Monday, January 8, 2018

Mental Health by: Kellen Pluntke

It’s been quite a long time off this blog so I would like to dedicate this one to my personal experiences as a junior in high school, and what I’ve learned in my time away from the blogs. I have mentioned my mental health in some of my other blogs in the past but I have learned a lot about how teachers can helps students that are struggling not only in school, but support them in their out of school conflicts as well. I have had some wonderful teachers help me through some of the situations that I have had to deal with this school year, and I don’t know where I would be without them. That is what a lot of my focus is going to be on this year.

Due to some issues that have happened involving my personal life with some close friends, I have had to miss a lot of school this semester. I had so many issues out of school to deal with, so I was advised by my mental health professional to take off some time from school to deal with all of these other issues and give my mind a break from the constant stress that school had started to impose on my life. I knew I needed the break, but as I was gone I saw my grades start to plummet by the mass of missing assignments that piled up over my prolonged absence. This made me stress even more because I thought there would be no hope in saving my grades when I returned to school. When I returned to school, I immediately set up an appointment with my counselor to see if I could get any help with the missing assignments, and I was told to talk to my teachers individually about the work. However, instead of taking the normal approach of just asking to pick up all the packets of work that I missed, I decided to try to actually open up to my teachers about what was going on. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew this would catch a few of my teachers off guard. It did catch a few of my teachers off guard, but every single one of them was supportive of my situation, which I did not expect at all. I was given extra leniency with the assignments that I had missed during my time off, which took off some of the weight on my shoulders. I also had this new support system with my teachers that has made me feel so much more comfortable in all my classes. I know that I have someone to turn to in the school now, which has taken away my discomfort of being alone that has made me just flat out leave the school mid-class before.

I’m very open to the fact that I am not the “best student” in school. I have always had a hard time finding the motivation to do my work and to get good grades, and this was at an all-time low this semester. The care that I received from my teachers help revitalize my drive to accomplish assignments in school immensely. I saw that my teachers weren’t just out to throw work at me and give me stress until I’m at my breaking point, but they are just people that love being around kids and like to help when they can.

So here is my advice to the teachers reading this. I know that one of the key points that added to the decision to become a teacher is the overall care for the well-being of youth. I know it can be very hard to use that in today’s world, with all the standards that seem to constrict so much individuality out of teachers all over the country, but don’t sell yourself short. You came into this industry to educate and help our youth, and that is the ultimate end goal. Don’t push that too far aside, because having the connection and care from my teachers has saved me, and I know it can save many other students in similar situations.


  1. Thank you so much for your honesty Kellen. Your final paragraph is pure magic and I hope that every teacher reading this will take this message to heart. We never know what our students are dealing with. Wonderful post.

  2. Kellen,
    Life is the full 24 hours each day, so teachers have to be aware of the life that exists beyond the school day. Realistic expectations and special care is needed for ALL students. Thanks for your honesty, your wisdom and your strength!