Wellness is a term that resonates with many, yet its significance often remains underappreciated. Amidst the demands of our professional and personal lives, our individual needs and well-being frequently become secondary, leading to potential repercussions in various facets of our lives. In this post, we discuss wellness and its significance and what we learned from our session in school recently.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is “the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” This definition underscores the dynamic nature of wellness – it isn’t merely about being free from illness but actively embracing practices that enhance holistic health. This might involve cultivating a routine with activities that invigorate us, maintaining consistent physical activity, allotting self-care time, or ensuring adequate sleep.
Dr. Akash Ryall, Mr Robert Khin, and Mrs Sangeetha Macaden of Bethany High deserve commendation for their foresight in organising an enlightening session on ‘Wellness’ for their teaching staff. Given that the school’s ethos emphasises the holistic development of students, this session underscored the imperative of educators themselves embodying the principles of well-being.
We were honoured to have Dr Jonas Richard A steer this session. With his extensive experience spanning over two decades in Social Work, Psychology, Life Skills Education, and Wellness across educational institutions and corporate avenues, he brought a blend of profound insights punctuated by relatable anecdotes that enlivened the session. Through his expert lens, we delved into the ramifications of neglecting wellness in personal productivity and our nuanced daily interactions, especially as educators.
An illustrative example discussed was the varying reactions a teacher might have to a tardy student, contingent on their own state of mind. A stressful morning might culminate in a hasty reprimand without understanding the student’s perspective, whereas a well-balanced mindset might prompt a more empathetic approach.
The session elucidated several pivotal points:
1. Teaching transcends mere knowledge transfer – it encompasses mentoring. Recognising the uniqueness of every child and fostering their inherent strengths is imperative. By delivering consistent encouragement and positive reinforcement, educators can pave the way for student’s confidence and success.
2. Adapting to change – Our dynamic world continually evolves, presenting fresh challenges and opportunities. A salient example is the digital revolution, predominantly the rise of social media. It’s incumbent upon educators to understand its impact, guiding students to harness its potential constructively while fostering responsible digital consumption.
3. Demarcating personal and professional spheres – Recognising and addressing personal needs is quintessential to optimising professional contributions. Equally, it’s crucial to discern and respect the boundary between personal convictions and the diverse beliefs of our students, always focusing on their holistic development.
Categorising our personal and professional lives.
It’s important for every individual to be aware, identify and fulfil our personal needs and desires in order to ensure that it doesn’t restrict us from performing to our full potential, and remember that our unhealthy feelings impact those around us, too. We also need to be open, understanding and accepting of differences in our personal beliefs and values with those of our students and ensure our focus is on their development. It’s crucial that we keep our personal and professional lives separate.
In conclusion, teachers and educators tend to have a huge influence on their students’ lives on a daily basis. Students notice how they talk, behave and respond in every situation, and they can be better examples and role models by prioritising their personal well-being (physical and mental). Giving themselves the attention and care they deserve would enable them to be more patient, empathetic and understanding despite their own challenges or difficulties, thus creating a ripple effect in terms of laying a positive foundation for those they interact with and our future generations.
About the author: Nadia Andrade, with an MSc in Counselling Psychology, serves as the Student Counselor at Bethany High Sarjapur. With a deep-rooted passion for child development, her mission is to curate environments that inspire children to flourish in every sphere of life.