Students and teachers should make the most of freshman seminar


Photographer: Marisa

Lindsey Pyron

Freshman seminar classes can act as many different things for students depending on how the teacher hosts the class. Some teachers host the class with a lot of interaction between students and a lot of collaborative time doing activities. Whereas other teachers solely let the students use the class to catch up on late work, and some teachers are somewhere in the middle. How a teacher hosts a freshman seminar class should really depend on how the students would like to use their time. Many students depend on freshman seminar classes to finish up their homework or study before their next class. A great deal of students like it for the social aspect and being able to work with other students such as seminar mentors. Whichever way students choose to use the period, the class needs to be more structured for the student’s benefit.

Since the class should generally be more structured depending on how students would like to utilize that class time, students have to figure out how they want to spend their time. There are a couple of different reasons why it should be used to catch up on homework or collaborative time. High school comes with a lot of homework, so seminar classes are a great time to catch up on that homework. According to an online article on the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), 8% of homework was not being completed, but due to adding seminar classes, it decreased to 4%. When given the time in school, students are able to complete more of their homework. 

As using freshman seminars to catch up on homework is a good use of the period, so is collaboration with other students. The social aspect of school is super important, but it can often be difficult to converse with peers. Therefore seminar classes could be a great way to talk to people. Also, since COVID-19 has affected people’s interactions with others, it can also help make school feel more normal with students talking and working together. Especially when being a freshman, in a new school it can be super helpful to have mentors to talk to and ask questions. 

Depending on how the students would like to utilize the period, the class should be organized appropriately. There should be a specific routine to avoid confusion. Having a more structured schedule during class time can help the students use the time more effectively. If a group of students wants to use it in different ways then the period can be broken up in a way to please all of the students. That may be having students who want to do collaborative work form a group and work together every class or having students who just want to finish their homework, individually. No matter what the students choose, the seminar class needs to have more structure and organization in order for the students to benefit from the class.