ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

My Wellness Hypocrisy

Bridgette Wagoner, director of Educational Services for Waverly-Shell Rock Schools and former interim director of the Whole Child Award-winning Price Laboratory School, reflects on the process of creating a shared culture of wellness in her district while taking an honest look at her own wellness in "My Wellness Hypocrisy" on her blog Creating a Passion for Learning.

As August comes to a close and we conclude our focus on school staff wellness, Wagoner's reflections are a refreshing reminder that our own health and well-being contributes to our community's culture of wellness. Our struggles and victories are part of the process of creating a more healthy, balanced approach to living, learning, teaching, and leading.

I met with the chairs of my district's Wellness Committee yesterday, and ever since I have been thinking about what I can do as a school leader to support a healthy school community. Unfortunately, I have come to the stark realization that I am part of the problem. I'll grab my scarlet H, plaster it on my chest, and get real about my own wellness hypocrisy.

See, I am the person who had to hedge an excuse for a box of decadent cake balls from the local Bosnian bakery sitting on my desk when a reporter came to talk to me about healthy school meals.

I am the person who brought sinfully sweet gourmet cupcakes to celebrate a colleague's birthday last week. I enjoyed every crumb and didn’t even think about tagging a "sometimes food" disclaimer.

I am the person who lived two blocks from work for six years…and drove there every day, all the while advocating for physical education and health literacy.

Like all seismic cultural shifts, creating a distinct and shared culture of wellness in our district relies on individual people making individual decisions day in and day out to act in accordance with our professed beliefs. Once our "walk" matches our "talk" we have successfully shifted the culture.

So today—and every day after—I will take deliberate steps to match my walk with my talk. Now that I've donned my scarlet H, you can all hold me accountable as I strive to model a life of wellness. I also urge each of you to think about the decisions you can make today to model a healthy lifestyle for your colleagues and your students. 

Share your "wellness hypocrisy." What deliberate steps are you taking to walk your talk this year?

Comments (1)


September 8, 2010

Well stated Bridgette Wagoner!  I, too, struggle with the “Wellness Hypocrisy” that you so eloquently talked about.  Rather than beating myself up using mental self-derogatory thoughts, I often remind myself that all aspects of life and wellness are about balance! 

Personally, I try to have an accountability partner that texts or calls me in the morning to get up and work out at the dreary hour of 4:30 a.m.!  I think I’m well on my way for it becoming a habit!

We have recently reinstated our school’s Wellness Committee in hopes to redefine what wellness truly means.  In addition, we are literally and figuratively taking steps to model what the Whole Teacher looks like, talks like, acts like, and feels like for our school community.  Although not perfect, it’s a start!

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