Modern Critical Issues

Sheridan Shears, Reporter

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Students are on the edge of their seats, hands raised, waiting to be called on so they can share their ideas. Most teachers educate their students so they have the tools to move onto college.

However, for Modern Critical Issues teacher, Nicolette Thompson, her difficulties do not stop there. Thompson began teaching Modern Critical Issues this year, where her students spend their time researching current events in today’s news, then discuss what their take on it is. For some seniors such as Garrett Browne racism and prejudice are a big part of classroom discussions

“Usually our class doesn’t get too heated, we just kinda agree to disagree,” said Browne.

Having juniors and seniors who remain level headed in their discussions makes it easier. However, Thompson still had her work cut out for her. At the beginning of the semester many students were shy about sharing their opinions, so Thompson had to find ways to get them to open up.

“You don’t wanna start with a really controversial topic without getting them to trust each other. We play a lot of trust games and team building activities because I want them to trust each other,” said Thompson.

Many come in with their own ideas, but according to Thompson getting people to think outside of those ideas is difficult. Senior Sarah Hunt feels it has been hard having people who disagree with her opinions. Hunt feels she has had to learn to not get mad when people argue against her views. To avoid any conflict in the classroom getting too out of control Thompson has made sure her students know to respect each others opinions.

“We all have different opinions, but Miss. Thompson set a rule that we need to respect each other,”said Hunt.

The majority of today’s news issues affect many of Thompson’s students, and because of that Modern Critical Issues started off as a challenge for her. Thompson has remained careful in the classroom discussions topics, that way she can avoid students getting their feelings hurt.

“Last semester I had a student whose dad was a cop, so when we talked about police violence it was a very sensitive topic for him,” said Thompson.

For the simple fact that some students are sensitive to certain topics, other students have been shy about sharing their opinions. Throughout the course of the year these students eventually open up.

“I have one student who at the beginning of the semester was very shy about sharing in class, but now she’s right in the middle of things,” said Thompson.

Thompson has shared she feels more confident in teaching Modern Critical Issues. Through trial and error, she feels she has much more control in the classroom and is ready to take on Modern Critical Issues.

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Modern Critical Issues