Semester class changes are necessary for students


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Students walk to their new classes after being given changed schedules for the new semester. At WCHS, this happens once a year.

By Anna Kronthal, Opinions Editor

The beginning of the third quarter is not just the start of a new marking period– it is the start of new teachers, new classmates and even new courses.

At the beginning of the second semester, WCHS students receive completely new schedules. Although this change can make students have to completely readjust halfway through the year, it is ultimately a necessary change.

While many argue that these schedule changes shift around classes just as students are beginning to feel comfortable with their teachers and friends, new classes give students the chance to keep the friends they already have while continuing to make more. New classes mean new introductions. For kids that may be new to the school, feel isolated or are just looking to make a new friend, course changes can help students get more connected to their peers.

While some students are just warming up to their old teachers, new teachers give students the chance to experiment with different teaching styles, allowing them to learn what works best for them. While some students are inevitably happier with their first semester teachers, others feel exactly the opposite. If a student was unhappy with the way one teacher taught a class, this gives them the chance to mix things up. This gives both students and teachers a fresh start.

Furthermore, the semester course changes prepare WCHS students for courses in college, where new semesters mean new courses, teachers and peers as well. Changing the policy to keep students in the same classes all year may make them more comfortable in the short term, but will make them uncomfortable when they start working towards a higher education and cannot handle breaking away from their daily routine to slip into a new schedule. 

While new scheduling often means lines out the door by the WCHS counseling office with students gathering frantically to request modifications before the first day, there would be an even bigger hassle for school counselors if this change did not occur. Semester-long courses would become an issue, as the break in between the semesters allow students a smooth transition from one course to another. 

Without this school-wide division of semesters, classes like Health, Personal Finance and Sociology would be the only classes that would still require a change. Meaning that no matter what, students would at some point still have to change classes for the semester. 

Although these semester class changes may end up taking some time away from class instructions, requiring teachers to go over the course rules and syllabus, class icebreakers and seating charts, this time gives students a chance to catch their breath between second and third quarter. The pause between homework, testing and lectures is actually refreshing, enabling students to dive back into academics at a comfortable pace rather than being pushed right back in.

The semester class change policy has been in effect at WCHS for a long time, and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. Having one class all year was already done in both middle and elementary school. In high school, it is time to grow up.