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New class differs from traditional English offering

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In spring of 2018, members of the class of 2019 began final scheduling of their high school careers. As juniors selected their classes for senior year, many were intrigued to see a new English class available.

Bearing Witness is a senior English class taught by Alexandria Barthol. The class focuses on current events as well as writing techniques.

Students taking Bearing Witness are given the opportunity to write and speak on topics that are important and interesting to them. Many of these topics are controversial, but still very relevant to students’ lives. “I like it because I can write about things I actually relate to, other than about stories written by old, dead, white guys,” senior Erandi Reyes said.

Although the class is focused on students expressing and using their voices, it also stresses critical writing and communication techniques. Students in the class are taught how to efficiently write essays and give speeches.
“It helps us become better writers. When I got to write a speech, I was excited because I felt like I really got to express myself and my opinion,” Reyes said.

However, at times, the conversations that take place in the class can cause students to become emotional. Students are able to talk about personal struggles such as depression and anxiety. When students personally relate to these circumstances, they hit closer to home.

Senior Alaina Martin describes the content of the class as not too intense. “But when people have opposing views it can cause emotional responses,” she said.

All in all, students find the class beneficial. “We did personality tests to learn more about ourselves,” Martin said. “I think this is important because we are about to go off to college. It helps to have a better understanding of ourselves.”

Students agree that Bearing Witness gives them good insight on the issues that affect their lives.

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New class differs from traditional English offering