Editorial: Just a regular day

All classes should challenge students

“This is not a blow off class,” a phrase frequently argued by many teachers. Their objective as the educator is to provide a path for success to every student by teaching them to integrate creative thinking and problem solving methods in order to achieve answers. While many students who attend either AP or DC classes would undoubtedly agree that their curriculum encourages critical thinking skills, the same cannot be said about those that attend regular, or as they are often called, easy classes.

While it can be argued that regular classes were designed initially to give students a less stressful path to a high school degree, there should be a standard set by the regular teachers, and if one is already in place, it is simply not being met or set too low.

When taking a test, the teacher is supposed to be evaluating a student’s understanding of the assigned material; however, they are not supposed to pause and give the students who do not pay attention a free answer. When in the middle of a discussion, a teacher should be unhindered and have everyone’s attention. There should not be students shouting or dancing in the middle of the classroom.

Perhaps the true difference between regular classes and the advanced is the drive for students to want to succeed. AP students study for the AP test, DC students strive to gain the extra college credits, but what of the regular students who are content with simply passing the STARR test? A total transformation of the regular system is not necessary, but leaving things the way they are may be worse than the alternative.

If instead regular classes could offer some benefit for students who pass with a 90 grade point average, such as free ice cream at lunch, then maybe more initiative would be shown. Even doing something as simple as rewarding students with a few bonus points would help.

While it would be unfair to believe that every student who’s not in an advanced class is lazy or does not try, it is true that a large population of regular students focus more on socializing than on learning.

One reason for this could be because regular teachers are more forgiving than advanced teachers. Advanced teachers must deal with the burden of cramming more lesson plans into smaller allotment of time due to the multiple tests that come with advanced classes. Whereas regular classes just have to take the standard tests. Because of this, most advanced teachers are stricter and make it more clear that insubordination will not be tolerated.

Whatever the case, TISD should implement a more challenging curriculum for their regular classes as a means to make students have to focus on their studies. If nothing is done, the sophistication gap between regular and advanced classes will just continue to grow.