Senior Spring: Wasted Semester or Well-Deserved Break?

The Senior Slide. The bane of all teachers’ existence. We can all picture it from years past. There’s KanJam on the lawn and water fights in the quad. Seniors waking up in the morning and deciding that 8:00 AM is too early before hitting the snooze button. Is it deserved? Are the seniors actually entitled to a semester off from their work, their worries, and their troubles? Let’s take a look at both sides.

We work hard each and every day at Belmont Hill. I’m not sure if my friend Austin Kwoun ‘18 has left his room in the past four years (please laugh). Belmont Hill is hard, and we all appreciate that. We all love the challenges and the learning opportunities that are provided to us here. But, just for a second, let’s do some basic math, shall we? If every teacher says their assignment shouldn’t take any longer than an hour, and we have five classes each semester, then that comes out to a grand total of three to five hours of homework for a single night. What do you think that does to a person after four years of high school? That’s not even mentioning the tests and projects we also have to balance.

Look, I’m not saying the teachers aren’t forgiving–they are. The faculty is the very best part of Belmont Hill. They’re intelligent, passionate, and sympathetic, and they give us a world-class high school education using the knowledge they have acquired from world-class colleges and universities. Every teacher in the school deserves the seniors’ attention and respect at all times because what’s just another math class to us is the career and livelihood of our teacher.

What’s the solution, then? The seniors want the spring off. The teachers want to and have to do their jobs. How can we all get what we want? Here’s my answer: make senior spring about the learning. For all of Belmont Hill, we’re so grade-focused because that’s how the college process is nowadays. There is so much pressure to do every single assignment, no matter how small, perfectly. That’s not what learning is about; learning is about making mistakes. If the seniors can meet the teachers in the middle and pay attention in classes and master the material, then maybe the teachers put more emphasis on effort and participation in the grading process.

Senior spring gives the Class of 2018 a chance to unwind before the next most stressful part of our lives begins. It’s doesn’t have to be a slide, though. Moving past the college process provides the opportunity for teachers and students to work together to finally make school fully about the learning itself. That way, the teachers can do their jobs, and the seniors can enjoy a well-earned, relaxing bookend to their childhoods; a chance for every senior to both reflect on their time at school and look towards a bright future.

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