Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Just before the school ended middle schoolers needed to select electives for their next school year.

Our middle school only had 120 students in its first year, so students had no electives except Innovation Hour time when several choices were offered every 2 months. In return, we had a lot of PE time, music, leadership and drama class, but by far not enough math and science hours, since we had only one math/science teacher for an entire middle school.
This is all going to change next year. 7th and 8th grades will have more hours of math and science with dedicated math and science teachers. This means that some subjects move to electives, and kids get to decide which electives to take.
One unfortunate "side effect" of these changes is that kids had to choose between a year of music elective (choir or band) or a set of three other electives. Smarty was very torn between these two options. She enjoyed choir for three years, but she felt that staying with choir would mean just doing something that she already tried. Eventually, she decided to quit choir. Instead she chose to do three one term electives - leadership, digital journalism (i,e, blogging), and an environmental action - an elective when students will choose an environmental cause to support and work out ways to get involved in this cause.
Originally, I was disappointed that Smarty did not choose choir. She does not take music after school, so it looks like her music education will not continue next year. But I want her to be able to make real choices about her education. And, after all, it's not the end of the world. She already signed up to participate in a school musical next fall, so she will still be singing and dancing, at least until fall break. And, if she really wants to sing, she might find opportunities to do so later when she is in high school or even go back to choir in 8th grade. The important part is that she had several years of real music instruction by an excellent teacher where she learned to read music and to sing in a group. It's more than I ever had, and I am grateful for the fact that our school system did have a music program despite all the budget cuts. In the meantime, Smarty is eagerly looking forward to be in her elective classes mingling with different students and participating in very different projects. I hope she enjoys every one of them!

Your Turn

If your child has electives, what did they choose?

4 comments:

Julie said...

Our school offers year-long band or you can take two other electives. They have things like art, dance, Spanish, home ec, business and technology courses. My son chose band for all three years. My daughter isn't interested in band so she will get a better variety of electives. We have 1800 kids in our middle school so a lot more options.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

My kids are all in choirs outside of school - they didn't have any electives at our elementary school apart from, in fifth grade, choosing between band and orchestra. Emma is planning to stay home for sixth, but she will be making this choice assuming she returns to school as planned for seventh.

Sage Evergreen said...

The three electives Smarty chose are the ones K would have been interested as well! We have approximately 1,000 incoming students so there is a long list of electives to choose from.

Ticia said...

That would be an interesting question to pose to my kids. Especially since electives seems to of expanded since I was in school and our choices were art, choir, band, or orchestra.