We are What We Do
Think about a recent bad day you've had - whether it be differing opinions between friends over a hot topic on social media or a disagreement with a colleague. Do you think you handled the situation as well as you could have? Did it negatively impact your day?
Schools are a reflection of society, and our children face similar challenges as adults do, which is why we need to address well-being in schools. The additional stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the need for children and adults to focus on well-being. A takeaway from this challenging year is a better understanding of the connection between our physical health and mental outlook. If our well-being is suffering, we often can't achieve daily tasks, and our aspirations may seem like impossible challenges.
Like all skills and habits, addressing our well-being takes practice, dedication, and ongoing effort. As a school's group, Cognita has dedicated significant time and resources to embed well-being into its 80+ schools' and promotes a Cognita-wide event, "Global Be Well Day", to celebrate and reflect on well-being.
A Celebration of Wellness
Each year "Be Well Day" puts a spotlight on the entire school community's well-being and sets the tone for our academic year, so everyone continues to work and support each other on these skills and practices. This year, a Be Well Charter was introduced, identifying six key contributors to well-being. Through various workshops and reflections, students and families actively reflect on the roles of sleep, diet, exercise, connecting with others, giving and purpose in their lives. Under the leadership of the school's on-site counseling team, an exciting day awaits families and staff. This year's workshops include exploring creativity through healthy cooking, art and craft, fitness blast, tai chi, and gratitude.
"It is an important time for both students and parents to prioritize their well-being. As we live in a time-starved age, we will continue to do things that provide the biggest impact, and whether we like it or not, our well-being can't be neglected. Be Well Day is an opportunity to take a deep breath and see how we can improve our outlook no matter what is happening in our lives," commented Adrianne Wilson, Head of Student Support.
Skill for Life
Sounds great, but aren't schools here to develop critical skills for success? Yes! Think of your most successful colleagues; those who move ahead and stay ahead can take care of themselves and be productive even when challenges arise. To prepare children for real-world challenges, Stamford American has purposefully embedded social-emotional skills into the curriculum to foster not only happier but more successful people. Embedded in the curriculum are three programs that support students' social-emotional growth as they move through critical life stages. Second Step, School Connect, and Advisory give students the tools to solve age-appropriate challenges that impact their daily lives. This unique curriculum connected with ongoing practices such as mindful breathing, emotional temperature check brain breaks, and calming circles, supports students in managing their welfare in the present and being more resilient in their future. The well-being programs are supported by on-site counselors, nurses, experienced faculty, and, most importantly, the parent community. Under this umbrella, Stamford builds a foundation children need for now and their future.