Have you ever contemplated why your students attend school? The reasons are countless! Some show up to see their friends; others to see teachers. But, have you ever considered just how much your course offerings can impact your students, their willingness to attend school, and their desire to learn?
So much goes into creating a positive school culture, but the impact of course offerings is often overlooked. If you can find a way to offer a variety of courses that pique students’ interests and curiosity while also challenging them to learn, you have hit the educational lottery!
Elective offerings give students an opportunity to explore, connect and develop marketable skills. Through electives, students are able to explore their interests, pursue their passions and unlock their desire to be lifelong learners. Eclectic electives give them the chance to draw the connection between their education and career interests, and associate school with something other than science, math, English or social studies. Through these classes, students are able to connect with peers with similar interests, tap into a skill set they did not know they had, and develop skills that can lead to successful futures.
In my experience as an educator, I have had an innumerable amount of students share that they come to school just for their elective classes, whether that is art, psychology, chorus or marketing. On days before breaks, which are notorious for low attendance, students will show up just for the engaging activities planned in these classes. Not only do these classes promote student attendance, but they increase student performance in other classes by virtue of seat time. These classes can be the difference in a student having a good day and a great day, so choose your courses wisely.
When doing this, think outside the box! Identify teachers that can facilitate courses outside of their typical repertoire. Find that teacher that teaches Personal Fitness who is fun and witty and possesses the skills to teach a Peer Leadership class. Identify those teachers who are great at supporting students, who can serve as a Study Skills teacher, and who root on your students to complete their work, develop good work habits and facilitate student achievement. Switch it up and make it fun! Give your students the opportunity to take unexpected electives and WANT to come to school.
Today’s blog was guest-written by Mrs. Andrea Hutchins. Mrs. Hutchins is a school counselor with a graduate degree from Valdosta State University.