Growing Electives Program: Discovering Passions & Gaining Skills
Posted by TNCS on Nov 2, 2018
The Electives program at TNCS is fertile ground for the development of the passions and gifts of unique minds because of the degree of student choice and the variety of courses it offers. Amazingly, TNCS is offering thirteen new electives courses in the 2018-19 school year. In many cases, a new electives course is the brainchild of a TNCS teacher in another discipline who “always thought it would be cool to teach _____.” In this way, the passion of a teacher creates an opportunity for a student to, in turn, develop a new passion as well.
Many TNCS students are drawn to the study of science and technology because of its hands-on nature. In Careers in Science in the Upper School and the new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) elective in the Middle School, students go beyond their academic study in science to see what career scientists do each day and to explore new areas of science for fun. A new Computer Science track has begun in the Upper School; a student who sees their study of Computer Science through to completion will be developing apps by the time they graduate. Meanwhile, Middle School students in Wondering About Philosophy will take a much less high-tech approach to stretching their brains as they explore the great questions humankind faces.
Fifth and sixth grade students take a rotation of four nine-week courses throughout the year to gain exposure to a variety of areas. Introduction to TNCS just wrapped up for new 5th and 6th graders and was designed to help them start off their TNCS careers positively. ConSenses Art, a module from our partners at NoticeAbility, will help our youngest Sabers explore social-emotional learning through art. This year, Drama and Guitar are new options for 5th and 6th grades, giving them an age-appropriate initial experience before they decide if they want to join the broader Guitar and Drama programs. Other grade levels have new performing arts options too; a new Ukulele class will kick off in the Middle School this spring, and Recording Studio will give Upper School students the chance to share their diverse musical talents and collaborate on joint projects.
Students are not only discovering passions through our new electives, but are gaining skills that will last them a lifetime. Each tenth grade student will take Personal Finance, which promotes financial literacy and responsibility. Fitness Lifestyle is an Upper School PE option designed to instill lifelong health habits. Entrepreneurship is a new Upper School elective, offered through Junior Founders Club, which allows students to collaborate as they build and market a business.
I would encourage you to take some time at the dinner table or in the car to ask your student about their electives. For many students, electives are their favorite part of their day.
by Adam Rothschild, Director of Upper School