By Angelica Smith
This year, sophomore honors classes are ridiculously over loaded with students trying to succeed expectations such as challenging concepts, excessive amount of homework, quizzes, and tests that come more frequently.
Every class here at Gresham is given a set of standards that teachers must meet. This is to benefit students so they know the curriculum that is needed to prepare them for the many more challenging concepts they will be introduced within the near future.
“Teachers get together(during meetings) so that students are seeing the same curriculum,” principal Michael Schaefer said.
Honors classes are more populated this year because not only are there no admission requirements, but because students seem to be more attracted to the fact that these classes look good on college applications.
“We recruit kids to improve their mindset, we want to support you (the students),” Schaefer said.
The school seems to be very open-minded to support students that do not seem to recognize their own potential, or just seem to think they are not mentally prepared for such a fast pace. Often this mindset is caused by self doubt and a lack of determination.
“In this case, teachers have the ability to provide a list of students that would do well in a more challenging environment,” guidance counselor Laura Blaser said.
Having excessively large class sizes may minimize the opportunity for students to communicate with their teacher, yet there are many things that students may gain from having larger classes, such as more opportunities for collaboration with peers.
“Sometimes having a big class has its advantages, like having people to help you when you miss a day, but it’s extremely hard to get that one-on-one time with the teacher,” sophomore Alyssa Price said.
There is some concern that having 40 or more students may impact the learning environment, mostly because the curriculum is much more challenging, and takes a lot of understanding which sometimes may require repetition that students may not receive with such little time with the added pressure of a larger class.
“I think that kids who are in a more challenging environment should be pushed to a higher extent because that is the whole purpose,” English teacher Alethea Work said.
When a teacher has so many kids to keep track of, and has to make sure they all understand the lesson that is being taught, it can be extremely difficult for students who are seriously confused and may fall behind.
“I have problems that I need help with and everytime I ask a teacher in person or email, they’re too busy with either another kid or just don’t answer at all, which can be frustrating at times,” Price said.
The main idea of school is to give students the education they need to prepare them for what life has to bring after high school. Having student in a more productive environment with smaller classes and more one on one time with the teacher, will meet their needs regarding to the understanding of their futuristic goals including a better outcome with a more challenging curriculum.
Being in a very tight space with dozens of your peers can be very overwhelming, decreasing the amount of students can improve their sense of determination, grades, mindset, and sense of ability to accomplish anything they put their mind to.
“We are constantly trying to look at what you guys need as students.” Schaefer said.
Being enrolled in honors classes can impact students in positive ways; such as expanding the knowledge capacity needed to understand such concepts, giving students the opportunity to rise to the challenge of meeting such high expectations that may mirror those seen in college, and preparing students with the skills needed to make important educational decisions.