Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Did you work in your school newspaper? I didn't. My high school years were my poetry years. I worked on the literary magazine. If I am really lucky none of those deeply felt poems are still floating around.

School newspapers have gone digital. It saves paper. I bumped into the current issue of the Oakland Mills Scroll on Twitter last night. I'd like to recommend this editorial, entitled "It's All In Your Head". The author is Deanna Neudecker. It's a thoughtful and astute look at mental health issues.

Over the time period that this student and her classmates have been in school, the emphasis has been on testing and more testing, signing up for multiple AP classes. Many of our students are burdened beyond the coping point. We tell them that this is for the best. They must be college and career ready. They must be good little widgets and then they will win the prize.

But people are not widgets. People have physical and emotional needs. We have shifted the emphasis so far in one direction that it is I wonder that many of our students feel out of balance.

Of course, not all mental health issues are those coming about due to stress. Some are genetic, for instance. No matter what the cause, we need to provide a network of support for young people so that they know that who they are as a human being is every bit as valuable as their test scores. Even more, actually. We need to design the course of study to include a greater variety of learning experiences, and dedicate ourselves to finding a decent social-emotional curriculum as well.

If our kids are struggling, no one should tell them "It's All In Your Head."

Read the editorial.

Then add your comments over on Facebook.

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