Healthy Lunch for Teachers? No way!

I can totally understand how hard it is to eat healthy when you’re running between classes and the photocopier and the office and your classroom and, maybe, the staffroom fridge. Also trying to stuff it all in the minimum amount of time is also a skill. Here are a few tips and recipes (taken from here) that I’d like to pass on to you. To our health!

  • Reinvent Dinner. Leftovers have long been a teacher-lunch favorite—and we get that warm (albeit reheated) food sure beats PB & J. But a Tupperware of last night’s mystery meat sure doesn’t make lunch something to anticipate. That can change. Food blogger Becky Johnson from We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook says that whenever she makes her Sweet and Spicy Mini Meat Loafs, she makes a double batch and puts the leftovers on thick wheat rolls to pack in lunches.
  • Pack a salad.  We certainly aren’t suggesting that you toss some iceberg and ranch into a Tupperware and call it a day. But we love the idea of making a huge and hearty salad and then eating portions of it in your lunch throughout the week. For inspiration, we asked a few food bloggers for ideas and they recommended this Portillos Chopped Salad, a hearty Baked Potato Salad, a crunchy and healthyAsian Cucumber Salad and this decadent Antipasto Chicken Salad. (Oh, and with all those veggies, it only makes sense to throw in a couple bacon muffins as a side.)
  • Do Sandwiches Better. Sandwiches have gotten a bad rap. And we blame bologna slapped on white bread for this undeserved reputation. But it’s easy to do brown-bag sandwiches better. Buy good bread and add your favorite toppings. Then—and this is the key—pack lettuce, tomatoes, onions and condiments in a separate bag so that your bread won’t get soggy.  When lunchtime rolls around, assemble, eat and enjoy.
  • Soup in a Thermos. We love this idea because if you have a good Thermos, you can skip the line for the microwave and get right to eating. Try this Sippable Sweet Pea Soup (that not only looks amazing, but is also vegan!), Creamy Yellow Pepper Soup or even your favorite soup from a can.
  • Try Antipasti. We know antipasti sounds like a fancy restaurant word, but we take it to mean “a whole bunch of little snacks that taste good”. And, with that in mind, chop up some cheese and deli meat, add raw veggies, pickles, olives and some crackers and you’ll have an easy lunch that looks like it was made in a restaurant.
  • Pack Yourself a (Healthy) Dessert. As delicious as Twinkies are, they’re probably not your best option when it comes to a mid-day pick-me-up. Still, adding something sweet to your lunch can provide the energy burst you need to get you through the day. Probably your best choice is a piece of fruit.  If that won’t work, try a “healthy” cookie like these Blueberry Oat and Nut Bars or one of these low-sugar Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins. 

Merit Pay – Canada Edition

In case you don’t know merit pay is kind of a tough topic to deal with. According to wikipedia, “Merit pay is a term describing performance-related pay, most frequently in the context of educational reform. It provides bonuses for workers who perform their jobs effectively, according to measurable criteria. In the United States, policy makers are divided on whether merit pay should be offered to public school teachers, as is commonly the case in the United Kingdom.”

There has been many talks among many school boards about merit pay. Mostly in the States but it has started to become a discussion in Canada. Many of you know that I am based out of Canada but I like to know about all of North America specifically.

When I came across this article, it kinda got my wheels turning about this topic. Sure it would be cool to get a little extra money for doing what I do best (or so I think), but do I want to be judged consistently throughout my career? Not really…

Also how is the whole system going to work? Teachers who have more “difficult”classes get more just because their students are coded/special needs or those who have the top students in the board get more? How would we be judged? I don’t think there is any one way that this could be decided. There are so many factors involved in teaching. New teachers would barely have a chance of making anything and they’re are the ones that need it (Come on, 6 years of school!).

And what about the students?

Would having a financial incentive really prompt me to do my job any better? Right now, I would do my job and not get paid. I love my job. I love my students and I only ever want them to be as successful as they can be. Giving me more money isn’t going to change that.

For merit pay to work, I honestly think it would take a really long time to sort out all the kinks.

Do you want merit pay? Would it make a difference on the students?