By: Samantha Connelly
In addition to the added period, the school district has added ten extra minutes to sixth period designated for “Social and Emotional Learning”. Social and Emotional Learning includes certain exercises focusing on mental health and bonding experiences within the classroom. In addition they have also attempted to provide closure to students with four suicide prevention hotlines on the back of student IDs, this being one of the very few attempts of the school district to try and solve a problem that shouldn’t be there in the first place. However, this type of learning and awareness does not require extra time to be spent in the classroom and is a waste of time.
Student mental health is not a newly discovered thing, with 91% of generation Z having anxiety according to physcologytoday.com. The mental health and stress level of students should have been accounted for years ago, and now that the school district is trying to approach it they are taking away class time. In an effort to address this, teachers should show their students how much they understand the stress of their students by the amount of homework they assign to their students. School is not meant to make life worse, but instead to teach knowledge and prepare people for careers and college.
There is a diversity of backgrounds in high school that should be pointed out as well. Not everyone has the access to technology to do online work and some do not have the transportation to gain access. The time on a school campus should be used appropriately and usefully and even ten minutes of work can be crucial. Instead of using school time to do school work we are expected to do bonding activities with people we may only see for 40 to 50 minutes a day.
Not only were students required to add another class to their day but were not offered an option for a study hall period. The new addition was intended to help students get all the credits they needed, making them up or otherwise, and to give students more choices. Allowing them to manage their own time was not an option, however.
Some studies have found that aggression among students is reduced with social and emotional learning. However, teachers shouldn’t be concerned about their students’ mental health because they are required to do so. Teachers should go through training on how to incorporate “social and emotional” learning in their lectures and class time.
Students shouldn’t have to give up their valuable time in the school setting dedicated to something non-academic. At a younger age the mental health of students should be held at a higher importance so that in higher education this would not be a problem to be addressed.