Pro vs. Con: Teacher recommendations for APs necessary?

Pro: Casey Taira

No course recommendations? No problem.The lack of teacher recommendations actually fosters independence and encourages students to take control of their education.

As class registration rolled by, some raised concerns about the removal of teacher recommendations. What if students sign up for the wrong classes? How will students know what classes they should take? While these are important matters, they can be remedied by a bit of student initiative.

Valuable schooling should not just teach subject matter. It should teach life skills, including the ability to take action. If a student is unsure of what courses they should take, it is better to encourage them to research their options rather than immediately provide them a list of answers.

Students are not helpless. They may not completely know what prospective classes have in store, but that does not mean they can not find out. Students can speak with teachers, counselors, and former students to gather information. They can discover for themselves what suits them best and get into the habit of making educated decisions that will affect their future.

In the real world, there won’t be a set of recommendations to guide a person’s every move and the removal of teachers recommendations simulates this. Life will not hand them the answer to every decision they must make, so school should not do so either. Instead of teachers directing their futures, students should be given the breathing space to evaluate their own abilities and actively decide what courses will be most beneficial to them in the long run.

With recommendations, students don’t have to carefully consider what the best option might be for themselves and can just accept and take the teacher’s word for it. Without the recommendations, students have to take matters into their own hands, becoming active in shaping their education.

Overall, this change will raise a generation accustomed to being independent, resourceful, and ready to take charge of their future.

Con: Emily Hirsch

The absence of teacher recommendations this year has proven to be a mistake as the process of class registration was only made more confusing and difficult for students.

Students have an incomprehensive understanding of the workload or course material they will learn next year, only a general idea of the topics taught. That’s why teachers, who are more familiar with the subject matter in each class, should have input on what students are recommended for.

Without teacher recommendations, students don’t have a reference point for their ability level or their potential. Instead, they are left to determine what class they should be in without much information about the differences between them. It is possible that some students registered for less rigorous courses because no one told them they were capable of taking AP. On the opposite side of the spectrum, students might have signed up for high level courses without having the experience or being equipped to succeed in them.

The removal of course recommendations hurts staff as well as students. Students who unknowingly signed up for a level they’re not comfortable in are going to require extra assistance in order to learn and become successful, something that the teacher might not be able to provide them with.

Originally, course recommendations didn’t pose a problem in the process. If anything, they proved to be helpful, and if a student disagreed with a teacher’s decision, they could easily sign up or appeal for a different one. If a student is able to decide what class they should take for themselves, why wouldn’t they be able to do that with the extra guidance from an adult? Getting rid of them all together creates more problems than if the existing problems were addressed directly.

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