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Make Room Psychology, Sociology is Here

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BALDWIN PARK, CA – For the first time at Baldwin Park High School, sociology is being offered as an elective course for students. Implemented for the 2018-2019 school year, Nicole Melamed, the French, Psychology, and now Sociology teacher, is beyond excited to teach her students how “their actions affect the outside community.” Having taught for 21 years with a masters degree in counseling, Ms. Melamed has plenty of experience. In fact, she even wrote the courses for psychology and sociology herself, both classes being full-year courses, creating a new medical pathway for BPHS – a mental health one.

Now, what is important about sociology as a course? Well, as Ms. Melamed said, sociology offers a much broader view than psychology does. Whereas psychology focuses on the self, sociology makes it so that people are aware of the world they live in, the culture that surrounds them, and where they connect and disconnect with society. Sociology students have their eyes opened to the value of their experiences and acknowledge how their experiences are valued in other domains. With this course, Ms. Melamed’s ultimate goal is for her students to become social activists; “I want students to put their thoughts into action!”

So far, sociology has been a promising, informative, and engaging elective course for students. Starting off the year with learning about cultures, the conflicts of cultures, and societal norms, Ms. Melamed is instilling course concepts through hands-on experiences, activities, and a variety of small projects. Oh no, projects! No worries here, for the projects that Ms. Melamed assigns are incredibly entertaining and worthwhile. From bringing cultural artifacts to share with the class to daring to break societal norms during everyday activities, Ms. Melamed’s projects are enjoyable and educational for her students. Raul Garcia, a senior, says that “the class is pretty fun,” and enjoys being “exposed to different concepts that make up society.” Interested in being a psychology or sociology major in college, Raul Garcia states that he really feels like the course is preparing him for what he will be exposed to in college next year.

For all those who did not sign up for this elective course this school year, there is always next year to sign up. Sociology will be available for years and years after this one, Ms. Melamed is making sure of it. By recruiting others to help keep sociology a mainstay at B.P.H.S. and asking for feedback from her colleagues, Ms. Melamed is not only determined to keep the class around, but to also keep it interesting. In fact, she even has special permission to not teach French 1 anymore and, instead, is focusing on her psychology and sociology classes. With her psychology and sociology classes, Ms. Melamed feels that she is teaching more from her heart and knows that the concepts of these classes will benefit her students for years after they leave high school. Ms. Melamed states that, “It is important to me to leave a lasting legacy at Baldwin Park of beginning the conversations on the importance of mental health.” So, here’s to sociology class being available. And here’s to Ms. Melamed for always thinking of her students, for taking their education to the next level, for fully preparing them for a mental health career, for teaching her students to understand the importance of their well-being, and for always being there for them. Thank you, Ms. Melamed.

 

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