Photo by: James Galloway
Should Wellness Wednesday come back?
October 27, 2022
The school board created “Wellness Wednesday” during the 2020/2021 school year as a way to give students “a day off” from the school week. From November through January, an asynchronous Wednesday allowed students a day to catch up on school work and to prioritize mental health during the pandemic. Wellness Wednesdays came to an end in Feb. of 2021.
Wellness Wednesdays are underrated
When hybrid was first introduced to students two years ago admin wanted to put forth an effort to encourage students mental health. This effort came in the form of giving students Wednesday’s off to promote students well being, specifically mental health. This day was meant to allow students a flex day to encourage them to get work done on their own time as well as focus on their own mental health.
During my day off I sat down and accomplished more work in total than I had the previous two days combined. I accomplished work I chose to do at the time that would work for me. There are many cases where I can not accomplish certain task at school. For example if I need to do a textbook reading assignment I usually chose not to do it at school because I do not want to carry a heavy textbook around all day. Me choosing to not carry around a textbook all day would result in me having to take time out of my day after school. Having my flex day completely eliminated that hassle for me. My textbook could always remain at home.
As well as completing assignments I was able to do other activities throughout the day that were not academic related. I was able to check out a book from the library, I was able to go and volunteer with a yard sale, and I helped cook dinner for my family. I would have not been able to get that all done on a regular school day where I would get home at 3:15 p.m.
Having the day off made the week feel shorter and more manageable because it was broken up. Knowing I would have Wednesday off gave me a lot more motivation to complete my assignments and work towards a goal of having no work to do on my day off. Returning with no outstanding assignments allowed me to return on Thursday with a fresh start and prepared for the rest of the week.
When I did come back Thursday, instead of feeling like the week had started over I just felt I was closer to the weekend. Again, knowing that I was close to a break, this time the weekend, gave me motivation to finish up assignments and tie up any lose ends closing out the week.
Another positive to having a this wellness day is that after Covid and virtual school came to an end, many students were not ready for the workload that would follow with school starting back in person. Having the flex day as a break was a good day for students to adjust their work load knowing Wednesday could be a flex day. This also gave teachers a much needed break in the week to catch up on grading and used it as a time to help students via zoom at set times throughout the day.
I believe that having a day off at some point in the week whether that is in the middle of the week on Wednesday, or at the beginning or the end of the week. Having a break in the week is not only good for students but also for teachers. We should bring Wellness Wednesday back to help students and provide a valuable break in the week.
Wellness Wednesdays are overrated
In the past, students used Wednesdays as a day off to relax and catch up on missing work. However, to put it bluntly, the concept is a pointless idea that only encourages laziness among the student body. In theory, it’s a “day off” for students to “catch up on work”, but in reality would be fulfilled by sleeping in, relaxing, and procrastinating.
With no school on Wednesdays, it would make Tuesdays feel like a “mid-week” Friday. Students may stay up late, go to parties, and binge-watch Netflix all night, ultimately influencing a sluggish wake-up with little to no motivation to get back to work the following day.
Furthermore, a 5 day school week builds student endurance. As the week progresses, students are more in tune with their thinking and are able to work efficiently. A pause in the week only creates setbacks, making Thursdays feel like a Monday, ultimately resetting students’ motivation to get up and get back into the work cycle.
Not to mention, if schools excluded Wednesdays from the school week, it would ultimately lengthen the number of days students are in school.
Chesterfield Country requires students to be in the classroom at least 95% of the 180 day school year. With 52 weeks in a year, students are missing out on nearly 52 Wednesdays in a year, ultimately calling for an extended school year.
So the question comes down to “Would you rather have a longer school year, four days a week?” or “Would you rather have a normal school year, five days a week?”
After having Wednesday off for Yom Kippur, students were quickly reminded of the luxuries of having no school mid-week. Personally, I was able to sleep in, make a complete breakfast, catch up on my piling college applications, and even work a few hours. I will admit, it was a relaxing twist to my week. Now, I’m not saying that I am completely opposed to a day off it in the week every once in a while, but if every Wednesday were to be red-lined, I would slightly be opposed.
In the end, I found my opinion to go against the grain. Many students stand in favor of bringing back Wellness Wednesdays, as they are “still adjusting” from the hybrid-style learning. As students, we’ve had our fair share of class-from-bed and have already missed out on a plethora of hours in the classroom. Wellness Wednesdays are only going to slow down the student body and create set-backs, and therefore, should not return.