Posts Tagged ‘senior slump’

Yes there is a senior slump!

May 17, 2010

This morning I read a very interesting article about senioritis/spring fever in Secondary Education newsletter – – I agree with the 3 categories that provide senioritis challenges and also found some of the tips for teachers to be quite useful.

I am a motivational speaker who for the last 12 years has spoken to almost exclusively HS seniors. Just this morning before I started speaking, I overheard a senior who said she is very tired of being asked what she is doing next year. I asked her why was she so tired of that question? Was it the frequency of the question? Was she bored with her standard elevator speech answer to the question? Did she feel people really didn’t care what her answer was? She said she was troubled by the question primarily because she still doesn’t know exactly what she is doing other than that she is “going to college” and feels that other people look down on her for her lack of detailed plans. I think too many people assume that all seniors have decided their future plans and many even assume most seniors decide what college they will attend in their junior year. Understanding seniors have NOT ALL made, let alone finalized, their plans for next year is important.

A few years ago, the US government some years ago commissioned a 2 year study to learn whether there was such a thing a senioritis/senior slump. Chaired by Governor Chris Patton of Kentucky, after 2 years of interviewing HS teachers, senior students, parents and others, the committee determined that yes indeed there was such a thing as senior slump. While I was not surprised that senioritis existed, I was very surprised that the study determined the number one cause of senior slump was students who were already accepted to the college of their choice and did not think school mattered anymore. I recently heard about a friend of a friend who was interviewed over 10 years after high school for a job that paid in the mid 6 figures being asked for their high school transcripts. When he got the job he asked his new boss why they wanted to look at his high school transcripts when he had college, grad school and a professional track record of success to judge him on. The answer he was given was they looked only at his grades from the 2nd semester of his senior year to see if he had shut down and packed it in or finished strong. Their reasoning was that if he would coast through the 2nd semester of his senior year, it might be a pattern that would still be with him today and could not be tolerated by his new company.

It is important for teachers to identify the malady of senior slump in order to work to help their seniors avoid what may be a natural tendency to coast down the stretch. Senioritis/spring fever are VERY contagious, and not only for seniors. It is also important for teachers to recognize and understand that teachers are not immune to spring fever either! Teachers have the double challenge to work to prevent and overcome cases of senioritis among their students as well as themselves. As I guest speaker, I welcome the challenge to provide assistance to teachers to combat spring fever/senioritis as the year winds down. Over the years I have learned that sometimes a GREAT presentation is the perfect cure for cases of the dreaded, but expected, senioritis. My name is Byron and I Speak to Students.