Academic slumps and ‘senioritis:’ what they feel like for students and teachers at FHC


Frustration and stress are two of the most common things that fill a typical high school student, but it’s about how you get over those feelings and persevere through them. History teacher Brad Anderson gives his knowledge and teaching to students who may be struggling. 

“It’s a Franklin Covey saying to ‘sharpen the saw,’” Anderson said, “and what that means typically, if students are in a slump, maybe they have been sick for an extended period of time, or maybe they’re going through problems at home problems with a boyfriend or girlfriend, maybe athletics is weighing down on them, and I would encourage them to sharpen the saw. That means to get outside and go for a walk or go on their own little mini adventure.”

School can be way too much at times and build students into academic slumps. Teachers have to take all this into account and some do make changes according to certain problems or issues with students. Teachers are always observing their classes to make sure they function at the highest level, but they also don’t overwhelm students, because they do know that the average student has way too much work.

 In the end, it is proven we are the highest scheduled generation.”

— Eli Lipke

Anderson is one that takes students’ struggles into consideration and is always looking for the best ways to help them.

“I’m a little different.” Anderson said. “I don’t assign homework often, because I think students are already bogged down with enough. This is the most scheduled generation ever and students are volunteering eighteen hours, they’re [participating in] two sports: a varsity sport and a club sport. They’re at their place of worship or their babysitting. Students are so scheduled, and so the thing I do is lessen the load. You got to look at if a student is working very hard and [if] they’re struggling—sometimes, lessening the load for them will help.”

From a student’s perspective, school is really stressful and the average student falls into slumps. Senior Val Garza gives her input on how school can overwhelm her and how the whole “senioritis” thing also weighs down on top of it all, and how sometimes, school is just way too much.

“It just feels like it’s not worth it,” Val said, “and I’m still trying my best, but I’m feeling like it’s just not worth it [to come] to school every day. It feels like all the work is busy work, to just come to school and do random [assignments.].” 

School has become very hard for students mentally to get through, and Val, being a senior, is very excited to move on to the next step and go to college. School has been so heavy for students to carry until they get to senior year, and they’re ready to let all the weight go and start fresh. For many students, meeting the class and credit requirements by the time the year begins looks pretty pointless to be there, but many persevere and try to get through and one thing that is a tremendous helper is their friends. Friends are one of the main reasons Val still comes to school every day.

“I have all my credits done, so I do extra classes just to be with friends,” Val said. “I mean, technically, I could go home, but I just feel like it’s a nice way to fill up my schedule and still see people.”

FX and film teacher Jeff Manders feels similar to Anderson about the topic. He is doing a lot to help motivate students and lighten their workload as the weight of school bares down on them.

“Just motivating kids and if someone struggling academically, I’ll try to check in with them and ask them what’s going on,” Manders said, “or send them an email [and] do whatever I can do to touch base with them. Usually, there’s something else going on that’s getting [in] the way of school, and usually, we can figure that out.”

Some students don’t fall into these academic slumps and get discouraged. It will take a lot from teachers and from students to help fix this problem that is occurring for the students at FHC.  There are many problems or issues that could spark them but students will need to find easy and effective ways to overcome them.

“Sometimes, as teachers, students come to school on a Monday or whatever day with a vast array of concerns,” Anderson said, “and sometimes, none have to do with the class they are in, and so we got to ask if students are struggling; number one, we have to recognize and ask is it the academics or is it something else.”