As St. Robert ends trimester one, trimester two begins. Each new trimester is consistent with new report cards, PEP cards, and new topics of study in each class.
A new trimester offers a new opportunity to learn and grow as a student. Harry and Helen, students in seventh grade, express how they feel about each new trimester. “I feel like it’s a fresh start for all students, no matter the school. I feel like in the first trimester if they didn’t get the best grades, in the new trimester it is kind of like a clean slate to restart, and try even harder in the new trimester,” says Harry. In relation to what Harry said, Helen explained that if she wasn’t proud of her grades, she gets to start over again.
Another part of school that gets a clean slate is the PEP cards for middle schoolers. PEP cards can feel like a big deal to some and not that big of a deal to others. Harry explains his positive and negative thoughts on PEP cards. “Personally, I think many students in the middle school kind of stress about PEP cards, including me, but they can be useful when keeping students on track.” PEP cards can be stressful because they can feel like a punishment for an honest mistake. Also, if someone’s PEPs add up a teacher will have to have a meeting with their parents to get them back on track. Despite the anxiety, some feel, the purpose of the PEP cards is to remind the students to be prepared, stay engaged, and be punctual. Similarly, Helen said, “PEPs are supposed to make [one] more aware of [their] mistakes, but for me, I don’t really learn from my mistake because usually when I get a PEP it’s from a common accident. Although, they are a good reminder to students to show middle schoolers the right expectations.” Lastly, Nathan said, “PEP cards just call you out on your mistakes.” As one could see there are many mixed emotions on the idea of pep cards, but the purpose is to be helpful.
Report cards are very important in every trimester because it holds all the grades from that trimester. Helen explained how report cards make her feel: “I would like to know what my grades are but it’s stressful to see your grades because you always want good ones, so if you get bad grades [one] might feel bad.” This can be true for everyone because people can be doubtful when they know their grades haven’t been as good as they hoped. On the other hand, if someone worked really hard all trimester long, they can feel rewarded and proud of their accomplishments when reviewing a report card. Either way, with a new trimester, comes a new chance to improve one’s grades.
Lastly, depending on the class, the teacher may start the trimester off with a new topic to teach. For example, in English, the seventh grade is learning how to write informational papers. In science, the seventh grade is learning about ecology, and in social studies they are starting to dive into Asia.
Overall, new trimesters are a nice way to refocus the student’s point of view on their grades and behavior. Although PEP cards have mixed emotions, the purpose of them is to keep students on track, and lastly, it is a time to look forward to new topics in all subjects.