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OPINION: Students need more than just course descriptions to choose their classes well

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Recently, students chose their classes for the upcoming year. However, many students are not well-informed about the details and rigors of the courses and may not  know which classes to choose. Students need to be competitive for college applications, but they also need to avoid burn-out.

Thus, SCHS should allow students time to shadow other students in classes they are interested in taking to gain a general feel for the course load and different teaching methods.

Usually, students sign up for classes not knowing the true rigor of the course. Many may overestimate or underestimate the course load they are choosing for the upcoming year. Shadowing a peer and getting a first-hand account of the course and teacher will help students make more informed decisions, especially regarding teaching styles.

Teaching methods vary from teacher to teacher, and students know what teaching style works best for them. Through allowing students to shadow, counselors may see a decrease in students trying to switch or drop classes, and teachers will have students who are actively engaged in their lessons since students will be excited to learn in the classes they got to experience and choose.

Peers’ opinions on a course and their expectations are subjective and may muddle a potential student’s view, leading to some distressing match-ups or a student’s loss based on a negative peer review. Personal experiences allow students to reflect on the classes to make the best decision for themselves.

Seeking counselors’ advice regarding a course may help but may not always prove beneficial because counselors do not see the class environment. Teachers can assist counselors gain a better understanding of their class by submitting their syllabus as a source of general information, and counselors can talk to students about a course, but they are just relaying information.

Counselors help guide students, but ultimately, students are the ones who have to deal with the impact of their decisions. Building decision-making skills is crucial in the growth and development process. While thinking about classes, students will have the opportunity to determine what aspects they value in their learning environment, which may prime them to think more about their future.

Shadowing for the upcoming year may result in students having to catch up on missing assignments. However, the short period of time will allow a glimpse into the possibilities of what their workload may look like the following year.

Students may even feel more confident in approaching their teachers and gaining mentors, and the student-teacher relationship might help improve the overall community feel at SCHS.

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The student news site of Santa Clara High School
OPINION: Students need more than just course descriptions to choose their classes well