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Semester Class Switch

Seniors and Freshmen change classes following the end of the semester.
Mr. Patey teaches Economics to his fourth period class, having transitioned into this new subject halfway through the year.
Peyton Skinner
Mr. Patey teaches Economics to his fourth period class, having transitioned into this new subject halfway through the year.

Now that the semester has ended, it is time that teachers and students make the switch between various classes. 12th grade is switching from Government to Economics and 9th grade is transitioning between Health and Freshman Seminar. 

Health covers some of the basics of human anatomy, mental health, and sex education. Freshman Seminar on the other hand is a class for freshmen to plan their futures in and beyond high school so that they are more prepared for life after high school.

Government and Economics covers the principles and histories of each of these subjects for seniors to apply when they eventually go into the world as adults. They teach life skills such as how voting works and the basics of politics and how to handle money more effectively. 

Mrs. Peterson voiced both the positive and negative aspects of switching classes, and how she felt about getting an entirely new set of kids to teach—the Freshman Seminar and Health teachers switch students, whereas the Government and Economics teachers switch subjects while maintaining the same class of seniors. 

“I actually enjoy it. I’m sad when the other kids leave though since we’ve established a relationship,” said Mrs. Peterson. 

Ms. Garcia, meanwhile, noted the expansive nature of the class she teaches, Health. 

“There’s more material than time. Health is a big broad topic so I can teach it for a year, every year. I feel like sometimes I am rushing,” stated Ms. Garcia. 

There can be some mishaps switching classes, as several seniors learned when they were put in the wrong class this semester. Additionally, having such a short class means that teachers may not get to everything they want to teach. 

“It does reduce a lot, you could do a whole year of that, there’s so much to do in government and there’s so many things I’ve taken out and put in that I like,” shared Mr. Patey. 

While the switch between classes can have downsides, there are also benefits of having a class that lasts only half of the year. Mr. Ruckman shared that having a shorter class is nice because it forces a course to be concentrated down to the most essential information. 

“It’s a little bit of a rush—there’s things I’ll do differently if I teach the course next year. Overall I think one semester is not the worst. Sometimes it forces you to break things down [and focus] on what is the most important to understand, so I don’t mind it,” stated Mr. Ruckman. 

The teachers Beyond the Cave interviewed also shared some of the highlights of their classes. Mr. Patey said that his favorite part of Government was “identifying Jacob Morales as Rocky,” but also that he liked seeing his students apply what they learned in class to present day events. 

“I like seeing kids discuss and come up with ideas that are rational and evidence based and just putting them in real world situations where they have to put what background they have, like knowledge of the constitution, in determining what the right course of action.”

— Mr. Patey

Mrs. Peterson shared that she likes to see kids become more sure of their plans in her class, Freshman Seminar. 

“My favorite part is watching freshmen who feel like they’re not sure about things becoming sure of things,” shared Mrs. Peterson. 

Ms. Garcia shared that she likes when students get invested in a topic and enjoy discussing it amongst themselves. 

“I like where there’s dialogue, when a topic is brought up and kids want to talk about it,” shared Ms. Garcia in an interview. 

Now that we’ve covered some of the thoughts of teachers who are beginning to switch semesters, how do the students feel about the classes they’ve taken? 

Janessa Hart, a freshman going into Freshman Seminar this semester, shared how she feels about the class change in an interview with Beyond the Cave. 

“I’m kinda sad cause I love Gar [Ms. Garcia] but I’m excited cause I also love Mrs. P [Mrs. Peterson],” stated Hart. 

Another freshman, Noe Luczy, is going to be taking Health this semester. She noted that while the end of one semester can become stressful, the new class allows for a reset. 

“I’m definitely relieved a little bit cause it was pretty stressful towards the end; I enjoyed it at the beginning of the year but it got very busy at the end,” shared Luczy. 

Mateo Murphy and Laurel McGraw are also students switching classes this semester, seniors going from Government to Economics. Murphy is in Mr. Patey’s class, while McGraw is in Mr. Ruckman’s class. 

Murphy voiced neutral feelings on switching classes when asked about how he felt about switching classes. 

“Pretty okay. I like Government though,” stated Murphy. 

McGraw voiced a similar opinion. 

“I liked Government, but I am glad we are moving on to something new,” shared McGraw. 

Moving forward, teachers and students alike will be adjusting to the semester change in various ways. While some may have more experience teaching and attending these classes than others, the class switch halfway throughout the year will allow for a change of pace regardless.

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Leila Stuart
Leila Stuart, Copy Editor
Peyton Skinner
Peyton Skinner, Photo Editor
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