Between my work load and involvement, I just knew that something was bound to overlap. Unfortunately for me, my inkling was right. I was suddenly faced with a tough dilemma of having my FLEX enrichment program at the same time as my club meeting. With my rigorous schedule, this is not the first time that something like this has happened. I find myself always having to miss club meetings or skip getting help from my teachers because of the FLEX enrichment course I am enrolled in. While FLEX is a free period, it should not be used for teachers to schedule class meetings, as students use that time for the designated FLEX courses or time to get help about things they do not understand.
This year I decided to get my Journalism and Graphic Design Concentration, which takes place on the second FLEX of every week. On that day, I am required to attend the course and cannot go to any other meetings scheduled that day. As I am having to choose my Journalism Course, I am continually missing meetings for the clubs I am a part of. I love attending both of my activities and having to choose between each endeavor is ultimately very challenging because often, I choose my FLEX course. This is unfortunate as I chose to participate in Maclay’s clubs because of the intimate role I wanted to play in the school’s community.
However, when I am missing all the meetings, I am behind on all of the information that was discussed. Not only am I behind in the work, but I miss the opportunity to work with my peers in the club. It’s important for me to do my part, and when I am not upholding the responsibilities I intended to participate in, it is unfair to everyone else in the club. When things are constantly being overlapped, it makes it impossible for me to achieve my intended attendance.
While this has been a recurring issue for myself, it is an issue for many other students, as they are involved in numerous clubs and extra classes that overlap during their FLEX schedule.
“Meetings during FLEX can be helpful for student athletes but on the other hand, it takes away time that students could be working on school work for meeting with teachers,” junior Will O’Connor said.
On the days I am not in my FLEX enrichment course, I am using that time to meet with my teachers. FLEX was originally created as an established time for students to enroll in enrichment courses, work on assignments, projects, get help from teachers and to leave for jobs/internships. When club leaders and sponsors are always scheduling meetings during that period, it takes time away from students who genuinely want to use FLEX for its original purpose.
As a student that takes AP classes, I like to use my FLEX time to go talk to my teachers. However, when clubs are scheduling meetings during that time, it forces students, including myself to choose between them. Having the entire period to get the amount of help on material I don’t fully understand is extremely vital for my education. When meetings are scheduled during FLEX, that takes away from my time with teachers and the important reviews they offer. This is unfortunate for a majority of the students because both aspects are equally important.
“I think people should avoid scheduling meetings during FLEX as best as they can just because a lot of students need that time for other things,” senior Kaileigh Schmidt said. “ FLEX is a time I use to get help from my teachers before a test and if I have a meeting during FLEX, I’m not able to get help before a test. I know a lot of people use FLEX as a time to go home before sports or other things, but they can’t do this if they have a meeting during FLEX.”
While FLEX is a free long period of time and very convenient for scheduling things, it should not be used to schedule club meetings. Instead, those meetings should be scheduled during community time or even lunch. The whole point of FLEX was originally created as a period for students to work with others, get help or leave for their jobs/internships. While taking a FLEX enrichment program was optional, that is still what FLEX was created for. Even without that course, I still run into the issue of constantly having to miss one event or the other. It does not benefit anyone if students are constantly having to miss important information shared in a meeting.
Although it can be challenging, teachers should take into consideration what FLEX enrichment courses students are a part of during FLEX, and utilize community time and lunch to schedule their meetings. There are multiple days of FLEX, and if teachers or club advisors need to schedule a meeting, it is important that they make their best effort to make sure all students can attend.