An excerpt from 10 Challenges Facing Public Education Today
Kathy Reamy, a school counselor at La Plata High School in La Plata, Md., says the trend is unmistakable.
“Honestly, I’ve had more students this year hospitalized for anxiety, depression, and other mental-health issues than ever,” says Reamy, who also chairs the NEA School Counselor Caucus. “There’s just so much going on in this day and age, the pressures to fit in, the pressure to achieve, the pressure of social media.”
It doesn’t help, adds Denise Pope of Stanford University, that schools have become “a pressure cooker for students and staff…and student and teacher stress feed off each other.”
According to a 2018 study by the University of Missouri,
93% of elementary school teachers report they are “highly stressed.”
Stressful schools aren’t healthy for anyone. There’s nothing wrong with a little pressure, a little nervousness over an exam, or a teacher who wants students to succeed. We all feel pressure, but something else is going on.
The causes and convergence of teacher and student stress has been a growing concern over the past decade. Research has consistently shown that stress levels in newer educators especially is leading many of them to exit the profession within five years.
Teachers need adequate resources and support in their jobs in order to battle burnout and alleviate stress in the classroom. If we do not support teachers, we risk the collateral damage of students.
"Honestly, I've had more students this year hospitalized for anxiety, depression, and other mental-health issues than ever."
- Kathy Reamy -
Schools Counselor, La Plata High School
La Plate, Maryland
One solution for students could be more one-on-one time with psychologists and counselors. But that’s a challenge since so many of those positions have been cut and are not coming back. That said, more and more schools take the issue of stress seriously, and have begun to look at ways to change policies over homework, class schedules, and later school start times to help alleviate the pressure many students feel.
“People are finally seeing what negative stress does to the body, what that does to the psyche, and what it does to school engagement,” says Pope. “Schools and communities know stress is a problem and they want solutions.”
10 Challenges Facing Public Education Today
Litvinov, Amanda, Brenda Álvarez, Cindy Long, and Tim Walker. "10 Challenges Facing Public Education Today." NEA Today. 13 Nov. 2018. 23 July 2019 <http://neatoday.org/2018/08/03/10-challenges-facing-public-education-today/>.
Rachel Wixey & Associates
I chose this article because I thought this article would help open the eyes of some to see really how many challenges come up in the education system. It’s not just one issue, it’s so many, and they all have a deep impact on everyone.