This year, the English department added a selection of courses for juniors and seniors, including: World Lit, Creative Writing, Heroes, and two AP choices. Along with these choices, film, creative writing, heroes and public speaking (for seniors) will be offered second semester. Ms. Goldstein, English department chair, explains the reason behind this new change, saying, “The English department examined classes offered in other area high schools and decided that juniors and seniors deserve more options.”
Most of the classes combine the juniors and seniors, providing a new opportunity to have discussions with different viewpoints. Senior Aili Lafer, who takes Heroes with Mrs. Arons, comments: “It gives everyone an opportunity to learn what they want to learn, instead of being forced to take a specific course.” Tamar Dallal says, “Juniors and seniors being in the same class is beneficial because it keeps the classes calmer.”
Additionally, students can opt to participate in an honors component to the English courses. This required honors students to read an extra book over the summer and write an essay on it, memorize 25-30 lines of Shakespeare, and write a sophisticated research paper. In response, there have been some negative responses to the honors component. Some students think the honors work is too hard and intense, because it involves doing the regulars work and additional honors work. Senior Shmuel Bergman who is taking Ms. Goldstein’s World Lit course for honors credit reacts to this: “There isn’t much extra work for honors on a daily basis. However, the big difference is that the honors students have to do an extra big assignment or two. Personally, I wasn’t expecting this. I was just expecting a little bit of extra work here and there.” Others, however, appreciate the amount of work because it allows them to do more with their skills and think it’s a regular amount compared to an honors class. Junior Roni Bell who is in Mrs. Arons’s eighth period creative writing class and is choosing to complete the additional honors requirements in order to receive honors credit, says, “Having additional honors assignments allows me to do more with my writing by doing different assignments than everyone else in my class.” Both students and teachers are embracing this change and Ms. Goldstein adds, “I hope that the students are enjoying these new classes as much as I am enjoying teaching World Lit.”
By Matan Bauman. This article originally appeared in The Crown Prints.