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November 29, 2022

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There’s more to wellbeing in school than just feeling good

The nurturing of wellbeing in schools is about so much more than happy schools, happy teachers and happy learners.

More often than not, during the early adoption of social emotional learning in schools, the “feeling good” aspect of wellbeing is emphasized — for instance, feeling positive, happy and relaxed, as opposed to feeling stressed, anxious or worried. However, there’s much more to wellbeing than just feeling good. Being able to function well is just as important, if not more so. This aspect of wellbeing concerns personal growth, competence, relationships with others, and having a sense of purpose. These aspects of wellbeing are firmly rooted in Shanghai American School’s strategic direction of ethical global citizenship and personal growth in a vibrant community.

Nurturing a culture of wellbeing in a school is a whole community affair, with students constantly learning about their wellbeing from adult role models. With that in mind, we have intentionally expanded our opportunities for adults (parents and staff) in our community to learn the science of wellbeing, so they may live the science and become role models for our students.

A focus of this approach has been our parent Eagle Academy sessions, a series of workshops led by staff from across our campus. Workshops already hosted this year have focused on a wide range of topics, including emotion coaching, intrinsic motivation, strength-based parenting, mental health, wellbeing for learning, parenting in the early years, and navigating tech as parents.

These sessions have been very popular, and it is clear the parent community is eager to learn more about the science of wellbeing.

Alongside our approach to social emotional learning in the classroom, the parent Eagle Academy sessions are another way we support our students to “feel good” and “function well.” Students who are flourishing in this way today will live well as adults — thriving at work, living healthy lives and contributing their best to society.


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