What is your wellness number?
How many times do we go through our day and say hello to people and ask how they are? What’s the standard response? It’s usually something like, “Good, how are you?” What does “good” mean?
How are you really?
One of the ways I check in with my students at the beginning of class every day is to ask them their wellness number. This is a number between 1 and 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. It’s amazing how it gives students pause as they actually consider their number. They reflect on the events of the day up to that moment and often begin to process these reflections aloud, sharing the events and interactions of the day.
If they just give me a number without reflection, I ask them what that number means to them. For example, if a student tells me they’re a “7,” I say, okay, so what makes your wellness number a 7? Why aren’t you an 8? Knowing where our students are emotionally is essential to making the most of our time together.
As challenging as the pandemic has been, it has provided our students an opportunity to build resilience and perseverance. These are painful life-lessons that can only be learned through our experiences. Meeting students where they are enables us to provide them with support so they can feel successful, regardless of the number they give. Providing a safe place to do an emotional self-check will help develop their social-emotional learning skills, enhance communication skills, and build healthy relationships.
Teachers (and parents) are part of the check-in, too. Our emotional wellness affects everyone in the room and we help model the process by sharing openly and honestly. Emotional connection benefits everyone’s overall well-being.
So, what’s your wellness number?