School Is Not Just Academics

Grace Campanello, Journalist

Recently at Ipswich High School, all staff received the Social and Emotional Intelligence training. Surprisingly, a “large percentage of teachers leave their profession after a few years because of the overwhelming stress of the physical, emotional, and psychological demands of the job.” Every student brings their emotional issues into the classroom causing them to misbehave which then becomes a problem for the teacher, as well as the student. Luckily, with the new Social and Emotional Intelligence training, teachers will have a better understanding of what their students go through and how to help them overcome their difficulties. Also, this training will “allow teachers to become more confident in their profession as they are also developing their own Social and Emotional Intelligence” through educating their students. In an attempt to get more information about how the training could impact the school, I asked a senior student, Casey Nordberg, and school adjustment counselor, Ms. Ryan. 

During my interview with Casey, she told me that she hasn’t seen any drastic changes in how her teachers instruct classes. However, for teachers she doesn’t know, she feels as though they are at least acknowledging how much work students have and that there is a change in their understanding of how many things students have to do every day as high schoolers.

Senior student, Casey Nordberg

Casey also hopes that this training allows teachers to understand how their amount of assigned work influences the mental health of their students. She described how “teachers are there to prepare us for the world and should be there for students to go to or for any issue other than what is going on in the class.” This is extremely important as most students and teachers experience a disconnect when deciding the appropriate amount of work. Maybe now, teachers will understand.

School Adjustment Counselor, Christine Ryan

I was interested in how the new training and school policy impact one another at Ipswich, so I reached out to school adjustment counselor, Ms. Ryan, to find out more. During my interview, I was pleased to learn that the Massachusetts Department of Education has been changing standards to educate teachers on the training. There are people out there who do care about students outside of their academics. Ms. Ryan also added that since students see their teachers on a regular basis, “teachers get to know their students’ demeanor and if that changes, they’ll know that something is wrong or not quite right.” Students should feel like they can rely on teachers, especially because they get the chance to really know you by seeing you every day of the week and are able to create a one-on-one bond. Ms. Ryan believes that this training will make the environment of Ipswich High School more positive and supportive.

Students want to feel like they can be heard. Hopefully, the Social and Emotional Intelligence training will provide students and teachers with the resources they need to be successful. After all, we do see each other five days a week so I think it’s safe to say we are already comfortable with each other for the most part. We just don’t have the confidence in dealing with the mental and emotional side of school yet. The new training will help teachers and staff strive to make everyone feel more safe and supported throughout their days at school.