PBL's... What's the Point? The Cause and Effect of Personal Well-being Days

What even is a PBL? A PBL is West CTA’s spin-off on a personal well-being day which shortens the classes of students on a day once every couple of weeks and lets them participate in activities for about an hour which is supposed to help them relieve a bit of their stress.

The idea behind it is to also try to relieve some of the stress on teachers by helping them take a break from their hectic days. Although the intentions behind the creation of PBL’s are very good, when this plan was set into action, not everyone found it to be very helpful.

Krystal Manuel, a 10th-grade student in the BioMedical Program was one of these people. “I don’t think that idea behind the PBL’s is bad, I just believe that it wasn’t executed in the best way.”

She continues to explain why this is her opinion by saying that, “It takes time off of class and that doesn’t relieve my stress because I know it just means that I will have more homework. Because classes aren’t being changed to fit these schedules, we either cram everything into a shortened period and don’t learn anything, or we only cover a bit and have a lot of homework.”

This is something that, as a student, can be seen very obviously because it seems as though there isn’t enough time in the day for another thing to be added on for students to have to worry about. This main idea doesn’t just apply to students, PBL’s add more work to the plate of teachers as well.

Mrs. Schmidt, an English 11 Honors, and AP Literature and Composition teacher, says, “Chronic stress and anxiety among students and teachers at WCTA have been a longstanding issue and it's something that we sorely needed to address.

The intention behind the Year of Wellness PBL is unquestionably worthy, but the logistics of implementing a wide range of coping strategies that are deeply personal for many people is proving to be quite a challenge. Even if the PBL workshops for stress management are only effective for some people, on the whole, it's a courageous declaration: we are willing to tackle difficult issues as a community”.

In the views of both students and teachers, PBL’s are something that need to be altered in order to be continued at West CTA, otherwise, they end up wasting the time of students and causing unnecessary excess of work.

More than anything though, it is important to address the fact that West CTA should look for new ways to reduce stress but the best way to do that may just be to ask their students and staff what they actually need.

Photo Credit: Investshala

Photo Caption: The main points of a PBL.

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