Students explore electives fair

Teachers present an array of electives for the upcoming school year


Dua Mobin

Mr. Dwyer conducts a presentation for AP Psychology during the electives fair. AP Psychology is the most popular elective at McLean and attracts a large volume of students at the electives fair each year.

Dozens of electives are on the table for students to choose are available for students at McLean. Ranging from some of the most challenging electives such as AP Physics, and AP Environmental science, to fun electives that give you a break from the traditional course routines like Ceramics and Yoga, there is an elective for pretty much anyone. But, choosing is where the challenge comes.  

The electives fair provides an opportunity for students to attend a session that provides a brief description of the course of the elective and some features of the subject. 

“I think [the electives fair] gives students a chance to understand some of the topics in class that they may  find interesting and to understand how relatable the subject matter will be to their lives and understanding things around themselves,” AP Psychology teacher Joseph Dwyer said.

AP Psychology has been the most popular elective at McLean thus far. The large volume of students attending sessions at the elective fair not only help students in being informed about the course, but also teachers.

“[The electives fair] allows me to gauge the general interest of the course based on how many people show up for the presentations.  It also allows me to see what questions students ask to help them make informed decisions about the courses they choose to take,” Dwyer said.

The purpose of the elective fair is to gauge interest about certain elective which many teachers are intent on achieving.

“I have two goals.  One is to attract and recruit students to take psychology since I think it is a great course that they will enjoy and benefit from.  The other goal is to give students the basic expectations as far as the work habits expected  that will enable their success,” Dwyer said.

Such goals were being achieved as students such as junior Ryan Shue benefited from the four elective sessions that students are able to attend.

“[The electives fair] allowed me to see how the class will operate and what the atmosphere in the class will be. It also allowed me to meet the teachers that I might have before hand,” Shue said.

In addition to exposure to traditional electives offered at McLean, students can be exposed new electives that have been recently introduced to the selection of electives available.

“[The electives fair] allows people to check out newer electives that they would be interested in but haven’t heard about from word of mouth so they are able to get a feel for how the class will be,” Shue said.

One of the newer electives hoping to be launched for the 2020 to 2021 school year is Teach for Tomorrow that is expected to be a positive addition to the pool of electives offered at McLean geared towards the profession of teaching. Having taught various levels of English and Creative Writing in the past, Lawrence Letkiewicz is optimistic about teaching the course in future years.

“Students have the opportunity to really understand what it takes to be a quality teacher. They understand the theories behind it, the methodology teachers use, and the amount of time put into developing quality lessons. In addition, students get an opportunity to actually go to other schools to observe and teach in the elementary, middle, and even high school levels,” Letkiewicz said.

Although the course is unlike most electives offered at McLean, it has some significant benefits for the future careers of students.

Ms. Bovaird signs during her electives fair presentation. Many of such electives are becoming more popular each year.

“[The course] not only prepares you to do well in college when you pursue an education degree, but if you complete both Level 1 and 2 of this course, and you go to an approved college, you are guaranteed a job in Fairfax County,” Letkiewicz said.

Despite the sparse availability of Teach for Tomorrow in the county, Letkiewcz hopes to mold the way he teaches the course that will incorporate his teaching experiences along with the state approved course outline.

“This course is a state approved course, yet currently only seven or eight schools have the program. I am encouraged by this, that McLean is getting in on the ground level. I am the kind of person who likes to have flexibility in how I set things up, so having a few schools to pattern my course with is a big help. However, I wouldn’t want to have everything planned out for me. I like to take something and make it my own, and I am really excited to do this with Teachers for Tomorrow,” Letkiewicz said.

To check out some other new electives being offered, click the link below!

New electives added to course selection