Teen living teaches teens about common obstacles

TEEN living is an elective class at Granger High School. Next year, there will no longer be a teen living class. So, those who didn’t take it missed out on a wonderful class. In this class the instructor, Ms. Merrill, taught concepts like how to get over road blocks throughout life and how to keep values where they should be.

This class doesn’t only teach about how to get over obstacles. It teaches about how to keep from endangering one’s values. If values aren’t recognized when the teen is getting peer-pressured, it can have a huge negative impact. Many don’t realize it at the moment. Then, they have to face the consequences later.

“Taking the time to talk about values usually helps students make better choices. If we didn’t discuss concepts like this in the class, then I think that teenagers would be more prone to giving into peer pressure in tough situations,” Ms. Merrill said.

Some of the consequences of negative teen pressure are financial debt, criminal records, mandatory community service, etc. The teenagers can also be affected academically. They are capable of performing the task, but don’t want to seem uncool as stated on the theteachersdigest.com website.

The consequences similar to the ones mentioned on the website were taught in the class. It’s taught to help Lancers think before they act or give into peer pressure. If they know how serious it can get, they’ll second guess doing whatever they’re thinking about doing.

“For each individual, it’s different for what the consequence is. But if the value cycle isn’t recognized, the process of making bad decisions can be hard to stop,” Ms. Merrill said.

Although this class informed a lot about how to deal with tough situations, it also taught how hard teen pregnancy can be. As one of the big assignments for the term, each student must take home a Real Care baby or they could get an alternative assignment. However, most do the baby one.

During the time they have the baby, they must feed, burp, change, and rock the baby. It needs 24-hour assistance just like a real baby.

“Half of students miss feedings, burpings, and diaper changes while the other half don’t. The feedback is mixed,” Ms. Merrill said.

There’s a recording tracker in the baby that tells the instructor when the baby missed a feeding or diaper change. It also tells the instructor about rough handling. Rough handling can be shaking, putting the baby on its stomach, or even dropping the baby.

“Students feel bad when there’s rough handling occurs. I can see it in their face whenever they bring the baby back on Monday. So overall, most of them are pretty careful,” Ms. Merrill said.

Other than wanting to take the baby home, the class can be taken out of curiosity.

“I think some of the students take this class, because they could have had sexual intercourse, and they’re trying to see if they can actually handle a real baby,” Merrill said.

However, she strongly encourages them not to have intercourse. She teaches about what could happen when it’s not safe.

For most, being in this class can be very helpful whether it’s learning about how to keep values in place or learning about the difficulties of roadblocks. While Lancers are in high school, many tough situations are experienced. Knowing how to dodge bad situations without actually saying it can make a difference.

“This class has taught me lessons I’ll use throughout my life,” Yazthel Ocampo (9) said.