What if Leesville Road High School students chose what teachers they had and when to take certain classes during the semester? What if Student Services released a list offering students the knowledge of what teachers will hold what classes? What if choosing high school classes was like selecting college courses?
In deciding college courses, students are given lists composed of the courses being offered that semester, what days and hours it will be held and by what professors. College students create their own semester schedules, so why not high schoolers?
Several students think creating their own schedule would be nice, but seem wary of the consequences. “It would be cool, but I think it would be very chaotic. There would be no structure. The students aren’t old enough yet to have that much control. They would probably abuse it,” said Breanna Ramirez, senior.
Cassidy Johnson, senior, had a similar opinion to Ramirez’s. “I don’t think it would be a good idea, especially with freshmen and sophomores. They’re just not old enough to make mature decisions,” said Johnson.
While some students would protest the change, others see the brighter side of creating their own schedules. “I would prefer it that way, to choose what professors you could have. The thing is, though, it just wouldn’t be fair,” said Marco Fajardo, senior.
Fajardo pointed out how students talk to one another about teachers, discussing who is the best, easiest and hardest of the teachers. Classes held by easier teachers would be more likely to be overfilled. This would mean some students would not be able to have the individual attention needed or may simply be placed in a different teacher’s class. Because of over populated classes, there will be more students in each class that the teacher has to be aware of. The teacher’s attention will be divided more so.
“But I feel like college is the same way. I’m sure there are easier and harder professors, so I wonder how they get around,” said Fajardo.
Katelyn Yasemin Spencer, junior, also has strong opinions on the matter at hand, voting for the option to choose class periods, but denying the opportunity to choose the professor. “If we could chose our professors, I feel like maybe they would be overwhelmed with how many students chose them because they’re really good teachers,” said Spencer. “With what time we get to take the classes, I feel like that would be a good thing because then we would be able to fix our schedule so it fits what’s best for us.”
If Leesville assigned classes for the next year in the manner colleges do, students and teachers would be affected. “I think it would be a really good idea because it would prepare students for the choices they have to make in college, as to what classes they have to take and when to take the courses,” said Karen Harker, English teacher. “It would also offer teachers more flexibility on what they teach when they teach it.”
While possibly creating more confusion during the selection process, there would be less protest for class schedules to be changed in August. There have always been students, who discover problems with their schedules, thus beseeching counselors to change course lists.
“I had to change my schedule my sophomore year,” said Fajardo. “They were pretty easy to talk to, except this year they’re harder, especially with switching out of AP courses. They’ve been really hard. I haven’t had that problem, but I’ve had friends who’ve told me that.”
While some students want to switch out of higher-level courses, other students need to be switched in or discover that a completely different class than the ones they signed up for is on their schedule.
“I had to change classes all the time in high school,” said Harker. “I remember in highschool it was really hard to coordinate wanting to take courses like band or chorus versus AP classes, because they were offered in the same slot. You had to make a choice if you wanted to take the higher-level courses or the arts, which I didn’t think was fair. Definitely in college, I changed my classes around all the time based on my personal preferences.”
Prone to schedule changes, I know how stressful it can be to try to correct it before the school year starts in a matter of days. My freshman year, Honors Geometry was completely full, and I could not take the course until next year. In its place was a class I had not signed up for or had any desire to take.
Even before my senior year started, I had to change my classes. Unbeknownst to me, newspaper was moved to third and my dance class was also third. I had planned on taking newspaper a full year. On the schedule, I had first semester newspaper, and second semester dance. Like Harker had done a few years before, I, too, had to make a decision in a few days—either keep my schedule or change it. I changed it.
If students received their schedules ahead of time, then they would not be shocked, stressed and confused when given a schedule they had not anticipated a few days before school starts.
Depending on personal experiences, some see how being alerted to professors and times beforehand helps. While others only think it will be more stressful and confusing this way .