Self awareness in high school


Madelyn Tabor

Molly Lewis, Spanish teacher

Say hello to academic seminar, one of the newest additions to the schedule.

“The goal for [academic seminar] is to have students work together in a cohort and hopefully move through their four years of high school together,” Molly Lewis a Spanish teacher said.

This new class will be an hour devoted to skill building and working with students to make the most out of their high school career. Lewis, on her third year of teaching Spanish, said, “the staff had been wanting to change the hour, originally academic time, to something else.”

Academic time was dedicated to students to check up on teachers for missing or late work, to retake a test. For freshmen, there was also Link Crew, which were student-led groups that worked on skills to have throughout their high school careers. Most staff, like Lewis wanted something for kids that was more inclusive.

The original idea was to have students, start out as freshmen, and move all the way up to their senior year, with the same group of people in their academic seminar.

“This is kind of a trial year obviously, anytime you do something new, you assess and see how it goes and what you would change or what you would add to it, so I think the plan is to have it next year,” Lewis said.

The type of activities that will be done with the students and teachers will start out with getting to know classmates and building a community within the group of people, to learning about organization skills and possibly some stress relief for finals.

“And then there are some mandatory things that will have to do as far as students learning about consent and laws about issues with consent,” Lewis said.

Academic seminar will not be a graded class and will have no effect on GPA. It will just be based on attendance.

Times are always changing, and so are the students.

“Different things work with different groups of students, so that’s one thing about education is things are always changing, and we’re always trying to figure out what’s going to work better for students and in a big school like West Linn, it’s hard to find something that’s gonna work for everybody.” Lewis said.“I’m glad that we are doing something with academic time. I think that a lot of students didn’t really take advantage of that time and use it.”