Teachers and staff help students reduce stress

Tyvon Smith, In-Depth Editor

At Omaha North, teachers are aware of stress that could possibly be burden on their students. Being assigned a load of coursework in challenging classes is an obstacle within itself.

Omaha North admissions counselor Kevin Custard gives preparation advice to students when registering for the following year’s courses.

“Number one would be plans for post-graduation because they can start to take courses for their future career in high school rather than college,” Custard said.

Custard advises students to know the harder the class is in high school, the easier it will be to make the transition into college.

“Usually if kids are stressed, it is because they are trying to do too much for scholarships they look at involvement, the system is a double-edged sword,” Custard said.

For Omaha North math teacher Jenna Hotze, her coursework load is always designed behind what she’s getting her students ready for at the time.

“Usually I give them all of their work at the beginning of the unit so they can plan their work schedule on their own time with typically fifteen to seventy problems being assigned to them due to the level of the class,” Hotze said.

Hotze is aware of the stress that could be caused on students as a teacher, trying to get everything done. Some of her students, like in her Honors and Advanced Placement Pre-Calculus classes, may be in other Advanced Placement classes as well which could add to their stress.

“I feel for them, so that’s why I usually give their work to them in the beginning to help them out,” Hotze said.

Hotze is available in the homework help room and after school a Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 3:00-5:00 to assist students if their stress from math carries outside of the classroom.

Honors Advanced Creative Writing and Modern World and Advanced Placement World History teacher, James Ahern, gives the amount of work to each of his classes accordingly to the classroom setting.

“For Modern World History, the daily work consists of two or three pages of reading, with answering follow up questions; for AP students there are mostly written assignments which particularly are essays which take longer,” Ahern said.

Over the years, Ahern has significantly cut back on the work load.

“It was stressful for me too because grading all that stuff was hard, so I try to limit that,” Ahern said.

Giving students a doable amount of work has been a pretty good job on both his part and his students’ from his point of view.

When students choose to enroll in Ahern’s Advanced Placement World History or Honors Advanced Creative Writing, they should be prepared to work hard.

“You can’t be a passive participant in your education. Students are going to have to talk and write, they can’t just sit there and absorb,” Ahern said.

Ahern notices when a cause of stress comes from work that he assigns.

“In that respect, if something I’ve assigned is stressful to students, that particular assignment may need extra time,” Ahern said.

In Ahern’s position, he cares to see students improve rather than rushing to get their assigned completed and on time.

“If I’m just going to give a student a zero because they didn’t get it done on time, the learning part doesn’t happen and that’s the part that I care about,” Ahern said.