Wellness Wednesday: Bringing the Field Trip to You

Guest Speaking in Class

Two years ago, a task-force for our school decided to implement half day Wednesdays. Yay! It is a win-win. Students go home at 12:15 to work on their demanding IB curriculum, while teachers remain on campus for professional development.

The classes are 1 hour long instead of our traditional day of 1.5 hours long. With this shortened class period (and no locker rooms) our typical 20-minute Change Out/Walk-N-Talk procedure would not work. This is when Wellness Wednesday was born. This and the fact that we have a limited budget.

What is Wellness Wednesday?

It started off as a way to build our curriculum and student knowledge of Health and Wellness or Physical Activity topics.In essence, this brought the field trip to us!

Step One: Community Outreach

We started off by reaching out to our school community via the school newsletter, social pages, and emails. We were looking for community members who were interested in coming into our classes to speak about health and wellness topics.

Step Two: Booking Our Time Slots

We slowly began to schedule visitors to our campus. The topics and lessons ranged from “Nutrition and Food Prep” with a live demo and tasting to “Bio-Mechanics of A Sprint” that included demonstrations and student participation. We still wanted our students to be up, moving, and engaged during each lesson.

Step Three: Community Awareness

The ball was rolling! We were bringing the field trip to us! Every Wednesday, our students came to class and were greeted with a new presenter. Once our community and students started to understand Wellness Wednesday, we began to have people reach out to us to see if they could come in to meet with our classes.

Who Visited?

  1. Biomechanics of Sprinting and Running – Biomechanical Trainer
  2. How to keep your body healthy – Tri-Athlete Coach
  3. The Olympic Experience – Olympic Athlete with her Memorabilia
  4. Nutrition with Food Demo (twice) – Certified Nutritionist
  5. Self-Defense and Simple Break Always – Local Martial Art Studio
  6. Fire Safety – Local Fire Department
  7. Mindfulness – Yoga Instructor
  8. Basic Dance Steps (Students completed a choreographed dance) – Dance Instructor and studio members
  9. Safety in Public Venues – Local Police Department
  10. Their Journey to the Pros – Professional Athlete
  11. Health Focus – Family Doctor
  12. Joint Support and Longevity – Physical Therapist

I am always looking for ways to improve our curriculum and create real-life experiences for our students. While continuing to grow Wellness Wednesday, we are also adding First Aid, CPR, and AED training on the Wednesdays when we do not have presenters scheduled.

I would love to hear from you! Please share your ideas and comments below.

Shannon Parengkuan is an Athletic Director and Physical Education teacher for an International Baccalaureate school in McKinney, TX. She has been teaching for 13 years, starting her career in New York before moving to Texas. Throughout her teaching career, she has taught all grade levels K-12 and has coached Basketball, Lacrosse and Field Hockey. Last year, she was awarded the Middle Years Program (MYP) Teacher of the Year and was nominated for the TAHPERD "Teacher of The Year". You can connect with Shannom and find out more about her #PhysEd program on her website, https://physicaleducationpe.wordpress.com/

Shannon Parengkuan is an Athletic Director and Physical Education teacher for an International Baccalaureate school in McKinney, TX. She has been teaching for 13 years, starting her career in New York before moving to Texas. Throughout her teaching career, she has taught all grade levels K-12 and has coached Basketball, Lacrosse and Field Hockey. Last year, she was awarded the Middle Years Program (MYP) Teacher of the Year and was nominated for the TAHPERD "Teacher of The Year". You can connect with Shannom and find out more about her #PhysEd program on her website, https://physicaleducationpe.wordpress.com/

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