The term ‘student wellbeing’ can mean many different things depending on a whole range of factors.
Your age: for the older generation their school did not have a dedicated, or even an obvious, student wellbeing function. History will discuss whether we didn’t face the same issues ‘when we were their age’, or whether the family unit was stronger or whether communities overall were more supportive. Suffice to say that when I was a kid – all the way from primary to high school – I wasn’t aware of a student wellbeing team.
Your role: teachers, chaplains, students, principals quite possibly have differing views on student wellbeing. Some examples might be: the teacher who sees it as an opportunity for students to avoid their class; the student who sees it as one of the few places where they can be real and discuss the issues they face; the chaplain who sees it as an opportunity to minister to young people and the principal who views it as a way to handle some of the community’s emotional difficulties.
Each school community will have its own individual outworking of what their student wellbeing department is there for and what services it can offer. Some schools will provide a more formal structure whilst others will create a more fluid support system. Both of these are ‘correct’ as long as students are being supported. Other schools will extend the service to include staff wellbeing and even to students families – again totally acceptable.
Over the coming weeks and months I will seek to explore some of these things. Sometimes I will consider specific issues at other times it might be more structural or even case studies to debate. I am even willing to explore guest writers – so if you have something to contribute please let me know – either below in the comments section or by contacting me direct.
How does your school ‘do’ student wellbeing? Is it working well? What parts would benefit from some change? Let me know in the comments section below.