School health promotion programs can reduce common health problems like obesity, diabetes and respiratory complications. This qualitative study aimed to investigate the perceptions of a group of teachers regarding issues related to the promotion of health in school. The 15 teachers sampled were from public primary schools in a city in southeastern Brazil. Interviews with teachers were conducted and data was analyzed employing content. Teacher practices regarding the promotion of health appeared to be aimed at their students and their daily habits and their practices. Teachers described approaching health promotion through their lesson content and suggested that the school should seek help from other institutions in their health promotion activities like prevention activities, monitoring of improvements in student and teacher health. Teachers mentioned a strong relationship between knowledge and the pursuit of good health. The need to identify major determinants of the disease/health process was highlighted and the connection between lifestyle, socio-economic status and the disease/health process was described. Awareness of the influence concerning both the environment and the school surroundings was demonstrated. It is important that the teachers are aware of the environment that surrounds them as well as the reality of the lives of all those involved with the school.