[ HAWAIIS SCHOOLS ]
VERNON PARENGIT / WAIPAHU HIGH SCHOOL
Erik Tamura's Focus on Freshmen class recently worked on their assignments in groups. Team building skills and bonding are stressed as these freshmen make their way through high school.
Adjustment can be very difficult. Adjusting as a freshman in high school can be gut-wrenching and near impossible at times.
Course gives freshmen
Student Q & A
Programs help build character
By Karen Tumaneng
Waipahu High School
For a high school freshman to be able to cope with the changes he or she is experiencing, great support is needed from teachers and other students.
Freshmen usually feel anxious about the new surroundings and new, different people to get acquainted with every day. While this can be a very tumultuous time in a teen's life, Waipahu High School has made it easier on its freshmen.
No, they haven't done away with homework.
Yes, P.E. is still a requirement.
They haven't lessened the class load either. In fact, they've added a class.
A freshman's transition to high school has been made less troublesome and more comfortable through a new course, Focus on Freshmen, which emphasizes the motto, "All of us can do more together than any one can alone."
Focus on Freshmen, which is a required course for all incoming Waipahu freshmen, is designed to help these teens prepare themselves and develop necessary skills as they continue to their next level of education. In this course, freshmen learn to interact with other students and express their thoughts and ideas.
"This program teaches us manners, how to solve problems and how to stay out of trouble in high school," said freshman Rod Dizor.
Students also are taught to develop good study habits, foster positive self-esteem and use team task-solving. FOF teachers also encourage students to join school clubs and athletics.
Through FOF, freshmen can also familiarize themselves with the school's career resources.
"I love teaching this class," said FOF teacher Dana Fu. "I believe that this is very necessary for freshmen because there is ... a forum where they can open up and share something. I can see the immediate impact of Focus on Freshmen. I hope someday soon, teachers and everyone in this school will see the benefit of this."
Freshman Kristen Labiano discussed how FOF has been beneficial for her: "Through the two extracurricular activities that are required of freshmen to join, not only will I be able to widen my horizons, but I'll learn to manage my time more efficiently as well. FOF will definitely help freshmen be more organized and well-guided."
The way teachers prepare freshmen now will affect students in the Class of 2005 and on. Through FOF, freshmen will be shown tremendous support from teachers and everyone around them. Hopefully, this focus will inspire them to do well in high school and beyond.
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How do you feel about life after high school?
"I have mixed feelings ... I will be excited to be able to experience new things, yet I will be nervous to venture out on my own."
"Life after high school is going to be more hellish than it already is. I'm only 15 and it took me 12 years from birth to realize that this world is intolerable and getting worse by the second. If you realize this in that short period of time, it's obvious something's wrong."
"It is scary and exciting to know that after graduation I'll be in college and on my own. When the time comes, I'll meet new people and be able to provide for myself."
"I feel that you won't get recognized for the accomplishments that you make, big or small."
"I feel like I'm about to have an adrenaline rush. I'm excited, yet a little scared at the same time. It's all about maturity."
"I feel excited to experience the atmosphere of college life and be able to make decisions for myself."
"I am excited about life after high school. I am looking forward to the many possibilities out there in the world. In school you know the things you can do, but being out on your own, you can choose and go through the difficult times to be successful."
"Whenever I think about life after high school, I get excited and curious. I feel I am almost prepared to go off to college and start a new life."
"I feel scared because my mom and dad are no longer my bank account. However, I do feel really good about being on my own without any parents telling me what to do and when to come home. I think that life after high school is filled with many obstacles which will help me develop good habits."
"It's a challenge, and I'm up for it. It's about looking forward to your future or being a bum on the street."
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