Two new classes proposed for next year

April 2, 2020 — by Jackson Green

Two new classes have been proposed for next year: Creative Writing 2, a second-year component to the one-year Creative Writing class taught by English teacher Amy Keys and Effective Speech and Communication, taught by English and drama teacher Sarah Thermond. 

“I think that we have a large group of students at Saratoga who enjoy the humanities but don’t have a lot of opportunities outside of their busy schedules and would like to have an opportunity to write,” Keys said.

Keys decided to propose Creative Writing 2 to give students with an interest in creative writing another year of it. It also gives the class a better chance at getting enough signups to run. Single-class electives generally needs around 25 signups in order to be offered.

“I want to make sure that the class is always running,” Keys said. “I want people who get a taste for it. If they want to develop further, then they can.”

Creative Writing 2 will be taught in the same class period as Creative Writing 1, with Creative Writing 2 students receiving more advanced assignments, as well as more opportunities to publish their work. 

The other new class proposed for next year is Effective Speech and Communication, a class centered around rhetorical tactics and public speaking. 

“A lot of research that the school district has read says that a major skill students seem to be missing at the high school and college level is the ability to clearly communicate their ideas,” Thermond said. 

Former assistant principal Brian Safine approached her about the idea of teaching such a class. The class will help students learn how to better express their ideas in a clear and concise manner, as well as improve their skills at speaking in front of large groups of people. The class also plans to help students overcome public-speaking-related anxieties through practicing public speaking.  

“[Effective communication is] a set of skills that comes up so much in life that having a class specifically focusing on the teaching of those qualities could be a real catalyst for a student to discover a new amount of confidence and clarity,” Thermond said.

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