The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

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EDITORIAL: Students are not alone

Strath Haven staff have helped students overcome the challenge of the new school year.
ILLUSTRATION: The front of Strath Haven High School on a fall day

A successful school is made up of two things: good students and great teachers.

As students, our responsibility every day is to go to school, pay attention in class, and do our homework. Not many people adore going back to school and taking this responsibility for the nine and a half months to come.

On the other hand, teachers have to prepare for each lesson days or weeks in advance, make sure every kid feels welcome in their classroom, grade assignments, and manage a home life that kids don’t have the same type of duty to shoulder.

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These responsibilities are a balance, and both students and teachers carry weight. At Strath Haven, many teachers are constantly accommodating for us, the students.

Our school has a fantastic group of teachers who work together to make Strath Haven a great school and community, while also teaching students important subjects and life skills. As easy as it is for students to feel frustrated coming back to school, we need to remember that everyone, staff included, is working to make the first few weeks a success.

Recently, teaching has become a much harder job. With the shift to eHallpass and the move to Schoology coming up, teachers have to take more into consideration in the classroom. Students have different learning styles, and the importance of mental health is increasing every day.

Adjusting back to normal school life after the pandemic has proven difficult. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly teachers are quitting their jobs at record-highs, and even fewer teachers are coming in than ever before. Strath Haven is fortunate to have teachers in every classroom.

Our educators have done a great job so far of supporting students and guiding them through the tough transition. Not only have they advocated for our success educationally, but they have also made incredible efforts in supporting student health and happiness.

Outside of the classroom, educators implemented small but mighty efforts to make students feel comfortable, such as the new blue furniture in front of the library. Each club gave 10-minute interest meetings, set up so that none would overlap. Educators also addressed student health, such as when Band Director Mr. Nick Pignataro allowed the band to go without uniforms during the Ridley game due to the heat that day.

We have so many clubs to choose from, as evidenced by the number of booths at the Activities Fair. From cats to robotics to foreign cultures, Strath Haven has provided an ample amount of opportunities for students to get involved. Community building and service clubs have also been on the rise; one of these examples being a new breast cancer awareness club called ‘Unite for Her,’ advised by Social Studies Teacher Mrs. Amanda Lawson.

Without the support of teachers, and their ability to adapt to the shifts between paper and technology, many students would not have been able to succeed. Educators at Strath Haven address mental health and stress avoidance frequently and go out of their way to provide support for students who may be going through difficulties or hardships.

Students are incredibly busy, especially during the fall, with extracurricular activities, family obligations, schoolwork, and other priorities, such as college applications. The stress can be overwhelming for teenagers, and the support from teachers makes all the difference.

Often, we like to pin some of our troubles on teachers. Sitting at your desk far past midnight, wishing you were doing anything but homework, you wish that your teacher had been more lenient with the workload. Or maybe, you’re hanging out with your friends, but waiting for a grade from a test you took months ago.

At the same time, one of your teachers might be grading your assignments. English and history teachers pick over essays, many trying to give constructive feedback instead of passive checkmarks. Math and science teachers trace your steps, figuring out exactly where you went wrong, compiling the data, so tomorrow, they can talk about the questions that students had trouble with.

Again, neither the students’ tasks nor the teachers’ tasks are more important. To make Strath Haven a successful school, we all have to do our part.

This is not to say that it’s okay, or even expected, that students and teachers work past midnight. As a community, there are unrealistic burdens we all share.

That’s why we should stop to thank the teachers who work long hours, the ones who analyze your work, the ones who want to see you thrive long past the time you’ll know them.

A teacher who provides guidance and support to their students is the kind of educator one can find at Strath Haven. Perhaps you can take the time today to appreciate a specific teacher that has helped you during your time here.*

This story was originally published on Panther Press on September 28, 2023.