Having good mental health is key during this pandemic

Having good mental health is key during this pandemic

Angeli Thompson, Contributing Writer

Your first day of high school can be very stressful, here at Solon High School (SHS), the staff tries their best to ease their kids’ stress and make sure they’re where they need to be, whether that be with their classes or mentally. Transitioning from middle school to high school virtually is a big change, but it’s not only a change for students. It’s a difficult change for staff and everyone else at the school, like sophomores, juniors and seniors. The staff is trying their very best to make the students feel at ease with this new change by providing ways to stay connected as well as staying positive. 

Since school is not in person, there have been a lot of new things happening at the high school and learning is different. Teachers have to come up with new ways to teach their students, and because it’s not face-to-face, it’s hard to tell whether their students are struggling or not. That’s why the staff has been reaching out to each student via email individually to check up on them and ask them how they’re doing.

According to SHS Student Facilitator Jodi Lurie, the staff has been trying to reach out to more students, especially freshman, and help them stay connected. 

“The school counselors work with [the students and] there are several programs from [the] Freshman Mentoring Program (FMP), to one-on-one meetings where they’re constantly meeting with the freshman. And a part of that is making sure they know the supports in the building,” Lurie said.

It’s understandable that incoming freshmen are having a hard time with this transition, so knowing they have help during this time is helpful for students. The teachers will reach out to them so that the stress of asking for help can be relieved if they’re scared to reach out. 

According to Principal Erin Short of SHS, there have been some positives to come out of this situation. She and the staff have learned a lot through this time, and it changed how they view their teaching techniques and how they get to know their students in the school and prepare them for graduation. The students feel more protected by doing online learning, and they don’t have to feel scared about going to teacher’s for help. 

“Some kids have felt a little protection by doing it through the computer or by email so there’s even more conversation,” Short said. “I think it’s forced us as an administration to rethink how we do things and what’s really important. We’ve always put so much pressure on it being perfect and beautiful, but at the end of the day the kids want to be together, they want to be with their families, they want to get their diploma and they want to be celebrated.” 

Teacher’s have been reaching out to kids that maybe didn’t know they even had that support in the building when they were going to school. 

According to Valarie Smith, a school psychologist for SHS, the teacher’s need to stop stressing and relax.

“[Just watching] these breakout groups, even observing classes, the teachers are really hard on themselves,” Smith said. “But going into these breakout rooms, [I see] amazing things happening. [The teachers] don’t realize it because they’re putting so much pressure on themselves. But students are thriving and doing okay, for the most part.” 

The teacher’s should stop putting so much pressure on themselves and start realizing that the students are doing just fine and they don’t need to worry. 

Lurie, Short and Smith all had a lot of advice to give to students during this hard time, one main thing is to stay connected. 

“It’s the same advice I would give adults,” Short said. “Stay connected and stay grounded in the moment. I have to remind myself of that from time to time. We have to live in the moment and deal with the facts that we have. Make the most of it and try to find silver linings every day.”  

All-in-all, mental health is very important whether it’s during a pandemic or any other time. Knowing you have people to help you through your struggles is what makes SHS so amazing. The teachers and staff really try to make sure you are where you need to be not only physically, but mentally as well.

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