Photo courtesy to Arshia Ajmera
Underclassmen have until May 27 to finalize their course selection for the 2022-2023 school year. Electives are an important part of the highschool experience because they allow the exploration of new interests and hobbies that can be utilized later in life. For example, Business and Art classes can strike an interest in a possible future career. Art focused classes such as Drawing 2 and Ceramics 2, and Business classes such as Virtual Enterprises International (VEI), AP micro and AP macro economics are some of the popular electives that Metea offers to its students.
Suji Cho, a senior currently taking Drawing 2, is thankful for the ability to choose classes and also appreciates how project grades consider individual goals and progress.
“For Drawing classes, the teachers are a lot more open with the rubric, than core classes. They give you an outlet to put [out] what you want [or need] to do. The grading is more holistic and individualized toward each student,” Cho said.
Cho likes Drawing 2 because of how the course pushes her to complete projects.
“I suggest [taking an art class at Metea]. [Even though] it gets tiring physically, as long as you have a good source of motivation or a lot of imagination, it is a good class,” Cho said.
Sophomore Mehar Kaur, another student taking Drawing 2, states how she likes the level of the class, a beginner and intermediate level. Kaur explains that it is a friendly introduction to the fundamental basics of art creation, but also a place for more advanced artists to exercise their talents toward specific projects.
Kaur’s favorite part about the class is when there is a free studio day, and being able to create art.
“It’s a good way to have a break in your day where you’re not doing much engageable hard work but you’re rather able to unwind and relax and express yourself during that time,” Kaur said.
There are also positives outside of the classroom. Studies show the importance of creative expression on a student’s academic performance. According to Volume 2, issue 5 from the International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES), “knowledge and skills acquired through the arts transfer to non-arts domains.” This means that taking elective classes can be beneficial to students.
Art electives are not the only electives with a lot to offer. Business classes at Metea are also a fun elective for those that are interested in the idea of a business career or to become a better-informed citizen.
Senior Arshia Ajmera is a well-versed student in the business world at Metea. Ajmera is currently taking microeconomics and Virtual Enterprises International. In the past, she took Business orientation, marketing, finance, and management, and she took macroeconomics last semester.
Ajmera explains that she is creatively challenged and is forced to think about where [the] world is today. She recommended thinking outside of the box and connect to what is taught in the classroom to what is going on in the real world.
“Take any business class, even if you have the slightest inkling to take it because our world revolves around business and the economy,” Ajmera said. “Having some knowledge or awareness about it can definitely help you.”
The material is not the only factor to consider when choosing electives. The rigor of the course is not like Drawing 2 and Ceramics 2, where the course tailors to the student’s level and more about individualizing the course to a student’s needs.
“Some courses are definitely more rigorous than others,” Ajmera said.
Ajmera talks about the pace of semester-long courses compared to year-long AP courses as a difference to be reckoned with, but doable.
“They take a lot of time and effort because you want to succeed but I feel that most students that take these more rigorous classes, definitely put in the effort to get the output. It includes a lot of collaborative work, everyone’s working hard for everyone to succeed,” Ajmera said.
The benefits of the experience that VEI provides are worth the work that is put in because of the premise of the class.
“You start a company with the whole class, and then the whole year you are running the company with your classmates,” senior Tommy Shaw said. “We have [different] positions [in the company]. “
The company that is run is supposed to emulate a real-life business, giving the experience of running a business without the financial risk.
“When I go to business in the future, I [will] have an idea of the processes that occur during [different phases of business operations],” Shaw said.
In addition to a real-world experience and exposure to businesses and their inner workings, business classes can be a source of motivation for those core classes. An important aspect of the business classes and art classes is the social collaboration that is required to complete projects. Social collaboration can improve motivation as well.
According to a 1983 report from the University of California at Berkeley and a 2019 journal by the international journal of higher education, “Cooperative learning has supported the increased attendance in learning activities and an interactive classroom environment which enhances higher student’s motivation, participation, and enjoyment.”
Students who collaborate and share ideas are able to better understand the content and are more likely to actively participate in class.
There is still time to decide on courses for next year. There is a schedule to stay organized.
The course selection packets for each grade level for the 2022-2023 school year can be found here.
You can reach out to your counselor in your class house or fill out a schedule change request here.
Christina Guckel and Tanay Pant contributed to this story.