Values, Education and Mental Health

While each school year is different, the past two years have been especially difficult; teachers and students were forced to experience both in-person and remote learning, synchronous and asynchronous classes, and hybrid scheduling. Instructors had to teach alone in front of computer screens, bringing to mind Ferris Bueller’s teacher with his monotone “Bueller?...Bueller?...” and no response. Despite all the changes, however, some things remain the same.

Education has always been, and will always be, relational. Without a caring, involved adult to inspire confidence, provide structure, and give meaning to the skill or topic, it is extremely difficult for learning to take place.

Education is also reciprocal. Teachers and staff learn from students as well as vice versa; there is no such thing as wasted interaction.

Education is based on values. It’s important to examine information, skills, and topics from multiple viewpoints to develop truly informed perspectives that are resistant to innuendo and can be incorporated into life decisions. Education teaches people how to think, not what to think.

Education builds mental health by helping students develop self-awareness, empathy, and resiliency. These attributes require in-person interaction. When this type of interaction is lacking, it can have a profoundly negative effect on students of all ages.

Understanding the importance of education is not enough; parents and the general public can support education in a variety of ways. It’s important to recognize the challenges of a teacher’s job and to pay attention to the curriculum being taught. It’s also important to learn about education laws at the federal and state levels, and how your local school district implements the requirements. Attend school board meetings and talk to teachers and principals, while speaking up politely and inspiring respectful discussion. Help your student(s) get the most out of their education experience.

Teachers touch the future today.

For more information, please contact:

Beth Plachetka, LCSW, EdD

Safe Harbor Counseling

76 S. Main Street, Suite A

Sugar Grove, IL 60554