Juggling Classes: When to Drop and When to Add Another Into the Mix

Juggling Classes: When to Drop and When to Add Another Into the Mix

Every Benjamin student is familiar with getting an email from Director of Student Services, Dr. Amy Taylor, warning students that the two week period for adding and dropping classes will soon come to an end. Various students including senior Ali Brown can agree that this warning can create a whirlwind of emotion and confusion regarding whether or not a class should be dropped. Of course, it can be difficult to gauge the workload and level of a class in two weeks, but teachers, students, and college counselors believe that they have helpful advice for when a situation like this arises.

During the add and drop period, many students will drop an AP class or two once they realize that the workload may be too much of a burden with other classes and extracurricular activities. On the contrary, some students may decide that they’re ready for a challenge and will decide to switch from regular to honors or honors to AP.

Head of the English department Mrs. Sharon Wendler thinks that students can easily figure out their preferred level of difficulty from the first few days of curriculum.
“I think most often based on the discussion in the first few days of the summer reading, the expectations surrounding the discussion is what will make students say either ‘I’m in the right place’ or ‘I’m in the wrong place.’ That goes either way because sometimes a student will decide they’re ready for a challenge and for a class that will better prepare them for college like an AP, but on the other hand, a student may think they need more structure and support that will come from an on-level course,” Mrs. Wendler added.

The add and drop period is designed for students to figure out which type of course best fits their needs and gives students the opportunity to try a class out before ultimately making a decision.

“I think the add and drop period is always very helpful when it comes to finalizing a schedule,” said Ali Brown.

“I was initially in Marine Science, but I quickly realized that I would be more interested in a class where I could play to my strength in social studies and learn about relevant events. I switched to Current Issues with Mr. Carr, and after a few weeks in the class I am confident I made the right decision,” she added.

Reasons for adding and dropping specific classes can vary but Associate Director of College Counseling Mrs. Bekka Goldberg thinks that students should definitely consider a few questions when contemplating
staying in a class.

“The considerations for dropping a class really depend on that specif-
ic class and that specific students overall schedule, but what students should consider is if they can manage the workload and manage it well, if the class piques their curiosity and if it fits their aspirations for beyond Benjamin,” said Mrs. Goldberg.

Mrs. Goldberg also stressed the importance of using Benjamin’s rigorous class selection to the best of the students’ abilities. The School strives to both challenge and engage the students through their classes, ensuring heightened performance and participation.

“When we advise students on schedules we talk to them about taking the most challenging course load where they can be successful. We tell them to take rigorous classes in areas of interest and areas of strength so this doesn’t mean that students should pursue a whole AP program just because it’s available to them.”