School is supposed to prepare us to live a healthy, happy, successful life. But there are huge, important concepts that are often completely left out of our education. Some of the most important things that we will have to deal with or experience in our lives are things we hardly get to learn about in school. How are we supposed to be prepared to go out into the world, or even get through high school if it we aren’t taught how to cope, communicate, love, analyze our influences, and just take care of ourselves in general?
There is so much emphasis on subjects like math, English, and science, which are all very important and beneficial but why are they the core things we’ve been learning for our entire education?
“Life is more than math, reading, writing, science, and taking tests. It’s about connecting with emotions, coping in a healthy manner, and learning how to empathize with others,” said health and leadership teacher, Camille Adana.
We are going to experience loss, we are going to fall in love, we’re going to get scared, we’re going to be challenged, we’re going to be stressed, and a lot of those things are already happening right now, but very few of us are actually given the opportunity to talk about it or learn how to deal with it. Deciding not to talk or teach about these things is not helping anyone, and ignoring it rather than teaching it can actually take away from the other subjects because if students don’t feel comfortable, safe, understood, and accepted, it can affect how we perform academically.
“We need to do a better job at teaching empathy and emotional intelligence in our schools and I think that every subject area can do that. If we do that early on, like in preschool years even, that carries on throughout the rest of schooling,” said English and College and Career teacher Claire Millon. “If you do it early, then you have a really strong foundation. People might think it takes up too much instruction time and say we have to teach math and English–and obviously those things are really important–but I think if people can’t emotionally regulate and feel safe, then it’s going to get in the way of learning.”
We have this huge system that is supposed to be teaching us about the world around us and how we can live in it, but we’re often completely unaware of the huge things that are going on in our world today. There are things so many people face daily that have to do with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and so much more and we all play a part in those things. People need to be learning how to be supportive allies, how to educate themselves and others about issues like this, and we need to be creating safe environments for all people.
“I believe that there needs to be more education surrounding social justice issues and current affairs in schools. Social justice is a topic too often overlooked and too often misunderstood. Students need to be educated about the impacts of current injustices people face on a day to day basis that are overlooked because they are considered ‘normal.’ If people were more aware of the issues that we still face daily around racism, gender inequality, homophobia, and countless others, maybe we would be able to grow as a culture and empathize with one another on a more regular basis,” said sophomore Adam Nayak. “Most of what we are taught in school seems out of date and I would love to see schools teach us about current politics and things that are happening in the world that we don’t even know about.”
Amazing things could happen if schools were teaching people how to take care of themselves and each other. That’s it. If we simply went into more detail about what it means to be a person in this world, there could be huge shifts in our society.