Scheduling at South
The high school class scheduling process needs change.
Throughout the past month, underclassmen and junior students once again went through the daunting process of scheduling for next year’s classes. Although a necessary task, the process requires much modification so that students can make wiser decisions regarding their future.
The current scheduling system works like this: A student is told a couple of weeks beforehand regarding their upcoming meeting with the guidance counselor. They are given a sheet of classes to fill their graduation requirements, and they meet with their counselors for about five minutes to decide their courses for the next year.
Now between these weeks, the student often makes his decisions based on some often unreliable sources.
One such source is student rumors regarding the classes and the teachers for the particular subject. When asked in a survey, more than 50% of students said they often or always base their class selection on the teachers for the classes.
For example, a student may hear than an Advanced Placement (AP) teacher is extremely tough and grades harshly from a student previously in the class. This will coerce the student to take a different class, when it may have simply been the opinion of another, not fact.
Another such source is the scheduling of other classmates.
Students are bound to discuss the classes of the upcoming year, but often these conversations have an impact on the scheduling itself. More than 83% of students say that the classes that their friends are planning to take made some impact on their scheduling. This leads to having a stereotypical schedule where the student may not have personal interest in any of the class curriculums.
Using these inaccurate resources can often lead in a schedule that is formed to please others, and does not fit the student’s academic drive. A better scheduling process would be a more structured one.
Instead of making such mistakes and attempting to fix them later on, students should be able to understand the concepts behind the classes that they are taking earlier on, so that they don’t make decisions that they will regret later on.
Each teacher should allot a time in their class organizer to specifically discuss future classes in the subject, instead of mentioning the classes throughout the year without a thorough explanation of what the curriculum is. This time does not need to be the entire hour, it could just be something as small as five minutes, as long as the students know what is in the curriculum of the upcoming classes.
A student should also personally schedule a meeting with their guidance counselors before scheduling time, where the student can ask questions regarding their current classes. More than 71% of students already believe that they should be spending more time with their counselors and getting the proper information.
Asking these questions beforehand instead of during scheduling time itself will not only give the guidance counselors an opportunity to discuss all of the classes, but it will also give students more time to make more informed decisions about their future.