The Wellness Department at Geffen Academy focuses on the importance of living well and the mind/body connection to increase students’ understanding of themselves and their relationship to society. According to Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development, adolescents fall in the developmental stage known as “identity vs. role confusion.” An adolescent must struggle to discover and find their own identity, while negotiating and struggling with social interactions and “fitting in," and developing a sense of morality and right from wrong. The lessons learned in school go far beyond the classroom by adding value and skills in order to adapt throughout every stage of human development. Students draw upon the full spectrum of wellness to become well-rounded individuals who are capable of transferring their experiences into positive outcomes. They forge a strong interdependence between their cognitive and psychological selves to develop resilience. The balance that Geffen Academy students achieve is a result of their ability to apply what they learned in school to all areas of their lives.
Students who take Wellness classes excel at:
Applying the science of cognition, mental wellness, and the physiology of fitness.
Utilizing social emotional learning, neuroscience, psychology and mindfulness skills, to enhance understanding of oneself and communication with others.
Developing effective habits that improve sleep, coping skills, ability to address stress, and nutrition to provide balance throughout life.
The goals of the Wellness Department for students are for each student to increase their metacognition and develop emotional regulation in order to be able to:
Explain how coping mechanisms for loss, change and rejection develop as well as the importance of effective coping.
Communicate their emotions with a descriptive vocabulary.
Identify how good stress can be a motivating factor in their lives.
Begin to practice healthy sleeping habits.
Use a balanced diet and physical activity plan.
Discuss the importance of spiritual health in wellness.
Students who can develop effective coping mechanisms, use good stress to help them succeed, attain adequate amounts of sleep, focus on physical health and have a belief in something larger than themselves will be developing systems that can help them throughout the rest of their schooling. In these formative years students create these skills, so that they can continue to build upon them. The longer students are able to practice all of these tools the better they will be able to command their emotional and physical development.
Wellness classes are part of the required curriculum in grades 6-12.