By Fahima and McKenzie
ASAs are fun for some people, but not for others. With different people liking different things, it’s hard to provide options for everyone. However, teachers make sure that there’s a varying list of different activities so that you can find one you like!
We interviewed Mr. Currey, the director of ASA’s, to get more information from a teacher’s standpoint. We asked him why he thinks some kids don’t attend after school activities, he responded by saying, “It tends to be that 6th graders join more than 7th graders, and 7th graders join more than 8th graders. I think that maybe the ASAs aren’t at their interest level or it’s part of the general apathy of an 8th grade kid. Some students may think it’s not “cool” to be in an ASA.”
One interesting development is that there has been an increase in people joining ASA’s with online school compared with recent school years. In fact, almost half the middle school participated in at least one ASA in quarter one.
So why do mostly just 8th graders think ASAs aren’t cool? It might be because middle school is a time where 13 year olds start to figure out themselves, and they give in to peer pressure. This is a time where they start to notice what other kids around them are participating in and they listen closer to what others think about them. If their friends aren’t doing ASA clubs, then most likely they won’t either. Last quarter, there were 3 times more 6th graders that joined ASA’s then the whole 8th grade combined.
Some kids believe that something is not cool because a teacher is involved. Which is just some kids are, and the fact that ASAs are run by teachers or adults, might turn students away.
Mr. Currey also said that getting students involved is not always easy. “It’s difficult to just say, ‘Hey students, do you want to run a club?’”. That said, it’s also important for the students to reach out and speak up if they know that many other students have the same opinion as them. If they aren’t interested in ASAs, students should give teachers feedback about it.
To get a closer look from someone who is actually in middle school, we interviewed an 8th grader who said that the activities are uninteresting and the ones that are okay in in-person school just don’t work in online school. This eighth grader also mentions that none of the 8th graders she knows had done ASA’s at all.
Are there specific reasons why they don’t like them or don’t want to go to ASAs? So does this mean 8th graders don’t like ASA’s at all? Well, not really. When we asked her if she signed up for any ASAs she said, “No- Actually the French one just to see but other than that, no.”
“Perhaps the 8th graders should try the ASAs,” says Mr. Currey, emphatically.
From the people we’ve interviewed, and the viewpoints we’ve received, there are a couple of reasons why so many of 7th and 8th graders don’t sign up. Then again, it is also always nice to try something new and take risks.