Are Required Classes Really Useful?


Photograph by Aren Maas

Makayla Hartin, Reporter

Have you ever found yourself asking if the class you were working so hard in was really going to help you in the future? Well, I definitely have, so I thought I would look into what others at Union had to say.
I started out with interviewing Ellen Townsen – most of you might know her as Mrs. T. She has been working here at Union as well as other schools for many years. She used to teach English and is now a Paraeducator.

Firstly, I asked her if there were any classes here at Union that she does not think are useful and she couldn’t think of any – she instead feels core classes are useful. She also believes electives are useful because they help students find their interests. Mrs. T also had the same answer as a student when they were both asked about the class Financial Literacy. They both feel the Financial Literacy class here at Union is very useful and should be required learning.

In addition to interviewing her I asked some of my peers if they would fill out a survey related to this subject. Most students are content with the classes that are offered at Union. 30 percent of students requested unavailable classes. Most students just wanted more variety, but one student suggested a gardening class. When people were asked if they wished high school classes were based more on individual interests like CTA or School of the Arts, the answers varied. About 50 percent of students said yes and the other 50 percent said no, stating that they could always advocate for different kinds of classes.

Although I was happy to hear that most students are content with the required classes, I was a bit surprised. It is common for me to hear complaints on the types of things we learn about in high school. I feel this conversation is touched on in various forms of media as well as real life. Some things I heard overlapped, like wanting to learn about things we will have to do in life no matter what we do for a living. Paying bills or learning how to do taxes come to mind, instead of learning about algebra and fractions. I thought the Financial Literacy class was very important and helped many people. So, for the most part, I am happy to say I agree with my peers.