Trouble in the Electives Program
The Electives program has been around for many years and is important for the XIIs and XIIIs.
“The Electives program offers an opportunity for students to explore topics that they otherwise wouldn't,” says Lilly Meyer, XIIIs.
When students choose an elective, they get placed with a mentor who specializes in the area that will help to aid their projects.
This year many students have shown dismay about how they are approaching their projects. Students want to have more control over their projects and choose how they go about making their projects, which right now, they are not getting.
Roland Levy, XIIIs, says, “Unfortunately if we finish our project, it will be cutting it very close. The pre-project activities that we have worked on have taken much longer than promised by our mentor. He has unreal expectations of us.” Students say their projects are being changed by their mentors in ways they don't like and are becoming more of their mentors elective than theirs. Other students disagree and say that their projects have been running smoothly and have had little involvement by their mentors. Skuli Baumgardner,XIIIs, says that his project is “running very productively with little involvement from his mentor.”
Mentors often said that they are “trying to teach new skills to further your knowledge of the subject” but many students do not understand their thinking and just want to work on what they signed up for. This is a big problem in the C&C community. Do electives really feel like an open environment where students are free to learn and express their interests without teachers telling them exactly what to do?
Willem Hale of the XIIIs says that, “While I love making my movie, I wish I had a better partnership with my mentor. He is teaching me a lot of useful techniques and strategies that are helpful for future moviemaking, but he is also stalling me and not letting me learn from hands-on experience, which is what I think is the best part of electives learning.”
Some teachers have been told by their students how they feel and while some of them understand and are seeking to change the way they handle students, others continue to see their methods as helping the students.