Teachers Share Perspective on Love, Friendship


Art teacher Karen Terry and senior Zania Williams bond inside and outside the classroom. (photo by Claire Hiegel)

The world of love, family, and relationships is often difficult to understand and explain. As humans who innately value connection, most people experience the joy as well as the pain of relationships with family and friends at some point during life. Though Central teachers and staff provide mainly academic instruction, they also offer advice and counseling to students through their own professional and personal experiences.

“Though high school relationships can be fun and seem like they last, friendships last a lot longer, so it’s important not to neglect your friends in high school for a boyfriend or girlfriend,” English teacher Jamie Howe said.  

Central teachers have a unique perspective on the high school experience for students. They know that an unstable personal life for a student can mean wavering grades for students, as toxic friendships might cause them to lose focus at school.

“I always try to surround myself with good people. You want people who celebrate you, not put you down,” Karen Terry said. “When you’re in school it’s easy to find friends and meet new people, so if you learn how to do that now and maintain those relationships, it will be easier to make friends later on in life when you may not have as many connections.”

Many teachers also support our students in their endeavor to find long-lasting friendships and even develop relationships outside of high school that can last a lifetime. Often, teachers provide an example of marriage and steady relationships to students who might otherwise only find such an example in their parents, grandparents, or cousins.

“I married my high school sweetheart,” Terry said. “I think you should get married whenever you feel like you’re ready. Some people are ready before others. It all depends on your relationship and how you feel about the person. I got married really young, but if you’re not ready, then you need to see your relationship for what it is.”

Teachers also show students what it means to focus on self-love rather than just relying on others to make them happy. People are always changing, and in turn, so are their relationships. It is important to find confidence and peace in oneself as doing so often allows for meaningful and enduring relationships.

“You have to be comfortable with being yourself and being alone,” Terry said. “My philosophy is serenity, discovery, happiness. If you know yourself, what you like, and what makes you happy, that’s what’s really important.”