Is Term Two Truly the Hardest Term?

Sienna Yang, Pawprint Staff Reporter

The end of term two is coming, and among both teachers and students, it’s commonly known as the worst quarter in terms of grades, attendance, and participation. “I’ve noticed a significant difference in term one and term two,” says ELA teacher Emily Kunz.

Having winter break right before the term ends is hard on students because of final assessments and the struggle to relearn and remember everything they learned leaving for the break.

It’s also hard on the teachers, who have to remember what they taught before the break and what they have to review. “I kept thinking ‘oh, we’re coming back and we’ll have two weeks [until term two ends],’ but I forgot that when [students] come back, it’s been two weeks, and I myself often don’t remember what happens two weeks later,” Kunz laughs.

Sophomore Sophia Lin says much of the same thing, although she thinks the break affects core classes more than it does elective ones. “Although I don’t believe [core classes] are harder, I believe it’s harder in core classes after the break,” she says. “Electives don’t have the same pressure as core ones do.”

Elective classes tend to have less participation and lower grades in total, just because some elective credits aren’t needed for graduation. On the other hand, core classes like math and sciences are necessary for graduation. Kunz expresses her opinion on the matter. 

“I think because it’s a core class, and because you have to have four years of English to graduate, I think that helps.” She speaks about participation through her classes and says that in her previous school, “…there tended to be a similar drop-off as well.” 

So it’s not just Hillcrest- other high school students are experiencing the same thing. For example, Herriman High School sophomore Yeji Hwang expresses that, “…for me, quarter two’s usually the most stressful quarter.” She attributes that to too much homework, awkward cut-off dates, and deadlines. One example is her history teacher. “My history teacher’s assignment final cut-off deadlines are at three [P.M.] and not midnight,” she explains. “It would’ve been nice if that deadline was set to midnight instead.” 

Even though the term is hard on everyone, students and teachers alike, it’s essential to stay in classes and stay engaged. 

“I always want my students in class,” Kunz encourages, “I love it when I see students show up. I love it when I see students who haven’t been in a while come. I’d be so thrilled to see them make that choice to show up for class. I want students to know that… if they show up, they’re welcome, and they’re going to be able to get back on track.”