Learning through Speaking

How classroom discussions benefit mental health


Patricia Pflaumer

Abington High School senior James Foley in his English class on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

I have bottled up my thoughts for a while because I was under the impression that nothing could be changed and I had to just accept the cards I was dealt. I was not aware that so many students have been feeling the same as me.

Pullquote Photo

The emotional part of high school is a feeling we yearn for nowadays.

— James Foley

Recently I engaged in a classroom discussion that was a powerful one. It gave us students a chance to explain how we were feeling and opened our minds to new perspectives. There are people who want to listen. There are people who know what it is like to be in a situation like what we are in now.

We used to discuss our feelings freely in an open setting. The feelings of friendship and togetherness made these discussions all the more special.

Right now we are required to adapt to a new online learning system we are not accustomed to. Holding discussions online or in video is nothing like previous classroom discussions. The emotional part of high school is a feeling we yearn for nowadays.  When given the floor where all ideas are accepted, it feels good as a student and a human being.

Judgement is a big reason why people are scared to share their thoughts and emotions. But it is essential that we do not silence ourselves, but spread awareness to make humans as a whole feel relief and understand that we have each other’s backs through rough times.

If you feel like you cannot share your emotions as a student, you are wrong. We are all in this together.