What Teachers want Students to know

Jocelyn Gonzalez, Copy Editor

As the first month of being back in school has approached, students feel, once again, the stress and the overall hecticness that is involved. With all this craziness going on, and it only being the first month, students might feel more exhausted than ever. Luckily, teachers are mainly the best source of guidance for students to prevent those late nights of studying by granting students pieces of useful advice. 


Most teachers, like Ms. Lee, who teaches Botany and Link Crew Leadership, advises students to take advantage of seeking help, especially since most students are in-person. Help is always provided, even if it is a small question you have, it is always a great idea to ask for help. 


“It takes a lot of courage and bravery to ask for help when you need it and it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help when you need it,” Lee stated. “Definitely reach out for help. We got lots of tutors on campus, both teachers and students, that are willing to help.”


Students do tend to not seek help because it can be scary, however asking for help benefits students in many ways. Ms. Lee also encourages students to know that this big transition from distance learning to now in-person learning is a bit challenging, but it is okay to feel that anxiety, as this is a new year with a whole new way of schooling. 


“Don’t rush back and feel like you have to be where you were before we left because of Covid. This is a huge transition for students and teachers,” Lee says. “Be very open with your teachers about how you’re doing, how you’re coping. You’ll find a lot of teachers are struggling in the same ways and we’re trying to balance how much we can all work together to make sure we’re doing our best in this transition, that is not back to normal.”


Procrastination is a major battle that most students fight among themselves, due to all the distractions students encounter on a daily basis. Like most teachers, Mrs. Nastase, who teaches World History and AP Psychology, understands that procrastination is a problem for some students. She admits that she deals with leaving things at the last minute too, however, she provides a way to prevent procrastination. 


“Spaced repetition, which is hands down, has been shown to be the best way to learn information for the long term and most students don’t do it,” Nastase says. “[Students don’t do it] because it takes more pre-planning and a lot of students leave it for the last minute, so the only choice is to cram it.”


It is all about time management which students struggle with, as planning ahead can be a tough task. Most students can relate with the fact that cramming things in our heads is the way students sometimes study. Spaced repetition is one way students can better their study habits and it can be a beneficial way for students to study.


Using an example, Mrs. Nastase further explains how spaced repetition works. “For a big test [like a final or SAT/ACT] instead of spending three hours studying, your brain would love you so much more if you spend one hour on three different days,” Nastase stated. “You’re getting the same amount of time but you’re breaking it up for your brain. Letting your brain take a breath once in a while, is going to help get [the information] up there better.”


Mrs. Nastase not only believes that spaced repetition will benefit students’ study habits, but also, doing at least something rather than doing nothing. She said that doing a bit of work and turning that in, is so much better than turning nothing at all. 


Teachers want their students to succeed and give their best efforts in order to excel, however, being a student is tough and not always a pleasure due to the load of work being assigned. Therefore, sometimes self-motivation can be difficult if a student feels like a failure due to all the stress that is involved. 


Teachers, like Mrs. Bean, who teaches Honors English 10, English 12 College Prep, and Appreciation of Poetry, believes that sleeping has been an issue from the start resulting in students lacking the well rested needs the body requires. This all eventually leads to tardies, students not grasping everything that they are being taught during class, and the struggle of focusing. With little sleep, stress can come along. Therefore, Mrs. Bean advises students to get sleep as sleeping can make one more hopeful. 


“I also think that struggle is sometimes a good thing. It’s what forms us. It’s the crucible that forms us,” Bean said. “We have to sometimes be put over the hot fire and we have to show ourselves we can rise to it. If we’re always reaching for someone else to solve our problems, that becomes a lifelong habit.”


Stress is a natural human thing and everyone, whether you are a student or not, will deal with stress more than once. Stress is a struggle, but as Mrs. Bean stated, struggle can benefit students. Not only is Mrs. Bean emphasizing the importance of sleep, but also the importance of knowing that struggling is okay as you can grow from that.


Using a quote from Shakespeare, “study what you most affect”, Mrs. Bean highly encourages students to enjoy highschool as it goes by quickly. She wants students to choose classes that they’ll love and to really enjoy what Downey High School offers. 


“Don’t torture yourself, find what you love to do. If you love it, you’ll engage in it and you’ll do well and it won’t feel like homework,” Bean adds. “It’ll feel like exploration and discovery.” 


Overall, being a student is no easy task, but with the guidance of the incredible teachers from Downey, students can easily find a solution to their problem as teachers are here to help and support a student’s needs.