School Beyond the Books

What makes classes great?

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School Beyond the Books

[Left to Right] Joe Antrim, Annabelle Stewart, and Riley Watts in Watts' favorite class, Ap language and composition

[Left to Right] Joe Antrim, Annabelle Stewart, and Riley Watts in Watts' favorite class, Ap language and composition

Annabel Williamson

[Left to Right] Joe Antrim, Annabelle Stewart, and Riley Watts in Watts' favorite class, Ap language and composition

Annabel Williamson

Annabel Williamson

[Left to Right] Joe Antrim, Annabelle Stewart, and Riley Watts in Watts' favorite class, Ap language and composition

Annabel Williamson, Editor in Chief

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by Annabel Williamson

Editor in Chief

 

Education is a path that may lead to success. but also may lead nowhere.

No matter what, every student  is expected to follow this path in one way or another. Each level of education brings new experiences as well as new challenges.

Getting an education takes at least 13 years of a student’s life. But what do students enjoy about school? And what determines how a student feels about school?

Science teacher Kathy Simmermon said what makes classes great is, “having connections with their classmates and the teacher,” which, consequently, means that some students don’t enjoy school because they “feel like they don’t have any connection someway” and “feel like an outsider,” science teacher Mrs. Crow stated.

So connections to those around a student can be the only reason a student likes a class or hates a class, with the subject being taught having little to do with their enjoyment.

Enjoying school can also have to do with a student’s interest in a topic.

Freshman at Oakland University Zoe Shettler said, “Philosophy is my favorite class; my professor is awesome and it’s really interesting because you can’t prove anything; it’s just your opinion.”

In this case, the subject of the class makes the class great, but so does having a connection with the teacher. “I enjoy going to school very much,” Shettler stated.

Shettler enjoys going to school ,as she is given the freedom to choose what she wants to study. However, other levels of education are not given these freedoms, such as middle school, which is on a set curriculum every student must follow.

Seventh grader Hana Scripture said, “School isn’t something I enjoy doing with my life every day; I like the social part though.” These contrasting ideas can be shown to the structure of college and middle school.

College offers a wide variety of classes, allowing students to pick classes they will enjoy, while middle school is based off a set curriculum with very little flexibility towards a certain interest. This often leaves only connections to others a reason to enjoy middle school, and even then a class isn’t great if the student has no interest in the topic.

In between middle school and college, there is high school, a transitional time as students begin to figure out their interests and take interest-based classes to prepare for college and the future.

Junior Riley Watts stated, “my favorite class is AP Language and Composition because I have friends in that class.” Watts also said. “I sometimes like going to school.”

Junior Joe Antrim said, “I love Ap Bio because of the small class atmosphere and tough problems brings everyone together in strong cooperation.” The difficulty of the class creates a bond between the students, making that class enjoyable as each classmate is connected through the topic. Even with that bond, Antrim still said “It depends on the day whether I like going to school or not. For the most part I really enjoy seeing my friends, but thinking that early in the morning can be rough.” School start times can be difficult, but what makes it worth it for Antrim are the friends he has in class, and even then, school is not always enjoyable.

In an annual survey done by Indiana University, it was shown that  two out of three high school students are bored in class every day.

This survey reached more than 81,000 students and 30 percent of them say they are bored due to lack of interaction with teachers.

75 percent of students said they just didn’t like the school, which could be due to very little interaction with both teachers and peers, but it could also be because of the lack of options in high school, not offering classes students would enjoy. But instead, forcing every student to follow a set path with little flexibility.

Watts,  Antrim, and Scripture only enjoy attending school because of their connections in class, not due to interest in the topic. And even then, Watts, Antrim, and Scripture do not like going to school every day.

Throughout middle school, high school, and college, the only student that enjoys school is the student attending college. Shettler was also the only student that had a class with both interest and connections. There is a reason college is the most enjoyed level of education.

College is the place where students get to choose what they want to study.

Allowing students to create their own curriculum based off interests while classes are being taught by professors that have a background in that topic enables students and professors to connect through common interests.

Therefore, what makes a class great is not just the people in a class or the topic in the class, but a combination of connections and genuine interest in a class

Annabel Williamson
[Left to right] Addison Kryzak, Alexa Cheaney, and Riley Watts having fun in AP Psychology

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