Caring for the Mind, Body and Spirit of Our Students

By Jenna Dowers
Elementary Education (Emphasis in English) Major, College of Education

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The mind, body and spirit are essential components that make us human beings. If one of these components is not working properly, then a student might need extra help in order to be able to succeed in the classroom.

As future educators, we have the opportunity to help our future students with all of these essential factors, whether a child has to repeat a grade or take a physical education course, or needs our help through the power of prayer.

Caring for the Mind

If a student is struggling, teachers have the opportunity to provide additional assistance and extra attention. But, what if that isn’t enough? Do we hold them back a grade or let them continue to move forward and struggle?

I believe that it depends on what grade level that child is in. If the student is in elementary school and is struggling to move forward, then it may be beneficial for that student to repeat a grade in order for them to fully understand and eventually move forward without struggling through the rest of their education career.

When it comes to a student who is still struggling and is either in middle school or high school, it could be detrimental for them because it could be embarrassing to see their classmates move forward while they are left behind.

Before the decision is made about a student repeating a grade, we need to make sure that everything that can be done has been done. In all, if a student is struggling and they have gone through all of the available options to bring them up to grade level and they are still struggling, then they should not move forward into the next grade level.

Caring for the Body

Besides academic concerns, we need to also be mindful that physical education, recess and obesity may be contributing factors in a student’s success. The common denominator between them is that they all have something to do with the physical health of a child. In the article, “Schools Role in the Childhood Obesity Crisis” it states, “reported a positive correlation between physical activity and academic performance” (Peaceful Playgrounds, 2012).

If schools provide access to some sort of physical activity during the day, then children will do better in school with their academic performance. Recess is great for the elementary school kids because they aren’t old enough to have a dedicated P.E. class, but they still get the chance to be physically active.

For middle school and high school kids, a mandatory P.E. class should be required not only for the child to have a higher chance in succeeding in school, but also so that they are healthier. Of course, there are other factors that go into someone being obese, but with the school’s help, a child could be impacted tremendously by giving them the opportunity to be physically active.

Caring for the Spirit

As a Christian believer, I think that it is very important to promote prayer and meditation in schools, too. Prayer helps all three of the aspects of a human being’s wellness: the mind, body and spirit. I know that prayer has made a big impact on my life, especially going to a Christian college where the majority of my professors pray over their students, if not every day, than before a big test.

Praying helps calm the nerves and anxiety of having a big test or assignment. As a future educator, prayer will give a deeper sense of letting my future students know that I care and I am here for them if they need anything, even if it doesn’t involve school itself. Therefore, I believe that it is necessary to promote spirituality and meditation within the classroom.

The mind, body and spirit are the most essential attributes to make up human being. We, as future educators, can have such a big impact on our future students, whether that be with educating them; giving them the opportunity to be healthier, which in turn could affect their academic performance; and lastly, but most importantly, showing them that we care through prayer and by opening the door for them to hear about Jesus.

The College of Education at Grand Canyon University focuses on helping future educators reach their full potential, with education based on the pillars of learning, leading and serving. Find out more by visiting our website.


  • Schools Role in the Childhood Obesity Crisis. (2012). Retrieved January 27, 2016, from

More About Jenna:

Jenna Dowers, a sophomore at Grand Canyon University, is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in English. Additionally, she serves as a student worker in the College of Education building at the front desk. She grew up in a small town in California called Ramona, in the mountains above San Diego. Growing up there allowed her to be very involved in the community, school and church. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and camping, working out and spending time with friends. It has been a blessing to be able to attend GCU with all of the great classes and fun opportunities. She loves her experience at GCU so far and is looking forward to see what the next two years have in store!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.