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The Pressure is On

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.”

Full Article:


10 Challenges Facing Public Education Today


 BY AMANDA LITVINOVBRENDA ÁLVAREZCINDY LONG, AND TIM WALKER


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/>.

Account Associate

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[Chelsea]

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.

Who is the Modern Student?

It's time to look at face value the broad spectrum of factors “the Modern Student” may be dealing with at any given time. While some students may have low amounts of stress, the following is a snapshot of some of the stressors our youth population may be dealing with mentally and emotionally when they enter your classroom:

  • Academic pressure
  • Physical/emotional abuse
  • Addiction(s)
  • Potential gun violence in school
  • Hunger and eating disorders
  • Social media anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sports performance anxiety
  • And more...

Our commitment is to offer information, practices and resources to help nurture your healthy connections with today's youth.

The Importance of Connection

There are many benefits to exploring how we foster connection with the people in our lives. Regardless of profession, it is through our healthy connection with others that our most meaningful relationships occur. It is also our own mental footing, and how we prepare our minds, that sets the stage for the contributions we make as individuals to those relationships.


This week’s note is to highlight the element of connection as part of our 2019-2020 priority. We’ll explore the importance of connection, how we show up in our relationships, and how this is key in our opportunities to reach youth.


What is Mindfulness

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way:

on purpose, in the present moment and non judgmentally."

- Jon Kabat-Zinn-

Have you been interested in mindfulness practices but unsure of where to begin? Or, are you well underway in daily practice(s) and experiencing first-hand the effects on your own health, nervous system, and relationships? 

 

Regardless of where you may be in this, we are committed to providing you credible content and easy to implement practices that promote equanimity, as you manage day to day stress and meet a variety of issues in the classroom.

 

“In the act of teaching, there is significantly more occurring than the presentation and/or exchange of cognitive information.”

-Source: Mindful Schools -

We admit we’ve never done this before…

We want you to know we have been working on something that by design, is just for you. And we admit, this is the most we have ever resourced a priority specifically for the success of our employees and the students you serve.


You’ll be hearing from us with more on this 2019-2020 school year initiative.


Watch for things like: “The Modern Student,” “The Science of Stress," and maybe, “What is Mindfulness?"...


As the time goes on, please check back to this category to review fresh content that will be posted every week.


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