Students talk about their after-school plans as pens and pencils scratch on paper. A few of the students actually decide to work on their homework that they didn’t finish for their next period class. The teacher casually reminds the students on their cell phones that their project is due tomorrow, but no one puts down their device.
This is the unfortunate reality throughout a number of classrooms at Camas High School after fifth period during the newly-scheduled Maker Time. People have different views on the change that moved Maker Time from after sixth period to after fifth period at the semester change.
The schedule created a problem for students: at the beginning of the year, Maker Time made it very easy for students to choose what they wanted to do with their free period. Those who were interested in working on homework and getting extra help from teachers were able to do so during this time. The original intent of Maker Time, after all, was to provide more required seated class hours and give students a chance to connect with teachers outside of regular class time.
Students who did not have work to finish or were not in need of extra help were able to converse with their friends in the Main Commons. This gave the students a lot of freedom, and it seemed to be a positive use of time for the school.
One form of backlash came in an Instagram page that gave the students a platform to complain about the change. Sophomore Hayden Devore says that he made the account because he felt the students opinions about changes are not heard and that “it would help to give them a voice.”
When the change first happened, students around the school were devastated and very angry. Sophomore Josh Fernando says he did not like the change at all, but now he is used to it. The change created a lot of negative energy around the school; practically everyone talked down about it and was not in favor of it. There was a buzz around school for about a week; every conversation in the lunchroom was about how bad the new schedule is and how everyone hated Maker Time.
Over time, the overall opinion on the schedule change was more in favor of the change. Rather than being super upset about the new free period, students became more indifferent and almost unbiased about the change. Junior Sebastian Harb says that he “doesn’t care too much about the change” anymore but also said that “he wishes the schedule stayed the way it was.”
On top of this, it is also a struggle for teachers to adapt to the change while they try to keep their 5th-period class busy. Teachers have to be able to maintain a quiet learning environment for their students who need extra help or need to retake an assignment or test. Science teacher Mrs. Heather Mulligan says, “It’s hard for students who need extra help in a class to receive it because I already have 30 students in here,” She also explained how it is hard for students who need more help than they are able to receive in class to get it because the noise from the non-focused students is distracting. Also, they might not be able to ask the questions they need to ask in front of a ton of other students. Mulligan says they may feel insecure about what they would look like asking questions that may be obvious to others.
So in spite of a change halfway through the year, it seems students and teachers are all adapting to this change in the schedule. Even though it may be a little difficult for students and teachers at some times, it does not seem that it will make an enormous change for anyone.
Is a change needed in the future? Maybe so. But for now, the students and other members of the school including the staff will have to continue to get used to Maker Time on the current version of the CHS schedule.