English Department Changes

As many of you may or may not have noticed, the English department has deviated slightly from the traditional ‘norms’ of teaching. This year, a conference period has been implemented every Tuesday; a day where English students may or may not actually have to attend class. Now, most juniors and seniors were probably thinking something along the lines of, ‘YES!! Now I have double lunch every Tuesday!’ However, this day of freedom should not be taken so lightly. These conference periods shouldn’t be considered a day off; instead, English teachers are aiming more for a relaxed conference environment. With class sizes getting bigger, it’s harder for teachers to make teaching individualized, and having these conference periods would make it easier for teachers to specialize learning for each student, depending on their abilities. “Its a good idea, because traditional English classes don’t give the chance to really understand students’ strengths and weaknesses. Teachers also don’t usually get the opportunity to regularly go over students’ writing one-on-one; being able to do so would make students into much better writers, “ said English teacher Mr.Webb. Each English class can specialize this system to their own needs. Some classes could follow through with this every week, while others might not use it very often at all. There is almost no opposition from English teachers at AHS; majority think it will really improve the quality of students’ writing. Unsurprisingly, most students are reacting well to this change as well. Junior Ann Ku said, “The new system is great! I like the opportunity it gives us to meet with our English teacher one on one. It has been an extremely positive experience.” Of course, what everyone is really wondering is, Can this be taken away? On the topic of misuse, teachers are hoping that students will take it upon themselves to keep their privileges. These conference periods COULD be taken away if enough upperclassmen are abusing it by not showing up to conferences when asked, or if underclassmen loitering and creating a scene in the MC during these times. Granted, there are some space issues with all these underclassmen needing a place to go during the conference periods, but hopefully they can be sorted out in the future. And of course, as we all know, with maturity comes responsibility, so hopefully students will be able to reap the full benefits of this revolutionary teaching style in the future as well as now.