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The Student News Site of Urbana High School

THE HAWKEYE

The Student News Site of Urbana High School

THE HAWKEYE

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The Ineffectiveness of SEL Lessons

Senior, Daniella Delgado, feel asleep in class.
Lily Woodham
Senior, Daniella Delgado, feel asleep in class.

  Urbana started to put in SEL lessons during set, but it was almost better when they didn’t do anything at all. An effortless, black and white slideshow that anyone could throw together in 5 minutes makes students feel even less seen than when there were no lessons in place. 

    The issue partially begins with teachers not presenting them to the students in the designated time frame, but it is difficult since administration never posts them. Emily Wlodarczyk, a senior at Urbana, says that in her time here, “I have seen one. From that one it seemed very rushed and there was no effort put into it. There was like one video and that was it. It just seemed like they didn’t actually care and they only did it to say that they did it.” This is a common feeling from students around UHS. 

   Even if they are shown to students, they are not effective in the slightest. I asked a student at Urbana who wishes to stay anonymous how much effort they feel administration is putting into these lessons on a scale of 1-10. After thinking about it for a while, they responded with, “1- none. Honestly, by doing one 3 slide shows telling us that ‘stress is bad’  it is more harmful than not doing it at all. The lack of care for SEL shows us students that there is a lack of care for us.”

   Emily Schueftan is a senior at Urbana, who completed a research paper about a similar topic. It discusses the issues seen throughout the country on SEL lessons, “When SEL is taught in high schools, it is often because it is mandated by the county in a public school system. Because of this, it is often implemented as something every teacher has to do a few times a year with one of their classes.” 

   Urbana has been trying to figure out the most effective way to implement SEL lessons. My sophomore year, we were all assigned classrooms to go into based on a form that we filled out. We did this every Friday for the second semester of the school year. However, my group could never seem to find anything that we have in common, so it made it very difficult to find something to talk about. We would sit there and listen to videos and then type in a slideshow how we were feeling.

   This year, Urbana administration sends out slideshows to teachers that are supposed to be shown during set, however this rarely happens making the lessons ineffective. Daniella Delgado is a senior at Urbana and was asked if she felt like the school cared about her mental health in which she responded, “Not really, some do.” This answer remained the same when asked if the teachers care about her school work. 

   Having ineffective mental health lessons is not just an issue that is occurring at Urbana. Some of the ways that Urbana can start to make a change is to have more 1-on-1 involvement with guidance counselors and teachers. Students should also be placed into a group of people that they are comfortable with and not just a random google form that says they have something in common. Mental health is a serious issue that deserves more than a black and white slideshow. 

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About the Contributor
Lily Woodham, Reporter
  Lily Woodham is a senior here at Urbana High School and she has had a great experience so far. Being involved in sports and academics has made a big impact on her experience and is what truly made her time here so great. The sports she is involved in are field hockey in the fall, and softball in the spring. Her favorite memory from senior year so far was during field hockey season when UHS beat BCC for the first time in program history. A core memory from high school for Lily is the Urbana softball team winning the state championship in 2023. The win was dedicated to Coach Jeremy Magers who passed a couple monthes before her junior softball season.    Outside of school, Lily is usually attending a sporting event here at Urbana or hanging out with friends.  She loves going to the hockey games every Friday to support some of those friends. Lily is very excited for the new year and can’t wait for summer, her favorite time of year. She loves the warm weather, no school, summer softball, hanging out with friends, and vacations but, what she is most excited for is the bright future ahead of her. In the fall, she is attending the University of Mary Washington where she is committed to play softball. She says “It’s always been a dream of mine to play the sport I love at the collegiate level.”

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