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The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Backbone of Academics: Student Support

The Student Support suite, photographed by Ella Nguyen.

When classes are too much and life is too wearing, it can be easy to ignore one’s issues; but taking the easy way out isn’t always the best option. For that reason, The Village School Student Support is here to help! From social emotional learning in advisory classes to learning support, they’ve got you covered. Even though all teachers are looking out for their students, the Student Support staff specialise in making sure you are doing well both mentally and academically. It is essential that students are emotionally healthy so they can press forward in their educational journey.

Despite what some students may believe, the work of the Student Support staff is full-time! “There’s not enough hours in a day,” waid David Farfan, the Learning Support Coordinator at The Village School. “I also wish I had two or three other clones of myself in order for me to get all the responsibilities done in the day.” With the job of organising the learning accommodations for students with learning disabilities and making sure students are prepared for coming years of education, Mr. Farfan’s job is critical to student’s success in academics. His typical day consists of hard work with immense attention to detail. “Usually, in the mornings, I oversee any new students that are coming in that have been brought to my attention that need accommodations,” said Farfan. “After that, I have scheduled meetings with students that already have accommodations to see the things that they are missing in their classes. After lunch, there is more of me tracking the accommodations that every student receives day to day.” This only works to emphasise how the workload of the Student Support staff is. 

 “I wear a couple of hats as the social emotional counsellor,” said Rayla Willis, the social emotional counsellor here at Village. “My main job is to assist students with their social emotional wellbeing, which not only includes counselling students, but also the curriculum for CAPD classes.” In case you are unaware, CAPD (College and Personal Development) classes are lessons students attend every day to learn about mental health with topics like how to resolve various conflicts and how to have productive discussions. The classes also present material to raise awareness of different mental health concerns like self-harm, dealing with personal issues, etc. To put it into perspective, Ms. Willis arranges the material for a class that every student participates in every year 3-4 times a week. This in itself is already a hefty task, even if each one is only 30 minutes. Not to mention the fact that this is energy spent on top working with students through their needs every day, from counselling to managing safety and mental health plans.

“One of the biggest things I see students need is support mentally and emotionally and also how to learn to cope with the things that come up,” said Ms Willis. “Because of that, sometimes we don’t know how to handle those situations.” One of Willis’s goals is to help students understand how to work with where they are in life currently. She aims to teach them how to deal with unfamiliar situations and the change that comes with time. “You all live in a bubble,” said Willis. “Because you all live in a bubble, there are just things you aren’t exposed to, and when those things do come about in life, usually outside of school, they tend to find a way into your lives at school.” Willis puts it bluntly, but not without accuracy. The life outside of school undeniably impacts performance in academics, whether it be a lack of sleep taking away from their ability to pay attention to difficult circumstances that leave us distracted during class.

As students consider the work of the Student Support staff, it is important to recognize the effort that is put into assisting the students of The Village School through their academic journey both in class and out. It is critical that it is understood as students the imperativeness of being emotionally healthy and how okay it is to ask for help. And if students can’t find themselves in the position to make changes to their wellbeing and success, The Village School Student Support will be there to help!

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About the Contributor
Ella Nguyen
Ella Nguyen, Writer
Ella Nguyen is a freshman writer who enjoys playing board games, drawing, and spending time with others. She joined Viking Media to exercise her love for writing and learn more about the world and others. Outside of her daily tasks, she is often found playing games and exploring different arts in the company of her family and friends.

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