A North Texas fitness instructor is tackling teacher stress, and burnout with a focus on health and mental wellness. It’s a special fitness challenge for just teachers who want to destress outside of the classroom.
Will Clewis is a former teacher now on a mission to make it happen and it’s Something Good.
“Gonna try it one more time. Two claps, two claps, one clap, and Go. AHH!” fitness expert Clewis said to a class of teachers at Adams Elementary School in Arlington.
Wake Up to Something Good
Every morning, NBC 5 Today is dedicated to delivering you positive local stories of people doing good, giving back and making a real change in our community.
“Most teachers don’t prioritize their health. That’s how it happened to me,” Clewis said. “And that’s how it happens to the majority of teachers.”
For five years, Will Clewis taught 7th grade Texas history.
“And from the time that I started after a couple of years, I had gained like 50 pounds," Clewis said. "I was stressed out. I didn’t see my family. there was unhealthy food everywhere, and that kind of put me in a place that I didn’t want to be."
Clewis started training and eventually opened his own gym nearly a decade ago with a mission to change lifestyles. Now his new focus is on the physical and mental health of teachers, partnering with North Texas schools to help destress stressed and burned out educators.
His goal is to inspire true transformation, not just quick change.
“Most people have self-doubt, they don’t believe in themselves, they have dramatic pasts, and those are the things that I really try to focus on,” Clewis said.
“Everyday there is a message surrounding growth, positivity, just really helping you become the best version of yourself,” said Jalie Morris, an Intervention Specialist at Fort Worth’s Dunbar High School.
“I think I realized I was really stressed out when I would be going to my car and just crying, to be honest,” Morris said. “My stress has improved tremendously to where when I go back the next day, I’m really able to give kids my all and I’m not just giving them 50% or 75%.”
“Everything starts with a vision, and this was just an idea that I had,” Clewis said.
That vision is helping teachers perform better in the classroom and in their personal lives.
“I feel like my confidence has improved, not only am I enjoying the improvements that I am seeing in my body, but just kind of that mental growth,” Morris said.
Clewis’ four week challenges for teachers is something he’d like to keep going long-term. He plans to continue to partner with North Texas school districts to continue to destress, stressed out teachers.