[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s I sit listening to my friends at the lunch table talking about how their Honors Math and Science classes are stressing them out, I can’t help but wonder why I’m not taking these classes. It’s not because my grades aren’t up to par. It’s not because it would be too challenging. It’s not because it would take up too much of my time. So what was the reason? I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t enjoy them as much as my friends do. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional chemistry lab with fire and chemicals and all that good stuff, but when it comes to the formulas and writing out math problems again and again, I tend to get bored.
But I am interested in English. I love English. I love the fact that writing is personal and no one else in this world can write exactly like me, and I know I’m not alone. So, my fellow English lovers, I’m going to ask the question that so many of you have been asking in your heads. Why does the English department only offer Honors and AP opportunities for seniors?
Mrs. Lambert, the chair of the English Department, explained the concerns that the English department would have if they offered AP and Honors english classes. “Prior to my arrival at Kinkaid, we did offer Honors classes,” Mrs. Lambert explained, ”but we were dissatisfied with the results because the lower level students were not mixed with the higher level students.”
Lambert continued to explicate how having different levels of students in the same english classroom can help with the students learning processes. “The lower level students can learn a lot from the upper level students, and the upper level students can learn a lot from teaching the lower level students. We learn more by teaching, than by doing.”
She also expressed that “Kinkaid students don’t know how to say ‘no’. They will be inclined to take the AP course because if they didn’t, colleges would want to know why. The English department had concerns for the well-being of the students. Mrs. Lambert voiced that if they were to offer an AP class, the teacher would be inclined to give more homework therefore giving the student a harder time. “We believe that it takes at least two years for students to really be ready and have the right foundation for higher level classes and that before then, the students would be too overwhelmed in an AP english class…”
Prior to hearing the concerns and opinions of the English Department, I will agree that they have some good points, but I still believe that it’s unfair that the scientists and mathematicians of Kinkaid have more opportunities than us readers and writers. Shouldn’t we get the same number of opportunities as anyone else? Plus, doesn’t taking an AP or Honors course bring your GPA up automatically? All of these questions kept popping up in my head while I was writing this article, so I decided to contact another student who loves english to get a student perspective. Kylie Lohrenz (11) also has a strong feeling towards english classes at Kinkaid. “It’s really put me at a disadvantage that there are no honors classes available to juniors,” Lohrenz explains. “At such a competitive school that is so college focused, the number of Honors and AP classes you take could really affect your college future.” She also talked about another concern that I had about the different levels of students in each class. “Students who aren’t as good at English as others are put into classes with harder teachers which teach a class as if it were an Honors class.” She continued on about how english is the only academic class for juniors that doesn’t have an AP or Honors option.
“This should be changed, and I know that a lot of other students agree with me,” Lohrenz expressed.
So, from a student’s perspective I think that the way our English department is set up is unfair to the students. From a teacher’s perspective there are some concerns, but the teachers are not really thinking about how much Honors and AP classes could benefit a student if executed successfully. The Science and Math classes at this school are getting an unfair advantage over the English classes and are being portrayed as more important here at Kinkaid. The reason I am writing this article is to get the student’s voices heard so maybe I could change these issues for the next generations to come. Do you think we should have more English opportunities? Do you feel it’s unfair? I feel very strongly about this topic and I know some of you students do to. We could make a change in this school, all we have to do is speak out.