Students should take electives and language classes more seriously


Bobby Verhey

Students write on the board during a Spanish class as a way to keep them engaged.

At the end of a school year, students are given the ability to decide between a list of classes, of which ones they would like to take the next year. Electives include art classes, language classes, and other fun activities varying in subject. All of these electives can teach skills that may not normally be learned in the classroom, such as public speaking in debate. While there are some restrictions for choosing electives, including the three semester of art and music credits needed to graduate, students, for the most part, are really able to explore many different classes in which they can explore topics and ideas. However, students can tend to take these classes thinking of them as fun instead of a class. Many of these instances occur in classes, such as music classes, where focus can be crucial. This can lead to students not taking the classes as seriously, affecting all of the students in the class; which can be damaging to students who are picked the elective because they have significant interest in the class, and are not only taking it to fill a requirement.

Electives are there for you to explore different things, so you can take them as serious as you like and you can control the experience you have in the class.

— Celeste Parke-Reimer

Sophomore Will Schavee said, “I think one reason that electives are taken less seriously is because they are not traditional classes, such as English, History, Science, and Math. Because of this, some students don’t take electives as seriously, which makes people think that they are not as important.”

This thinking is a common idea around the SPA community often leading to bad environments in classes where some students see the elective more or less as a free period, or fun time rather than a class.

While this thinking does come up with electives, language classes are another place where students sometimes take classes less seriously.

However, this can be very damaging as learning world languages is a very helpful skill in the outside world. “It’s important to understand other languages so that you can visit other countries and see other places without feeling lost and not able to communicate,” said Ninth Grader Levi Smetana.

Sophomore Saffy Rindelaub felt similarly, she said, “It really helps when visiting a foreign country […] Knowing foreign languages allow you to be able to appreciate history and cultures in other countries, without the problems that come with not being able to communicate with others.”

This shows just how important a language class can be, as it is a class where students can put their skills to the test in a real life scenario.

Overall, electives and language classes are important and should be valued by students as the same as a history or math class. These classes can be a way to express yourself, gain skills, and possibly start a career around.

However, electives are created for students to decide what they want the classes to be, and because of that, we, as students, have responsibility to decide how we treat them. Junior Celeste Parke-Reimer said, “Electives are there for you to explore different things, so you can take them as serious as you like and you can control the experience you have in the class.” Students are given the ability to decide how they see each class and elective. However, that if a student is going to take the class less seriously, do not make the class worse for students who are taking it seriously through disruption of the class, or distraction of students. By doing this, electives and language classes can become much more important and engaging; making them even more fun for everyone.