Finals week causes stress as winter break begins

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Kiera Moore

Students spent many days studying for their finals. Their textbooks piled up as they studied more and more subjects.

The stress levels are high as students and teachers prepare for the end of the first semester.

After returning from Thanksgiving break and jumping right back into school, many teachers and students were worn out. Despite this, students still needed to work hard to prepare for their finals and unit tests quickly approaching.

The Thanksgiving break occurred during what can be the most stressful and busy time of the school semester. While the scheduling of Thanksgiving break was unavoidable due to it being a national holiday, the speed at which students and staff were thrown back into lessons could be quite tiring and stressful.

“I felt pressured to learn a lot of information in my classes. That was the last week where we were supposed to be learning, so there was a lot of pressure on teachers to wrap up the final units,” said sophomore Victoria Lehman.

“Finals are the last chance to raise your grade, which is very stress-inducing.””

— Victoria Lehman, Carlmont sophomore

The pressure on students to do well can impact their stress and energy levels. Many students have experienced the effects of this in their day-to-day lives. Along with the finals, many students may have unit tests in many of their classes.

“I am feeling more tired this week than I was the week before the last break. This is because I have had some finals and tests this week, more than usual, so I had to study for that on top of everything else,” said sophomore Zoe Brückner-Kockel.

While students are feeling under pressure, teachers are as well. Students are pressured to make sure they know the material, but the teachers have to do their best to make sure the students understand the material.

“I always feel some pressure around getting students necessary information: there is so much to learn and do, and only a limited time. I am trying to spend time in class practicing skills that will help students learn and develop their critical thinking skills so that they will be able to apply these skills in their current and future learning.” said biology teacher Michal Nozik.

“It would be a far less stressful experience for teachers and students if there were more instructional minutes each week per like there used to be””

— Michael Skrable, Carlmont math teacher

According to a Washington Post article, your body releases more melatonin when it gets dark, hence why you get more tired in darker spaces. This also applies to the winter’s shorter days and longer nights after changing to standard time.

The darkness starts earlier in the evening, causing people to feel more tired early on, but students and teachers can’t go to bed right when they feel fatigued because they have work to do. This causes students and teachers to stay awake after feeling tired, leading to drowsiness the next day.

Carlmont teachers not only have to prepare their students for finals, but many also have to write the finals. Melissa Hero, a biology teacher, is in the process of creating an entirely new final to match the three dimensions in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This can be an extremely stressful and tedious process.

“There aren’t many resources for teachers on this since NGSS assessments are fairly new, and I want to make sure the assessment is fair and well written. It was tough to create, and I spent over 50 hours trying to come up with something,” Hero said.