Revision to Wellness Wednesdays Continues to Support Students

This year, Wellness Wednesdays will transition from homeroom to a rotating classroom schedule. Each Wednesday, depending on the week, students will go to the corresponding period for the wellness block. 

For the past two years, Wednesday advisory periods served students as a time to catch-up on classwork and give students a chance to relax between classes. “Wellness Wednesdays” were originally implemented as asynchronous workdays during virtual learning. Last school year, Rockville integrated an advisory period on Wednesdays, where students would reconvene with their homeroom teachers. This year’s advisory period will be called “Wellness Wednesday.” 

“I really dislike the rotating schedule,” junior Annelise Jeung said. “The point of Wellness Wednesday is to give the student body some time to breathe away from school while still in the school setting, however the team building activities require you to be engaged.¨

Wellness Wednesday is a weekly advisory period for students to reach out to teachers, complete  missing and late work, and take a break from classroom instruction. It’s also designed to give students a chance to get to know one another through team building activities.

“I think it was beneficial getting to know my classmates because I did feel very disconnected from the class I did [advisory] with,” freshman Thandi Labor said.

In addition, Wellness Wednesday serves to inform students on coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of school. Teachers hope to communicate wellness strategies to students using activities such as guided meditation, mindfulness, class bonding/team building activities, and more.

“My goal for this year [in Wellness Wednesday] is to bring this automatic response awareness to students,” art teacher Ms. Bang said. “So that when there is a math test, they can talk themselves through this automatic response.”

Automatic response awareness is the ability to identify the pre-programmed feeling associated with stimuli. According to an article in 2006 published by the NIH, The Automaticity of Social Life, being able to understand how negative actions or thoughts occur despite good intentions is extremely important.

Teachers like Ms.Bang take a great interest in the mental wellbeing of their students and hope to create a safe space for students to learn.  

“If the students don’t feel good, they’re not going to learn,” Bang said. “So I’ve always been really interested in like, well, how do you create a classroom where students feel safe and welcome and wanted?”

At its core, Wellness Wednesday is a period where students can take time to work on their mental wellbeing. In this day and age, mental health and wellness has been placed at the forefront of many schools, putting emphasis on the struggles that high school students across the nation face. The bottom line is, many students struggle with being able to find balance both in and out of school, and Wellness Wednesdays may be the solution.