The Paw Print

Students Know Stress, But Do Teachers Know It Too?

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Sara Raubvogel, Outreach Editor

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Students are stressed at Woodside High School, and, with the new school year starting, some worry that their teachers may not understand the stress they feel in their classes.

 

In the Bay Area, stress is a large issue among students, stemming largely from an overload on school, homework, and extracurriculars. This is a huge issue, and the California suicide rate is about 11 suicides for every 100,000 students. Many of these deaths are high school students. Pressure is placed upon the whole school to succeed, and it isn’t necessarily helping students.

 

Looking at a different perspective, teachers argue that they are trying to understand the stress put on students, and many argue that they try not to fill up a high schooler’s schedule with homework. In most cases, when a teacher understands stress, they can reduce it.

 

Hope Farrar, a Woodside senior, admits that, “Typically, my homework load makes me very stressed and worried, especially when it is split between many classes.”

 

Along with the upperclassmen, freshman face the issues of stress, too. For example, freshman, Kelsey Espinal agrees, “I have a lot of homework.. I do feel stressed out sometimes.”

 

However, Farrar argues that stress often acts as an incentive for students to work and could be less of an issue if teachers were to provide opportunities for students to organize their time.

 

“While I do get stress from school, I don’t think it’s a big issue because it forces me to do all of my work. Teachers can help make it less stressful by updating canvas, and creating a better environment for students to ask questions [and] get extensions on assignments,” Farrar says.

 

Although stress may push students to do better, Espinal remarks, “I feel like [stress] kind of does affect my life because I won’t have time to do stuff that I want and I will just be doing homework.”

 

English teacher Jascha Dolan remarks that he is sympathetic to what his students are going through, having experienced the stresses of being a high school student himself at one point

 

“I do feel that I understand and connect to student stress,” Dolan explains, “I was a student for a long time.. And I remember how hard it can be to balance extracurricular activities and school.. I definitely try to put myself in student’s shoes when I’m thinking about work and homework load.”

 

On the other hand, Joseph Ezrati, a Science teacher, hopes he doesn’t have a huge affect on his student’s lives.

 

“Homework, in general, I get [that it] probably impacts students lives quite a bit in that it may prevent them from doing things that they might want to do. But hopefully mine isn’t the main culprit for that.”

 

Ezrati’s wish may come true, as his homework might not be the whole cause of stress. Farrar says that her extracurriculars play a huge part in the busyness of her life.

 

Farrar tells us, “I usually feel stressed from my homework, because I participate in extensive extracurricular activity.”

 

So, it seems, Woodside students struggle with the balance of school and life, just as those before them did, with some teachers try to change the stresses put on their students, and others leaving it up to the student to manage their own time.

 

Eztrati explains, “First year of teaching was homework every night… and now I try to be really conscious about what the assignment I’m giving is…”

 

On the contrary, Dolan does not plan on changing the system.

 

“I don’t have any plans on completely revamping it,” Dolan admits, “Every year, I think to myself, ‘is the homework that I’m assigning meaningful?’ and if it’s not, it’s my job as a teacher to kinda get rid of it or find something else.”

 

Teachers may try to help and be conscientious about students’ other responsibilities, but Espinal says, “Teachers don’t really help out because a due date is a due date… I mean they say they [understand student stress], but they can be more understanding. Some are just really strict and they don’t really help.”

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