Hard Class, Hard Work

Kiera S., Staff Writer

Photo by Kiera S. The posters in stairwell (close up) show the material the students learn in math. 

In seventh and eighth grade, many students are selected for advanced classes among the middle school. French, Spanish, and math are the only courses where this opportunity is offered.

Are advanced classes a lot different from on-level classes? Are they too hard for some students to keep up, or do they offer a perfect higher level for more advanced students?

Madeline B., a seventh grade girl who is in accelerated math, said, “Extra work in class—no, but extra homework–yes. I have had up to 40 problems in one night.”

In honors classes, the pace is much faster; students will have more homework in order to stay on track in class. This could help or hurt some more than others.

Bryson W., a seventh grade boy who is also in accelerated math, said, “I do football and wrestling, and it can be very hard to manage the time. I have to cut out stuff like video games and playing Fortnite.”

With sports, plays, dances and extracurricular activities, free time is rare. Many kids who are in advanced classes have to skip fun things that they would usually have time for.

Lawrence M., an eighth grade boy, said, “I change my work ethic because I try harder in my advanced class than regular courses.”

It is a necessity that students study more in their accelerated classes because it is meant to be a more difficult course in general. Students are required to work hard in order to keep their grade up.

Alexa L., an eighth grade girl who takes both advanced Math and Spanish, said, “I think they’re a little bit harder than regular classes because they offer more material at once.”

Regular and advanced classes are supposed to be teaching the same topics, but the pace of advanced courses is much quicker. Because they go faster, advanced classes require more material to be learned at a time.

Rachel Coleman, a math teacher who taught both accelerated and on-level last year, said, “In the on-level classes, we covered six units of study over similar topics. Some were the exact same to the accelerated course. However, the accelerated classes cover 13 units not including the coding unit. The pace is a lot faster because we covered almost double the amount.”

Ms. Coleman explained that the emphasis on homework is about the same as well as the tests. Students overall try just as hard in either class, it is just a matter of placement and where students belong.

Although many of the students that take advanced classes have a lot of work and have no choice but to study hard, it is still the right fit for them. A lot of students like the fast pace of the class despite the amount of work.

Photo by Kiera S. Snowflakes made by math classes show the topics studied.