Teachers stress importance of elective classes

Students in Tammy Sparks TweenLife class work on their Chromebooks. (Isaac Pain)

At Duncan Middle School, there are 11 electives, and each elective is important in its own way.

“Electives are important because it exposes students to a wide variety of different academic disciplines,” Principal Rodney Strutton said. ” This can help a student guide their thinking towards a career path. It also helps with making a more intellectually well-rounded person with knowledge in a variety of different areas.”

There are a variety of elective classes at DMS, ranging from various academic pursuits, such as health and humanities, to those that work on real life and work skills, such as TweenLife, journalism and STEM.

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Andrew Bowers, the health teacher at Duncan Middle School, thinks his class is important because health is your whole life.

“It has to do with your life, and I think that’s pretty important,” Bowers said.

Humanities teacher Cathy Barker works through various timelines with her students. Barker’s sixth-grade students have learned about Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia and various other ancient civilizations, while her seventh-graders have learned about Puritans. Her eighth-grade students learn about the American decades.

“My class is important because there’s a saying that ‘if you forget the past you will soon repeat the past,’ Meaning we need to learn from our mistakes,” Barker said. “I feel as if my students should be able to learn from our economy’s mistakes.”

Other skills students can learn at DMS include computer literacy and keyboarding, library skills, and art.

Floyd Brown, the computer science teacher, feels that his class helps prepare students for their future career and job paths.

“If you don’t teach kids about computers, then students will not be ready for jobs that deal with computers,” Brown said.

Brown said 80 percent of jobs today deal with computers.

At DMS, art returned again this year, after taking a year hiatus without an art teacher. As in past years, art is among the most popular elective, ranking up with physical education.

Shelly Farrar, the art teacher, thinks her class is important because art helps students learn in creative ways.

“I couldn’t imagine a world without color,” Farrar said.

She said art also gives them a break from school.

“People in art are very visual people, and we usually see something very creative that most people wouldn’t,” Farrar said.

Electives can open up many opportunities for students, whether it’s a future career path or learning about the past economy. Each elective is important for each student dealing with their future lives and hobbies.