Wellness for Children Initiative
TREND 1: Teachers Leaving the Work Force
More than 75% of teachers have reported frequent job-related stress, compared to 40% of other working adults and 27% of teachers reported symptoms of depression, compared to 10% of other adults. We have moved from 1 in 6 teachers thinking of leaving the profession prior to COVID to 1 in 4. For Black teachers, that statistic is 1 of 2.
Steiner, Elizabeth D. and Ashley Woo. Job-Related Stress Threatens the Teacher Supply: Key Findings from the 2021 State of the U.S. Teacher Survey, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-A1108-1, 2021. Available at: As of December 14, 2021: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA1108-1.html
TREND 2: Mindfulness Programing in Schools
The practice of mindfulness involves being aware of, and accepting, both the external world and our internal experiences. By teaching mindfulness in the classroom, you can help improve students’ response to stress and reduce their overall stress levels. This can make it useful for social-emotional and mindset skill lessons, as well as for helping students who are feeling overwhelmed. Teachers reported a 14% increase in students’ positive behaviors after the program and an 18% decrease in students’ problem behaviors.
TREND 3: Personalized Learning
Over the past few years, the buzz around personalized learning has been on the rise. Why keep an eye on personalized learning? When a school curriculum is adaptive to a student’s unique needs, it’s more likely to promote student progress because each child can move at their own pace. Plus, adaptive software programs allow teachers to use the same program for all students in their classroom—including those with learning disabilities.
Pane, J.F., Steiner, E.D., Baird, M.D., et al. How Does Personalized Learning Affect Student Achievement? Available at:
TREND 4: Trauma-Informed Practices
Trauma-informed practices refer to any intervention designed to respond to the unique needs of children who have experienced trauma. Because more than half of all children will experience a traumatic event before adulthood, it is essential to conduct training and implement strategies that support these children. Teachers and students have all experienced the traumatic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has raised this trend to even higher levels of discussion than before.
Copeland, W.E., Keeler, G., Angold, A., & Costello, E.J. Traumatic events and posttraumatic stress in childhood. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2007, 64(5), pp. 577-584. Available at: Traumatic Events and Posttraumatic Stress in Childhood | Anxiety Disorders | JAMA Psychiatry | JAMA Network
TREND 5: Bite-Sized Learning
Bite-sized learning teaches children specific academic skills with brief, focused activities. It “takes into account the contemporary demands of learner lifestyles that might hinder longer periods of focused study and time spent in the classroom.” In other words, it allows students to learn real skills that build on each other in convenient, shorter bursts over time instead of all at once in long classroom lessons or lectures.
When classes are taught primarily (or even partially) online, bite-sized learning activities may be especially useful. Strategically using brief activities to teach new skills allows teachers to consider a student’s capacity for long and focused lessons from home. Or, if students are learning in the classroom, this technique can be useful for making the most of time spent in class.
Blue, J. Little and often: bite-sized learning. Cambridge World of Better Learning. April 26, 2018. Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/elt/blog/2018/04/26/bite-sized-learning/
TREND 1: Increased interest from parents in their children’s curriculum at school following lockdown.
TREND 2: Teenagers using apps to support their wellbeing, from sleep to breathwork.
TREND 3: Generational health—grandparents and their grandchildren engaging in wellness activities together.
TREND 4: Mental health being front and center in schools with more support for younger children.
TREND 5: Nutrition in schools improving as the science supports the efforts.
TREND 1: Children’s mental health and wellness
Children’s mental health and wellness, recognizing what mental health in children looks like and what we can do in curriculums in schools to improve children’s abilities to communicate their emotions.
TREND 2: Family wellness retreats or wellness vacations
Family wellness retreats or wellness vacations, where the whole family gets to go together and learns what it is to be well. From cooking together, receiving wellness treatments, whether it’s by a massage, reflexology or aromatherapy but some kind of wellness treatment in a spa setting or in a wellness retreat with their children.
TREND 3: Generational Wellness
Generational wellness, where we have older family members being able to participate with younger members of the family and, in fact, without even being a family member. We see a problem with loneliness across the globe that came up a lot in the globe wellness this summer, how communities are the crook of wellness. When we look at blue zones, and where people are living healthy and happy and becoming one hundred and beyond, the common denominator was community. Not always family but the sense of belonging, sense of purpose and that someone was there that they could connect with. One of the things we talked about with Professor Tylenoly was an Alzheimer’s unit being built, purposely built salutogenic, on the property of Castle Bagot house, property of Junior Geneses. This is something we are looking at, trying to connect the elderly with the young.
TREND 4: Children and their environment
In Scandinavia and New Zealand, there is a trend with children and their environment, having children do school projects that are related specifically to saving the plant. Where the children are not just going out picking up trash off the beach but they are actively in their science programs looking at ways to understand recycling better. This, in fact, improves their awareness of plastics in the ocean, how not to use plastics, and make better choices in their family life in home about sustainability, by using paper goods versus plastic, etc. The project in New Zealand shows the children being more creative about their use of non-plastic. (There is a lot we can speak to in the Caribbean on this type of programming as well.)
TREND 5: Genetic testing for food
Sending away your genetic materials for testing for food. I think you have to do a fecal matter test as well as a saliva test. They take a look at your DNA, and they tell you what foods are suitable for your specific DNA profile. We are looking at the micro bio in children and how they can eat for their health.
TREND 6: Back to basic connections, playful learning and team learning
We’ll go back to basics connection, playful learning, and team learning games. People will become more aware of the importance of exercise and nutrition. Balance—self-awareness and personal development—will start younger.
The Global Wellness Institute serves as an umbrella organization for numerous Initiatives, that are independently chaired and run. The resources, editorial, research and opinions presented by the Initiatives do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Global Wellness Institute.