Hashing Out Homeroom

Moriah Bowman, 12th grader at Olympia High School.

Moriah Bowman, 12th grader at Olympia High School.

Sophia Hauss, Journalist

Homeroom has a wide variety of opinions from the students and teachers on how to make the class better for the ecosystem of the school. It’s wanted by some of the Olympia High School parents, and a section of OHS students, which leaves people wondering why we came to get homeroom in the first place. When Homeroom was first implemented, it was during the school year of 2019-2020, right before the outbreak of COVID-19. Homeroom had stayed an essential part of our school during the remote stages of the pandemic as it united Olympia to talk about the struggles or feelings students faced when being away from in-person schooling. Through this school year, the social parts of the school are served to most kids, during bear time where students have the ability to go to open-classrooms and clubs.

 

A well-known Civics and AP Government Teacher, Mike Schaefer believes that to make homeroom better it needs “a greater student voice and the content on how it’s delivered.” He went on to say that, “I liked the lessons last year, they were not just teaching from a prescribed system, they were thoughtful, they included a theme that dealt with students’ social and emotional concerns effectively. I think it’s key that you need to provide some opportunities for students to interact and deliver meaningful content from professionals.” A student’s voice brings a lot more attention to the topic of social and emotional health to other students as it can seem relevant to them.  

 

Some of the student community feels as if homeroom provides the support of the underclassmen, rather than upper. An upperclassman, Moriah Bowman, Senior at Olympia, says that they do like homeroom because “I have friends in my homeroom and one of my favorite teachers’ the homeroom teacher. I like it for getting out of my comfort zone.” This year, as Mr. Schaefer has been teaching homeroom to a group of freshman students, he feels as if the underclassmen want to know more about the environment and process of how OHS works, instead of running through each slide about how they feel when they see a photograph. 

Many of the upperclassmen students in the Oly community have individual opinions about this subject. Some persons have commented about their experiences with homeroom as it “takes up club time, feels sort of pointless, talking about our favorite ice cream or random things doesn’t benefit me,” said Margaret Otto, a Junior at Olympia. While on the other hand, other students exclaim their interest in homeroom by saying that it gets people out of their comfort zone, gets them to interact with others, and they’re able to be with a teacher they normally wouldn’t have. As the students of OHS begin to share more about their thoughts, there tends to be an understanding that yes it can be good in some ways, but the delivery of it hasn’t met all the needs of their social and emotional wellbeing during this time.