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Take these 3 classes to make the most of your time at OHS

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Of all the classes available at Oswego High School, there are three that stand out among the others.  Besides taking your generic and required core classes, there are also multiple electives that you should look into. But there are so many options! How do you pick? This article will lay out three great options. The link to the course catalog can be found here.

Floral Design Fundamentals

Grade level: 9-12
Fee: $30
Teacher: Ms. Meegan McCarthy
Prerequisite: Introductory Horticulture recommended

The corsage I made for my best friend using skills that I learned in class, such as bow making, floral arrangements, wire tying, and floral taping. 

Floral Design is a class where you learn about techniques for arranging flowers for different occasions. You also learn skills such as flower care, bow making, and all kinds of flowers that exist. You can take this class as a freshman, but as someone taking it as a senior, I would totally recommend waiting, since junior year can be the hardest year for so many students. It would be 45 minutes a day where you didn’t need to stress about college, SAT, or anything else. You just come in and are surrounded by flowers and a super sweet teacher for a class period. You learn about different types of flowers and the tools you use to handle them. Yes, there are quizzes and yes, you have projects, but none of them are difficult enough to warrant much stress. If you pay attention in class and do your work, it’s an extremely fun and rewarding class. For your first major project, you make a corsage for homecoming. It can either be for you or a friend, and it’s only one-third of the price that shops will charge. And don’t worry, Mrs. McCarthy teaches you everything you need to know in regards to bow making and wiring and all the other things you need to know. This class has an extremely calm and stress-free atmosphere and is a great way to unwind while still learning new skills.

Early Childhood 1

Grade Level: 11-12
Fee: $25
Teacher: Mrs. Kristin Anderson
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Child Development
Articulated credit at Waubonsee Community College available ECE 102

In this class, you become a preschool teacher at the school’s preschool, Panther Preschool. You do an array of things, such as creating lesson plans to teach the students. As a bonus, you can even get college credit at Waubonsee if you earn at least a B. 

Decorated preschool classroom
Room decorations for preschool graduation. The teachers of the preschool, myself included, worked together to set up a graduation ceremony. During the ceremony, each preschooler received two awards, such as good improvement or very friendly. The teachers also talked about their development and they even wore a tiny cap and gown.

Being a teacher in Panther Preschool has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my entire life.  At the beginning of the year, you are assigned a preschooler whom you help teach with one other person. This is whom you make a portfolio for. The portfolio is a binder full of the art the preschooler creates, along with a summary page with pictures of them participating in all the activities throughout the year. This was actually my favorite part of the class because you send it home with the parents at the end of the year. It gives the kids something they can look back on when they’re older, and you even get to write a letter for them to read long after they graduate from preschool. 

Now, with that said, this class is a lot of work if you don’t keep up, but there is a set schedule and time for you to do everything. The class is also blocked, so it’ll take up two periods instead of one, but I thought it was worth it since it gives you enough time to complete everything. 

I took this class junior year, so I taught the 2018-2019 preschool class. The week was divided into two segments; workdays and lab days. Workdays were just time for you and your partner to work on the preschooler’s portfolio and any extra work you need to complete. For labs, you create a lesson plan that incorporates a subject from the curriculum. There are multiple subjects that we taught the students, but some include arts and crafts, math, and gross motor (basically recess). It’s a fun and rewarding class, where you know you’re impacting a child’s life in one of the most important ways: teaching them. There’s a graduation ceremony, which is super cute. This class is great to take if you are planning to be a teacher, or if you want to make an impact on a child’s life. 

Digital Journalism 1

Grade Level: 10-12
Fee: None
Teacher: Ms. Sarah Hands
Prerequisite: Successful completion of any tier of English 1 or 21st Century Journalism
Application required

This class is full of friendly writers, editors, and producers that focus on putting out articles, videos, podcasts, and other media for 42Fifty, the school’s news website. (Now obviously, I’m going to say good things about this class; this article is going to be graded as part of my assignment for Digital Journalism.)

This class can also be a lot of work if you don’t pay attention, but it pays off. You can write news articles, opinion editorials, or you can even make podcasts. The atmosphere is really friendly, and pretty much everyone gets along. I enjoy this class because of the lack of stress I feel while working. I just start writing and then I work with the editors to make my piece even better. All you  need to do is make sure you finish your articles on time, and you’ll be fine. 

I’ve really enjoyed this class and the people I work with while also getting to improve my writing skills. It’s not just your generic English class—it’s engaging and teaches you different ways to write aside from the normal and overused “essay” format. You can also bring up and discuss things that are important to you, and it’s a good way to speak up about a subject and make sure you’re heard. For example, the staff editorial that came out on Oct. 3 discusses and criticizes the school’s lack of preparedness for an active shooter situation. In general, if you like writing and sharing how you feel, you’ll like this class. It’s a great way to let your mind roam free while writing, and the editors make sure the work you publish is the best it can be. 

Now obviously, some of these might not be your thing. But taking these has made my time at Oswego High more valuable as well as more fun, and I’m grateful for the teachers I’ve met while taking these classes. They combine learning and fun into one during their class, and I think many students could potentially benefit very much from taking these while at OHS.

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