Q&A with Mrs. Westfall

Health teacher Mrs. Westfall. Photo by Evan Skaff 18.

Health teacher Mrs. Westfall. Photo by Evan Skaff ’18.

Where did you go to college?

I went to Western Michigan.

What did you major in at Western Michigan?

My original major was communications, then my professor told me that I had to make up a job, because there isn’t really a set job that they hire in communications. I originally had wanted to do communications because when I was in high school I took Speech 1, Speech 2, I was on the debate team and I wanted to do something with communications until I found out what my professor had told me. So I talked with my dad, who is a teacher, about what I liked and I took a freshman health class at Western and I really enjoyed it. So I started looking into that and I started to go into high schools and observing teachers. I realized this is what I want to do. I want to teach health.

Where did you teach prior to teaching at South?

I taught health at Davidson Middle School from January 1998 to the end of the school year; I did a long term sub job for a teacher on maternity leave. I subbed in a lot of other places including South and North. Then I got hired as a health teacher at North, South and Brownell. So I was a traveling teacher. Then I became a permanent teacher at South.

What subjects can you teach other than health?

I can teach speech and debate. Also I think I am qualified to teach acting, but I have never taught acting and I don’t really have any desire to teach acting. I might have to take a couple classes, but apparently I am certified somehow to teach TV Productions.
What’s your inspiration?
My inspiration is my students. That’s what gets me motivated to come to work everyday and talking to former students keeps me going.

What do you learn in health?

We talk about stress management, how to identify things that bother you, learn to control your emotions through some stress management techniques like meditation, relaxation, we talk about tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and why they are bad for you. We talk about your reproductive health and how to take care of your reproduction system and learning about healthy decisions, STDs, unplanned pregnancies, dating violence and healthy relationships. Also a healthy diet, exercise and what’s good for our body and what’s not.

Why should every student take health?
I think every student should take health because it’s a fun class and it’s so important. Health is the only class where everything we talk about affects you and your body. Health will teach you things that will affect you the rest of your life and how to deal with them like stress and your diet. So kids missing health can miss out on learning many things like that.
What new things are being involved in the health curriculum?
In the past few years we have been adding some laws dealing with statutory rape, delivery of newborns and HIV. We are also adding CPR, so we are going to be learning CPR in case you ever needed to use it.