Freshman focus shifts during second semester

Teachers, peer mentors offer advice to Class of 2023


Gracie Carr

Math teacher Mrs. Rachel Ludington offered advice to freshmen for making a successful transition to second semester.

Ale Mendoza, Reporter

“You guys don’t want to find yourselves as freshman two years from now trying to dig out of a hole of low grades from freshman year,” said math teacher Mrs. Rachel Ludington.

Second semester is here, full of many new challenges for the members of the Class of 2023. Traditions like the Irish 500 and experiences such as new classes, responsibilities and the last day of their ninth-grade year all are on their way.

During the second semester, responsibilities for the freshmen increase, from not only teachers but others as well. Senior and peer mentor Olivia Schneider said, “I think what’s expected is just the freshman to take on a little more of the responsibility that their peer mentors help them get,”

The peer mentors might expect the Freshman Class to take on more responsibility in general but what the teachers demand from the members of the Class of 2023 is a bit different. Ludington said, “I would expect freshmen to definitely be more comfortable with accessing material on Schoology, making sure that they’re checking Schoology for homework assignments and preparing themselves accordingly for class.”

This past semester some of the freshmen might have not been as responsible when it came to checking, accessing and turning in materials due to the fact that first semester provided their first experience as a high school student.

Now without their peer tutors, freshmen also have to adjust to a different use of flex and resource time. Ludington said, “I think a lot of kids will work during flex on homework but not necessarily seek like extra help from teachers.”

Ludington also said, “I would hope as the material begins to get a little bit more difficult maybe, especially in math class, that students begin to use their flex time a little bit more for help with teachers as opposed to just sort of hanging out and trying to get a feel for being a high school student.”

The current seniors look back on their experience three years ago and recognize some of the same issues the current freshman face.

Schneider said, “When I was a freshman I feel like the expectations were pretty similar. It was a lot of checking PowerSchool, checking Schoology, making sure to talk to teachers when you were absent. It was a lot of just making sure you’re getting the work you need to get done, completed.”

Overall, teachers are trying to get the Freshman Class better adjusted than they were in the first semester. Ludington said, “You kind of know how things roll, so try to be a little more prepared if you’re not already.”

Besides knowing what’s expected. Freshmen should recognize what they should be preparing for or doing differently in this semester. Whether it is studying harder or doing something else.

Ludington said, “If you as a student had a really hard time knowing what homework was due and when it was due, and checking Schoology didn’t work well, maybe (look) at doing a paper planner instead of trying to rely completely on Schoology.”

Along with improving your academics during second semester. Some teachers might suggest the freshmen to become more engaged if they weren’t during first semester. Ludington said, “If you weren’t involved in anything first semester if you weren’t in any sport weren’t in any club think about it now that you’re moving more comfortable with school in general if it’s something that you can fit into your schedule.”

The freshmen might also want to consider improving their interactions with their teachers and peers as well. Schneider said, “Don’t be afraid to approach people. People are there to help you succeed.”

On the same note, freshmen also want to make sure to talk with their teachers if something were to happen. Schneider said, “Definitely make sure that you are communicating with your teachers whether when you’re sick from school or you miss a day for some other reason or if you’re just like struggling with a class. Make sure you communicate that.’’

Teachers, peer mentors and even other students want to see you succeed and do well this semester. 

Ludington said, “Keep in mind that you are as a freshmen starting your transcript right now. Even though you are a freshman and it seems far away, you’re starting those grades that colleges are going to see in a few years when you start applying for college and things like that so while it seems far away and maybe isn’t a huge priority right now these grades are a big deal.”

Ludington wrapped up by saying, “Work hard now. Try to get those good grades now so that you’re not regretting that as a junior or senior when it’s time for college apps.”