Q1: What are the Electives/Specials offerings at your school?
A1: We have a wide variety of middle school electives. With 1200 students we have about 20 electives.
Band (three teachers)
Drama (three sections, taught by grade level core teachers)
Computer Exploration (six grade)
Gateway to Technology Family and Consumer Sciences
Around the World
PE FOCUS (core teachers teach remediation during elective time)
Our district implemented a six week rotation of six classes for sixth graders this year in order to give a wide variety of experience to the six grade students. It has been met with mixed reviews from teachers.
Q2: What does the phrase “educating the whole child.” mean to you?
Given it is an elective question time I think it goes to the things that impart a certain passion in people. Yes, many of us have a passion for what we do and teach. Many have gifts in areas outside what is traditionally taught in school. Electives explore some of these passions and hope to ignite in all students a desire to continue to learn and improve.
Q3: Why are Electives important to school culture?
The culture of the school needs the electives to continue to broaden the depth of education. Just a core teachers can not effective teach art they implement art in the curriculum. The elective teachers do the same in classes.
Q4: If you could choose one Elective to be required for all students, what would it be?
Being a computer teachers, I am biased toward computers and technology. All students should know how to type. It should be a ninth grade class required for all.
Q5: If you could teach any Elective what would it be? Think out of the box!!!
I am fortunate in being able to teach multimedia computing and can teach what I find of interest.
Q6: How do we protect Electives in a time of budget cuts?
I foresee the Electives going away. As we move to 1 to 1 computers in the classroom every teacher teaches technology. There is not more need for a technology teacher. There seems to be a movement to the "core" electives of band, music, drama, orchestra, enrichment, GTT, FACS, and art.
Q7: Should kids lose their Electives/Specials time to receive intervention?
They should not lose elective times. They do. Students are pulled for FOCUS. Students are pulled for counseling sessions. Test prep in April is a time many are pulled. Students get messages and called to the office during elective times. I am not sure if any of this happens during core classes but it is highly disruptive to learning. Parents make appointments for the doctor during electives, take students out to lunch during electives. First hour many parents allow students to sleep in late.
Q8: Follow up to question seven, what other intervention ideas can we use to ensure that students are served correctly but don’t lose their Electives/Specials offerings?
This is a difficult one because students should not miss any classes for interventions. Homeroom time or a flexible weekly schedule would help take care of things that need to be accomplished outside the structure of the classroom session.
Q9: What is your personal reason for fighting for Electives/Specials in our schools and our state?
I teach an elective.
Q10: How can you show support for your school’s Electives/Specials programming?
Show up everyone day. Do the best I can for my students and staff. I think teaching teachers can have a greater impact in some ways then just teaching students.
Well I do hope Cindy Lauper made it to one of our great downtown coffee shops yesterday. Coffee Slingers is my first choice but Clarity and Elemental are always a delight. Her concert was great last night. She is a great story teller. My biggest disappointment was the crowd. Silly people would holler out stupid stuff right in the middle of a story.