Happy New Year! How’s everyone’s goal setting going???
This is always an exciting time because without fail a new year brings an extra dose of optimism, ambition, and opportunity. It’s a fresh start for us all to reset our lives and create something new, something better.
So what’s my goal for 2017? Drumroll, please…
In 2017, I will radically transform education by empowering students to thrive.
And I desperately want you to join me by adding one more goal to your New Year’s list:
Revolutionize how you teach students to thrive.
Now, for most of you superhero teachers the goal of improving students well-being is already at the top of your to-do list. But let’s be real, it’s not an easy task to actually achieve. This leads me to the actionable part of my goal as it specially connects to you..
In 2017, I will radically transform education by providing educators with the
knowledge and tools needed to empower students to thrive.
Have I piqued your interest? Does my goal connect to your personal teacher resolutions? I hope the answer is yes, because we need to get moving. It’s already the 3rd and there are tons of lives to be changed.
I’m diving right into my goal by launching the Wellness Basics Blogging Series, where we chat about the basics of wellness, well-being, and learning how to thrive! The goal is to provide you with all of the tools and knowledge to teach students how to thrive. And to learn how to empower students to thrive, we have to go to back to square one. We must start at the place from which all wellness education grows, the Wellness Wheel.
The Wellness Wheel
It may look simple but this wheel represents your life and well-being.
• You see, each wedge represents one component of your life (a.k.a. the components of wellness ← click to watch).
• You use the wheel to rate yourself in each component of health as either low, healthy/average, or high (i.e. the yellow markings)
• After rating yourself, you assess your well-being:
» The more balanced and like a functioning wheel, the closer you are to the thriving end of the continuum.
» In contrast, the less balanced and like a broken or flat tire, the closer you are to the surviving end of the spectrum.
***Pro-tip: When I am in a funk and not quite sure why, I like to fill out a Wellness Wheel. This simple exercises helps reveal the underlining issues of my gloom and empowers me to actively bring balanced to my life. It is amazing what a little self-reflection reveals.
What the Wellness Wheel teaches us about creating well-being?
Well being is multidimensional.
Each wedge represents a different component of health and well-being: environmental, financial, intellectual, mental & emotional, occupational, physical, social, spiritual.
The multiple dimensions of life are powerfully connected. Each component of well-being influences and impacts the others. This means all components of vitally important and all should be intentionally acknowledged.
You can only give so much.
We each have our limits. The reality is that you only have so much you can give in life. This means that if you give too much to one area (like occupational health), you must take energy from another component (like social health). Simply put, you can’t be off the charts in one area and expect to experience balance in your life (i.e. most politicians, many extremely successful businessmen and women, nearly every professional athlete).
Life is fluid.
Last but not least, life is fluid. The makeup of your Wellness Wheel doesn’t outline what it will be in a few weeks/months/years from now. Our well-being is fluid as we have the power to adjust and bring balance to our lives.
What does this mean for your students?
Understanding the Wellness Wheel is the foundation of understanding how we can empower students to thrive. And now that you are a Wellness Wheel expert, let’s discuss what this means for your classroom.
» First and foremost, we do our kids a disservice to be solely focused on academic objectives. We must create space for each of the elements of well-being to be strengthened (stay tuned through 2017 as we look at how to achieve this goal without threatening the academic integrity of our classrooms).
» Next, take advantage of the connectedness of our well-being. Use it to spark interest and passion in your students. By this I mean, connect your academic focus to other areas of well-being. For example, speak candidly about the how the grit and growth mindset needed to read and understand a challenging novel connects to the ability to use grit and growth mindset to achieve future career or athletic goals.
» Finally, set the example. Learn to apply the Wellness Wheel to your own life and actively work to create balance. But don’t stop there. As you apply it, openly share about your personal wellness journey with your students. I know it may seem risky, but exposing your personal vulnerability empowers students to do the same.
Tah-dah! Now you’re ready to use the Wellness Wheel in your classroom. Simply download the worksheet from the Project School Wellness resource library (click here to sign up for instant access)
and start empowering your students to thrive!
I am so excited for you to use the Wellness Wheel in your own life and with your students. It is the first step to revolutionizing how we teach students to thrive. If student well-being is your #1 goal, I invite you to join the Project School Wellness movement and to keep coming back each week as we discuss how to achieve this goal without threatening the academic integrity of our classrooms.