Save Funds for Fun

March 4, 2011
By , Reno, NV
It seems that everyone is being affected by the budget cuts, and schools are no exception. Have you noticed that when high schools are tight on money, the elective classes are typically the first to go? Some people say that electives are unimportant classes, and that they’re not worth the money. However, electives should be seen as equally important to other classes because there are many benefits from taking them.
Everyone has been in that mood where all they want to do is sit back in their chair, talk with their friends and zone out everything the teacher is saying. Teachers wonder why their students become so off task when they should be working. Though some teachers try to assign activities that work with the students’ energy, but some enforce rules which prevent students from socializing. They expect them to sit, to be quiet and to do their work. These rules may be their own downfall. When you keep this constant state of regulation on the students, they often become anxious, restless and full of tension because there is no way to relieve their building energy. Elective classes are a simple way to let that energy free while still being in a controlled environment. Many elective classes are less regulated, which allows the students to release their energy through socializing while still being on task. This works because, though it provides a different kind of environment from an average and somewhat boring class, the class is still in control.
The type of environment that electives provide does more than permit students to unlock their stress boxes, but they also allow students to be themselves. Core classes are generally based on the whole class doing the same old routines, but a lot of the curriculums presented in elective classes encourage students to open up and be outgoing. They can interact with other people who are interested in the same things that they are interested in, which may provide them with confidence and self worth that they can carry over to their other classes.
Not only do elective classes give students the opportunity to take the classes that they enjoy, but they also can boost their GPA’s by getting good grades in those classes. It is common knowledge that if someone is interested in what they are doing, then they will be more driven to do well in what they are doing. When thinking further ahead than just graduation, elective classes can also aid the students in picking the college that they want to attend. Many students are interested in getting a college degree in something other than the basic classes. The electives a student takes in high school can give them a head start on their path to that degree, which may also lead them to their future career. And for those students who are still unsure of what they want to do later in life, electives give them the opportunity to explore their options.
Have you ever felt that disappointment when we find out you can’t take the class you were hoping to take, when you are put into a totally random class because there was no other class to put you in, all because the class you wanted wasn’t available anymore? Well, if you have, keep in mind that it’s not just you and the other students who are disappointed. Many of the teachers who teach elective courses have been booted out of their job because the class they were teaching was removed from curriculum. By keeping electives, some stress could be relieved from the upper generation as well. However, so many of these classes have already been cut, and those who’ve lost their jobs due to cutting out electives don’t have the option of finding another school to teach their profession and passion because this financial issue is nationwide.
It is time to find a better way of managing the money spent at our high schools. Funds for electives should not be taken away in order to pay for other debts. Maybe this requires higher lab fees. Maybe this requires spending less money on after school clubs and sports events. Seeing as these don’t have as much effect on academics (in fact some sports events require students to miss school in order to attend the events), it would seem better to save the money for the classes that students are actually enrolled in. There can still be sports in school, but participants should pay more to participate and fewer events should occur. These are not easy choices to make, but we all have to make sacrifices.
With all of the benefits that come from electives, I don’t see how they can be viewed as unimportant. With a bit better money prioritizing, we can keep our electives and start our way to developing a more confident and diverse generation. Something that should always be kept in mind is that the kids in our schools now are the people who will be running our nation in the future, so their education should be made the best that it can be.





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