Student motivation declines throughout school year


Staff Editorial

During a student’s school career, there are many obstacles. One of those is a decline in motivation.

At the beginning of the year, a student can throw themselves into their work with multiple intentions. They want to impress their teachers, friends, family and themselves. They are determined to be the best.

If this process doesn’t get the results the student intends, they can become disappointed. Even if a student wants to improve, it’s possible for them to get stuck on not achieving their goals.

Over the years the energy for each grade level gets lower, meaning when a student moves up a grade their energy drops. As a student gets older they can get involved in more activities. Once things begin to pile up, it’s intimidating to even start climbing the mountain of work. It’s easy to get stressed out. This usually leads to procrastination and the work doesn’t get done.

Students have different motivations for their end goals. Some strive for perfection while others are proud of just passing. They may also want to learn but some just want to get the grade.

As children get older they gain more independence. This results in more tasks to take on alone. This kind of responsibility is hard to manage.

After holiday breaks, it gets harder to focus, and as the year goes on students feel as if they are in a rut. The repetition of classes becomes stale. With homework every night it’s easy to get frustrated. This routine leads to slacking off.

Students tend to get burned-out the first half of the year, and as a result, there is a shift in mindset. They think that they can just pick and choose what assignments to do as long as the grade is an A in the end. Is this actually learning?

Motivation for specific classes can differ. If there’s a favorite class, more effort goes into it. A least favorite subject usually gets neglected. Even if a class isn’t the favorite, but they enjoy it, they’ll apply themselves more. There are types of classes to consider as well, such as academic, honors and Advanced Placement (AP).

Students have extra pressure on them to find out what looks good on transcripts while trying to prepare for college or their future in general.

For seniors, there are added challenges. Most have to balance school and work while wanting to be finished with school. If they just want to be done and leave, it can cause detriment to their learning.

At the end of the year, teachers are trying to wrap up their classes before summer. Due to the stress leading up to this point and summer being so close, it’s easy for students to give up.

When all is said and done, students are bigger than their grade. Though grades are very important, they don’t define you as a person.