Wednesday, January 18, 2012

End of the Semester


The end of semester workload is always a hot topic at school.  When the last two weeks of the grading period come by, many teachers scramble to make final assignments.  Students find themselves bombarded with projects, papers, tests, and portfolios.  Worst of all, they all need to be finished in the same week.  Students from other schools often laugh at Park kids for the conspicuous lack of exams in our curriculum; that is simply ignorant.  In fact, the work we do in lieu of finals is undoubtedly more rigorous and time consuming than any week of exams.
Indeed, the end of the semester can be a lot of work, but the severity of the issue gets blown way out of proportion.  The fact of the matter is that a week, or often just a few nights of hard work will leave students satisfied with their achievements.  Sure, revising six pieces for an English portfolio isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, but it’s just something that needs to be done.  Out of the folder in my computer labeled English, which previously constituted a pretty meaningless collection of word documents, I’ve come up with a final product that I’m proud of.  No matter how tedious and tiresome a portfolio may seem, the truth is that it makes a lot more sense than any two hour exam one might take full of multiple choice and short answers.
The point I’m making is that at Park, we are most certainly pushed to work hard as the semester comes to an end, but that’s a good thing.  Rather than being tested on all of the knowledge we’ve acquired over the preceding months, instead, we are asked to put that knowledge to use.  We are challenged to prove that what we’re learning actually means something.  So instead of sitting around complaining about how much work you have this week, feel lucky that you have such an amazing opportunity to showcase the skills that you’ve worked so hard to come by.  Don’t fear the end of the semester.  Embrace it.  The end of the semester at Park is about as good as it gets.