How helpful is health class?

Stella Hadamer

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Photo by Stella Hadamer

Health teacher Lorraine Goldstein leads the class in the first activity of the family life unit. The activities rely heavily on student participation and many enjoy these engaging subjects.

Health class. The semester course that has to be squeezed into schedules at some point in every high school career. Everybody takes it, everybody loves it. Or do they? The discretion of health class has been debated for as long as anyone can remember. Parents and Montgomery County educators have had countless discussions on what to teach and when. However, the importance of health class had been a generally agreed upon topic. WJ students and parents have expressed a positive attitude towards the class and its necessity in the lives of teenagers.

“I think teaching health in school is important because the kids need the knowledge and some parents aren’t comfortable talking about those issues. Knowing that my children know how to get help with these issues is very reassuring as a parent,” WJ parent Leslie Sullivan said.

Health class teaches students about important topics relevant to both physical and mental health. These topics include the dangers of different drugs and alcohol, mental disorders and how to correctly administer first aid. These lessons are not only interesting to learn about, but are also useful for student’s everyday lives.

“Everything we learn in health class has some sort of connection to my life. It is one of the few classes that feels relevant to everyday life and I know the information will stay with me when I leave school,” sophomore Laura Cardoso said.

While the standard topics continue to take up most of the designated curriculum, WJ teachers have also incorporated “wellness activities” into lessons. Classes participate in weekly guided meditations and work on gratitude journals.

“I think the [wellness] activities are great because there is a mental health crisis, especially with young people. These different activities help students in the long run,” Sullivan said.

Along with everyday lessons, WJ also invites speakers to give presentations in health classes on specific topics pertaining to their knowledge and carer. Notable presentations include the Montgomery County police, motivational speakers and experts on various topics.

Teachers integrate different types of lessons into their classes and try and keep the information there within as up to date as possible. As times change and new discoveries in the world of physical and mental health are made, health classes have to be constantly reconditioned.

“You are a perpetual learner as a health teacher because the topics keep evolving and we have to stay current with all of the issues like new drug laws. You have to be mindful of all the new information so you can approach topics in the class in the best way,” Health teacher Lorraine Goldstein said.

Needless to say, Montgomery County and teachers at WJ do their best to update their lessons according to relevant information keeping health classes as helpful to students as possible.