve school engagement. In fact, they’re one of the most effective types of intervention.

Why? Because relationships can form during those breaks. Students who don’t sit next to each other in class get to socialize. Teachers get to talk to their students about something other than schoolwork.

Do you need an idea of an active break you can do with your students? That’s where The Daily Mile can help.

What’s The Daily Mile? 

The Daily Mile is 15 minutes of physical activity done outdoors during the school day. Students and their teachers take part at whatever activity level works for them on a given day. Running, jogging, walking, or rolling are all perfect ways to do The Daily Mile. The most important thing is to get up and move for 15 minutes. Best of all, The Daily Mile is free to your school forever!

Participants at all levels of The Daily Mile have seen the benefits of the program.

Check out some of these Daily Mile highlights from students who do The Daily Mile.

“When I see someone sad or lonely during The Daily Mile I ask them if they want to walk with me so I can try to cheer them up.” – Braelynn, Student, Ohio

“I include all my classmates when we do The Daily Mile, so no one feels left out.” – Rylee, Student, Ohio

You’ve already encouraged your students to talk while they are on The Daily Mile. Another way to build relationships is by encouraging your students to practice kindness. Friendly Notes are a simple way for students to show their peers they care.

Teachers have also seen more school cohesion since starting The Daily Mile.

“The Daily Mile is a great bonding experience for me with my students.” – Jasmine, Teacher, Texas

“The Daily Mile has helped with relationship building in my class. My students who don’t sit next to each other in class love to do The Daily Mile together.” – Larabeth, Teacher, Texas

And the benefits of The Daily Mile are also evident outside the classroom.

“I love how the teachers and students get to connect when doing The Daily Mile. Getting outside the classroom helps them build closer relationships. They get to talk about something other than math, or reading, or science. That’s what creates that sense of belonging and connectedness in our communities. That’s what we need more of not only for mental health but the whole child’s wellbeing.” – Marisa, Counselor, Texas

So far, we’ve talked about the relationships between classmates. And the relationships between you and your students. But what about the other relationships that exist in a school setting? What about the relationships you have with students’ parents or caregivers? How can The Daily Mile help those?

A simple starting point is to show those people that you see their child. Show them that you recognize them for their hard work they are doing in class. So many times, parents feel like they only hear from the child’s teacher when something is going wrong. You can change this.

An easy way to do this is with the Extra Mile Good Note Home which is available in English and Spanish. Was a student being especially helpful with a classmate? Did they persevere during a difficult assignment? This free resource is an easy way to let the adults in that student’s life know that you are proud of them.

Sign up for The Daily Mile and see the relationships in your school flourish.