Quizzes, tests and essays galore: teachers have wasted no time easing back into the year and classes are as busy as ever. Stress levels already rapidly increasing and with sports seasons speeding up, it is hard to find time to just, ya know, chill. Administration has answered our prayers and has established Wootton Wellness Days this year.
Wootton Wellness is the best new addition so far. Administration created wellness periods that are placed throughout different times and days of the week. They are 30-minute blocks that are attached to different classes depending on the day, where students can do whatever they want. Teachers are restricted from teaching or doing anything school related, so if a student chooses to work on class or homework, it must be at their discretion, and if students want to sleep, listen to music or play on their phones, they are permitted. Students find this time useful. “Having Wellness last year was really helpful in case I needed to catch up in a class or get ahead with homework,” sophomore Jenna Siman said.
After last school year’s test runs with this schedule, administration received positive feedback from students and teachers. “I was not really sure what it would be like but I did expect some kids to do work but it seemed great and felt like students actually had a moment during the day where they did not feel over stressed and they could just relax,” health teacher Anthony Pykosh said. It was Pykosh’s first Wellness Day since he is new to the school this year.
Keeping with the trend of positive mental health, administration has also implemented Patriot Time into certain schedules in similar fashion with Wellness days. Patriot Time, like Wellness, is a 30-minute block added on to different class periods depending on the schedule, the difference is that they are not free blocks. Each session has a different focus to help alleviate stress by communicating and hopefully relating with teachers and fellow students on different topics.
Some sessions are as simple as going around the room and sharing one thing that is a current stressor to each student. While simple, if every junior shares that this past weekends’ ACT is the biggest stressor in their life, it can hopefully comfort one another by knowing that others are feeling the same pressure and it can even be an outlet for students to discuss with people other than their parents.
While Patriot Time obviously has positive intentions, talking about stress negatively or even positively can create more of it. “I think they were both really good ideas but Wellness is much better for students because I would much rather do work and have free time to fix my stress than talk about it with a room full of strangers,” Siman said.
8 of 9 members of the editorial board agree