Kris Wolcott, Faculty
I have had the great privilege of creating and teaching the Wellness curriculum for our 9th and 10th grade students.
Now in its second year as part of the Health/Wellness/Gardening block, our program enriches what is already an incomparable list of course offerings aimed to educate and nourish the whole developing human being. This trio of courses also offers students an array of information, tools, and practices to help moderate the stress, fatigue, and anxiety that seem to be part of modern-day life for high school students.
Additionally, our collective understanding of stress, trauma, and resilience has expanded greatly since the landmark 1997 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the CDC. We now know that toxic stress can cause neurological changes and most certainly is causative in poor health outcomes in later life. We also know that the protective factors that beget happiness offset the effects of trauma. Healthy rhythm and sleep hygiene, proper nutrition, daily movement, and time spent in nature are the pillars of health and wellness. Of course, this is Waldorf education 101.
And here we find ourselves living in new ways, navigating many circumstances beyond our control. We are experiencing what can easily be defined as a global collective trauma. This is in addition to the very real stresses we are likely facing as families each day. The current circumstances have provided us all with a grand opportunity to reassess, recalibrate, and restore. Our community is filled with expert practitioners, master teachers, artists, and visionaries. It is my hope that as we emerge from our quarantine lifestyles, we have more opportunities to connect and share resources and wisdom as we strive together to support our students.
I look forward to being a part of this collective effort. ~
Kris Wolcott is a longtime educator who has taught for more than 25 years at public and independent schools, and through innovative community programs for at-risk and underserved youth such as Leah’s Pantry and the The Art of Yoga Project. She is a Waldorf trained teacher with a Master’s in Education from USF and certifications in the areas of learning support, NMT (Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics), integrative nutrition, yoga, martial arts, outdoor education and environmental studies. She is the mother of two SFWS alumni.