As students enter your classroom, they’re bringing with them a wide spectrum of mindsets, beliefs, attitudes, and previous experiences that can have an impact on the way they engage with you, their fellow students, and your course material. And, as they progress throughout your course, they will face other situations and struggles (such as time management struggles, illnesses, or relationship issues) that may increase their stress levels, take some of their focus off of their academic goals, and test their willingness to persist in their coursework.
Students must, of course, take personal responsibility for their health, attitudes, and well being. However, you as an instructor can play a role in helping your students develop healthy practices that can better enable them to cope with stressors, develop academic resilience, and reach the level of success they hope to achieve in school.
In the webinar “Promoting Student Wellness for Improved Learning,” Dr. Christine Harrington offers suggestions that can help you integrate valuable information about wellness into your course. She discusses research that helps us understand the connection between well-being and student resilience and presents a number of teaching strategies and assignment ideas you can use to promote wellness while maintaining an appropriate emphasis on academics.
Do you integrate wellness topics into your course? If so, how? Do you have particular exercises, assignments, or other activities that help students make good choices and maintain a positive focus on their academic goals? Share your ideas below.