Photo Illustration: Diane Huang
The classic “Wait, what did you get?” seems to be the only question on students’ minds as tests and grade sheets are handed back. Students yell out their scores in response, without being conscious of who is around them. This creates an awkward situation for students who have a different perspective on grades.
Everyone in St. Paul Academy and Summit School community has different standards, and when these standards clash, there is no way to know how someone may feel about their own work. To one student, a B might be considered a great achievement, but to another it might be disappointing. This is why yelling out scores can create unnecessary tension.
Talking about grades among close friends provides an outlet where students are able to share their achievements in a class, or something they may be particularly upset about, and they are able to do so without worrying about upsetting other students.
Students never know how their peers feel about a certain grade, though they may think they do. It is important to be mindful of how other students feel, and share grades in a small group of friends rather than in front of the entire class.
A student might be shut down by another who unknowingly talks down their grade because of a difference of standards.
Smaller groups allow for grade conversations with less judgement and tension because close friends know each other and their standards well. When a student talks to their friends, they are more aware of their boundaries and know what’s likely to upset the people they are talking to.
SPA is known as a welcoming community, and being conscious of who you are sharing your grades with ensures that it stays that way. The actions of students contributes to how the environment is perceived and how students experience it. Creating a safe community is important at SPA, and grade sharing should only be encouraged when everyone is with comfortable with it, in a smaller group of students who know each other’s standards well.