Swapping second semester schedule selections: Should students appeal to counselors to change teachers for second semester?


Gwen Klein

Yes- Danny Rothenberg, Staff Writer

With the new semester upon us, receiving your schedule with new and old teachers becomes one of the most hectic times of the year for the counseling office. With a new schedule students feel they should switch into classes with teachers whom they feel will help them succeed, as opposed to sticking to their original schedules. With students having the option to change their schedules in the past, counselors have changed it up this semester and have been a lot less lenient when it comes to changing student’s schedules to receive the teachers they want.
Some counselors, such as Jennifer Taylor, feel that students shouldn’t be allowed to change their teachers and schedule around, as students benefit over time from having different teachers and learning styles applied to their classroom experience. The number of students in the school also makes it very difficult to please every student who wants teacher change. “In an ideal world we would like to have everyone receive their perfect schedule,” Taylor said, but, “If we can’t change schedules for every student we can’t do it for just a few.”
Most of the time when students talk to their counselor about changing their teachers, it is for the good of their education. Students feel they should be able to choose teachers who they know have the right learning style for them to help them succeed. When students receive their schedules, most of them already know which teachers are best fit for them when it comes to earning the best grade possible. Students who performed better under a specific teacher’s instruction should be able to remain in their class to continue the momentum of the grade they recently received. Teachers and students also often create bonds in their time they spend together, which allows students to learn more easily and understand their teachers’ expectations. Seniors may also want the same teacher they had as a junior to help with college recommendations, which will be written for them by teachers they have connected with.
Students learn best when being taught by teachers who use their preferred learning style. For students who prefer partner work over individual work, like sophomore Alex Cohen, a teacher who assigns more individual work is not the best fit for them. “The social aspect of working with partners helps me quickly understand what we’re learning. When I have a teacher who does not allow partner work, I feel I could be doing much better with another teacher,” Cohen said.
With students feeling disappointed about how the counseling office is handling the teacher switching situation this semester, counselors should reconsider the decision they have made.
Opening up the option to switch teachers is an important reason for success throughout the school, leading to students doing the best they can academically.

No- Nic Band, Opinion Editor

At the end of the first semester, students switch schedules and often find themselves having different teachers for the second semester.
People say that switching teachers for the second semester benefits students who don’t work well with their past teachers. If a student is forced to keep a teacher who they do not work well with, they will struggle once again. Some students have preferences in the way they are taught. Some find presentations to be better or some find group activities to be more beneficial. Whatever the teachers’ ways are, the student must abide by those teaching strategies even if they do not like that method of teaching. If students could have different teachers, they could have the chance to be successful in a class that is taught the way that they learn the best.
Having the opportunity to switch teachers increases variation for schedules, allowing counselors to fill classes significantly easier. However, there is a way to get class schedules to be easily incorporated.
For counselors, scheduling classes may be difficult, finding a place for every student that fits perfectly with their other classes. Although having a wide variety of teachers and periods to choose from would be nice, if every student had the same teachers both semesters, classes would be very similar and there would be less chaos trying to find a place to put the student.
Sticking with the same teacher may be advantageous as students can continue the relationship they have with their past teacher. Others may also say that keeping the same teacher ensures students are familiar with the teaching techniques and ways of teaching.
Students’ performance in the class largely depends on their teacher, and it is important for students to familiarize themselves with their teacher’s routines. For AP classes, studying for the AP exam in the first semester with one teacher and then switching to a teacher who presents a different way of studying could affect the student’s’ exam score.
Currently, students sometimes get new teachers in the second semester, basically starting the year off from scratch. The first day of the second semester is just like the first day of school. Students get to know the teacher and a little bit about the course, and teachers have to learn their students’ names. Why start from scratch when students and teachers can just build off of what occurred during the first semester.
“When the second semester starts, it is just like the first day of school, hoping I get friends in my classes and praying the teacher puts us next to each other,” senior Darren Feldman said.
The school should force students to remain with their first semester teacher for the rest of the year to allow them to build relationships, develop similar working habits and know how to succeed with a certain teacher. Just because a student has the “hardest english teacher” doesn’t mean they should switch. The student should learn to face the tough situation and overcome the difficult placement.