Every year, a schoolwide phenomenon occurs around February. Student’s grades drop by a letter or two, and the general mood of the student body goes down. It’s known as the third quarter slump, defined by ‘The Urban Dictionary’ as “The third term of school where you stop giving a **** about your grades.”
“I’ve seen it pretty much every year as a teacher, grade-wise, effort-level-wise, energy-wise for students,” math teacher Matthew Andrews said. “It’s not every kid, your high-fliers are still going to be your high-fliers. It tends to be the kids (that) are sort-of on the bubble of wanting to do well, but not putting forth the effort.”
This is the time of year when students and teachers typically work without breaks from January until early April, which is a solid four months of nonstop work. This can possibly lead to burnout, which is defined by a state of exhaustion caused by excessive and/or prolonged stress.
“I think the third quarter slump can be attributed to several different factors, including the fact that we have 13 weeks from winter break to spring break without a significant break in between,” English teacher Katherine Trabert said. “Students often have schedules that are hectic, and they have not only academics but their extracurriculars, and keeping all of that organized on a daily basis can be very tiring.”
Another reason may be complacent students. They may think that they could relax because their grades are high, but the moment they stop doing their best at school, their grades drop.
“Students see their grades for (the) semester, and they get this false sense of security. ‘Oh I’m passing, so I don’t have to do as much.’ They kind of forget that grades keep going in and if they don’t do the work, their grades will drop.” English teacher Ms. Adams said.
The best way to avoid the quarter slump is to keep your chin up. Work hard as if it’s the first week of school, and the slump will be gone before you know it.