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School Subjects and Retaining Student Interest

CHS sophomore Brody Paulson in songwriting class

Most students have an opinion on the subjects they learn at school, but what causes these opinions? How does this change over time? Students say their like or dislike of a subject has much to do with their teachers and mindset.

CHS sophomore Brody Paulson explained that, as of late, he has particularly enjoyed math contrary to his history with mathematics. He attributes this largely to his teacher, but also to a change in his mindset.

Tristan Wells’ classroom

“I want to understand math. I used to view it as a chore, but now I have the mindset of it being a puzzle,” Paulson said.

Paulson thinks mindset is important for liking math. 

“If you go into math class and you don’t want to and you rush through it, you won’t get it,” Paulson said.

Sometimes this works in the opposite direction though. Paulson says he has always loved history but has found it hard recently to find it interesting because of the teaching style.

“I don’t think it’s the teacher’s fault … but now we spend months on a specific subject, and I think it’s definitely overwhelming,” Paulson said.

CHS student Sterling Angrish has also said his appreciation for certain subjects has decreased.

“I used to really love sciences, but now not as much,” Angrish said. “I think this is because of the kind work that is assigned now.”

CamTech display

Angrish says that since the beginning of high school, he has stopped liking sciences as much as English, whereas he used to like science more.

CHS physics teacher Tristan Wells offered a perspective on changing his approach to achieving student engagement in class.

“I used to be really hard on trying to keep everybody engaged all of the time, and it’s exhausting,” Wells said. “I realized at some point that paying attention to important material and someone wanting to do well go hand in hand.”

At this level of school, students often want to do well, or do not, or somewhere in between, but whatever their desire is, that is often what their results reflect. Whether they want to keep their grades up or “have intrinsic interest on the topic,” as Wells said, students will do well in a class if they want to. It seems the key to keeping students interested is giving them the freedom to be interested, and let them change their own mindset instead of being forced.

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Ephram Kukartsev
Ephram Kukartsev, Staff Writer

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