Powerschool Panic: The Waiting Game

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Powerschool Panic: The Waiting Game

Alexandria Anderson

Alexandria Anderson

Alexandria Anderson

Alexandria Anderson, A&E Editor

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With a sigh of relief and only two minutes to spare, you quickly hand in your Scantron and test packet, overjoyed that your exam is finally over. But now, the dreaded waiting game begins. When will this grade be put into Powerschool? How long will you have to sit in agony, refreshing your screen until the teacher finally inputs your grade?

We’ve all been in this situation before, feeling as though our teachers aren’t entering grades in quickly enough. But is that always the case? More often than not, we tend to forget how busy our teachers actually are.

Other than teaching multiple classes, our teachers also participate in numerous extracurricular activities, just like we do.

Take French teacher Monica Stampfl, for example. Other than teaching an estimated 90 students, she is also very involved on-campus.

“I do DECA, I do an after school, middle school camp on Wednesdays in the spring, and I do the French trip,” said Stampfl of her extracurricular activities. Amidst all of these, Stampfl is also a homeroom teacher, a member of the Tech Committee and was recently a member of the Building Committee for the new Stephens Family Building 200.

Not only do teachers participate in areas outside the classroom, they also have to spend time making sure that the material they cover in the classroom is relevant and meaningful to their students. While it may not always seem that way to us, teachers do put in a great deal of effort to plan each lesson to make sure that we as students get the most out of each class experience.

“The most important thing for me as a teacher is to make sure that I am prepared for school and to make sure that the activities that we are doing are meaningful and help students learn the skills and content that are necessary,” said English teacher Andrea Cartwright on planning lessons for her classes.

Just because our teachers are busier than we may have expected does not mean that we have to forego the desire to check our grades. Sometimes it can be helpful to be able to check your grades to gauge how well you are doing in a class. Maybe, what we need to do instead is reevaluate what kinds of assignments we expect to be put quickly into Powerschool.

For smaller items like homework, classwork and smaller Scantrons, you can expect those to be put in pretty promptly. But don’t freak out too much if it’s been four or five days since you’ve taken your big unit test, and there is still no grade in Powerschool.

“I would say, be patient. If it’s multiple choice, of course, you should expect it to be put in fairly quickly because multiple choice is easiest to grade. But if you have something that is short answers or essays, they take a lot of time if they’re done well, and remember that if something takes them [the students] forty minutes to do, that teacher needs forty minutes, times each one of those people to do it,” said Stampfl.

For a majority of the time, tests take longer for teachers to grade because they want to make sure we understand the mistakes we made, trying to give us useful feedback for our upcoming assessments.

“I want to make sure they understand, I want to make sure that they are able to do it, I want to  make sure that my comments are comments that they can use to improve,” said Stampfl in regards to grading her students’ tests.

The question as to whether or not teachers put in grades too slowly is not just a student issue. Teachers do realize that their students appreciate when we get our assignments back quickly after we have worked hard on certain projects. Cartwright summed it up, saying, “I get that when you work really hard on something, you want to know how you did, and you want somebody to tell you good job.”

Needless to say, it is not practical to be checking our grades every time we open our iPads, only to feel disappointed when nothing has changed. Similarly, not checking our grades enough may lead to uncertainty about how well we are performing in a class.

In searching for this happy medium of how often we should be checking grades, maybe we should try to get into the habit of only checking our grades towards the end of the week. Although this may seem unrealistic at first, if we stick to it long enough, the urge to check our grades may start to diminish, along with the stress that comes from logging into Powerschool too often.

So long as we are able to find a balance between checking Powerschool regularly and realizing how much effort teachers put into their grading, we can hopefully start leading a less stressful academic career.