Library services among new classes to be offered next year

Kaitlyn Martin and Ingrid Lam

Cal High is offering a variety of new courses for next year, including a new library services class to be taught by librarian Nicole Ogden.

In the class, students will learn how the library works and how it serves Cal students.

The class has been piloted by Dougherty librarian Kerri Pike, and has become a district-approved class.

Ogden is mainly looking for students interested in informational science.

The students will write book reviews, create book displays as a form of advertisement, help with the maintenance of the library, help students in the lab, process books, look out for high interest items, and repair books.

The library already has TAs and student volunteers who are more than happy to dedicate their spare time to the library. Most of what they do aligns with the responsibilities that the class requires.

“I hope that newcomers enjoy it and it should be very successful,” said senior Arian Naima, Ogden’s fourth period TA, who often make posters, and displays and shelf books.

Senior Madison Forney also volunteers her time to the library, helping library media coordinator Rachael Parker-Lewis organize textbooks.

“Its enjoyable because you get to help out and just help people,” said Forley.

Though not many people are aware of the new class, all those who have heard about it are enthusiastic. Sophomore Jordan Truong is interested in applying for the class, and is particularly interested in making book displays.

“I decided I was interested after hearing a little more about it,” said Truong. “The library is one of my favorite places to be in this school.”

The class is being offered as an elective available to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

The basic requirements for getting into the class include an application and an in-person interview.

Ogden will only accept eight students. Responsibilities will be evenly distributed among the students, and jobs within the library will rotate consistently.

“What we need is people with a lot of enthusiasm and initiative,” said Ogden. “People who are self-driven, self-directed, have good attention to detail, and a good work ethic.”

Ogden said potential projects include a student recommendation project where the student reads at least a book a month and creates a display of sorts to recommend it to the school.

Ogden is proud and enthusiastic about this course, confident that it will be beneficial and enjoyable.

“I feel like I’m ready to offer and lead this class,” said Ogden. 

Novel Social Justice

Another new course that will be offered next year is Novel Social Justice taught by Eghosa Obaiza, who already teaches sociology and Novel. 

Fundamentally, the class will be similar to the original Novel course in its reading and writing workload. The major difference is the books the class reads will deal with will emphasize social justice themes. Through these works, students will be prompted to analyze and discuss themes such as immigration, sexual assault, economic inequality, and patriarchy. 

Although traditional literary mediums such as short stories and books will be used to introduce conversation, students will also have the opportunity to incorporate modern forms of literature into their learning experience, such as comic books. 

Novel Social Justice will also provide the opportunity for students to voice their thoughts and opinions through discussions about the social justice themes raised in the class. 

Because the class deals with sometimes sensitive topics, concerns were raised about extreme opinions being an obstruction in the class. 

But Obaiza emphasized how the class would be cultivated to be a safe space where students are able to freely state their opinions and thoughts. Obaiza also mentioned that differing opinions were not necessarily bad, as they can diversify the class and the idea of students coming together to try and understand each other’s views was a beautiful thing. 

“Essentially what we’re trying to do with this class is to look at a topic critically,” Obaiza said. “The goal behind the class is to break down social barriers.” 

Careers in Teaching 2

Although the Careers in Teaching (CiT 1) class has long been offered at Cal, next year will be the first time the school offers a continuation class – Careers in Teaching 2 (CiT 2). Both classes will be taught by Jessica Heagle.

Essentially, the class is structured the same as the original course, where students go to local elementary and middle schools one to four days a week. CiT1 goes to elementary and middle school classes every other week, but CiT2 will require a greater commitment.  Students in the new class will go to their respective elementary or middle schools every week. 

CiT2 was created because of the rising problem that students returning for a second year in CiT1 had different needs as opposed to those taking the class for the first time. 

Having already gone through a full year of the program, second-year students were able to go further with their learning experience, but they were limited in doing so because the class was paced so that everyone could keep up. 

“It’s like if you had Spanish 1 kids in the same class as Spanish 2 kids,” Heagle said.

CiT2 is partnered with an organization called Educators Rising, a program that essentially allows students to get  “microcredentials,” in topics like Anti-bias Instruction, Classroom Culture, Collaboration, and Learner Engagement. 

Heagle said these microcredentials can be put on resumes to show teaching experience. Each credential requires the completion of different assignments, including reading of articles about instruction theories, writing papers about theory and practicing specific concepts.

Other new classes expected to be offered next year include Culinary Arts 2, Fundamentals of Fashion and Interior Design, Intro to Business and Entrepreneurship, English 10 – World Studies, and World History – World Studies.