What’s directed study? This was a common question at the beginning of the year. Deb Salter envisioned a class like no other, where students could study or create what they are truly passionate about. After pitching the idea to administration and an application process to find the right students, this vision became a class, but still many had questions.
For junior, Audrey Dutrow the class seemed untraditional and she was drawn to the freedom she believed it could bring.
“I immediately thought ‘this is the kind of class I have always wished existed,'” she said.
Overall Salter saw a variety of results. Many students had very clear plans that ended with astounding achievements, while others seemed unable to find a project that they were truly passionate about.
“In a lot of ways it went really really well…it did not go as well as I wanted for several people…I’d give it a B-,” Salter said.
There will be one period for directed study next year and Salter has plans to improve.
“I assumed that people could understand how quickly time can get away from you if you don’t focus,” she said.
Though the students were given several assignments meant to keep them on track, like two-week schedules, Salter plans to put more emphasis on this so that student’s projects can reach their full potential.
At the end of the year, the students gave presentations of their projects to an audience in the learning center. These took place Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week and they were meant to showcase the progress and the passion of the students in the class.
For students to excel in a class like this they have to have a certain amount of determination.
“They need that tenacity to go ‘I want this badly enough to suffer a little bit and to focus on it’…At the end of the day that’s what I hope, that people find themselves in that moment where they are so passionate and having so much fun that even the learning doesn’t hurt, that it’s hard doesn’t hurt, that it’s frustrating doesn’t hurt cause ‘by golly I want this and I’m having a great time,'” she said.