By Brandon Camberos and Moses Rodriguez
Sazan Ghafur, who teaches a course called Habits, Community and Culture at Summit Public Schools: Rainier, argued that schools need to help with academic and emotional problems in order to help lower the high school dropout rate.
With HCC, we can support kids in any bad situation they are in and help them start over if necessary, Ms. Ghafur said. She has been teaching for four years and has been working at Rainier for two years. Ms. Ghafur also studied psychology at Stanford, which is essentially the study of the human mind and how its behavior is being affected.
HCC is meant to help strengthen the school community and culture and also help students with any bad habits. “I’ve always really enjoyed learning about communities and how we can create healthier communities,” Ms. Ghafur said.
Ms. Ghafur’s work is generally about creating positive culture, making sure students are mentally stable and teaching students the habits they need. HCC gave her the perfect chance to do that, which is why she chose to be an HCC teacher.
Ms. Ghafur believes students drop out of high school in part because “students aren’t as prepared in the beginning.” She explained that talking and reading to babies makes a helpful impact when they enter school. “Students from a low socioeconomic background can be as many as a million words behind somebody who has a higher socioeconomic status.”
HCC doesn’t just help students with academic problems but also with their social and personal life. “I think sometimes it could be emotional issues that they’re working through or other kinds of habits and skills that they haven’t built up,” Ms. Ghafur said, explaining that one thing that students suffer from that causes them to drop out is not just academic failure but also emotional problems.
Angry or even sad emotions can lead students to not doing their work because they’re too busy letting off their anger and sadness in their own ways, Ms. Ghafur added. That is where HCC comes in to encourage students to stay in school.
A key feature that HCC provides is emotional support. In HCC, the teacher talks about the community and how it can be made better. Students can explain their feelings about the school community in this class. Ms. Ghafur concluded that if any student were to ask the HCC teacher to talk about how they feel about something then she would be more than happy to talk about it.