Senioritis and Motivation

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Senior year is finally here; a time to relax and have fun before the next step in our lives. Not so fast! This common attitude affecting high school seniors is known as senioritis. Senioritis is the absence of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). Senioritis not only has a strong impact on student performance in high school, but it also has a large impact on college bound students. Nearly one-third of students entering college require remedial help (Mrozowski, 2001). Even worse, experts estimate that nearly a quarter of college freshman drop out due to the difficult academic transition from high school to college, which could be attributed to having a “soft” schedule during senior year (Newsweek, 2000). In order to avoid senioritis, teachers can apply many different motivational strategies to help students during this fun, yet very important year. Before discussing how teachers can motivate seniors, it is important to look at the different types of senior students a teacher may experience. First are college-bound seniors who by their second semester have already been accepted to a college or university and know that it is very unlikely that they will be turned away based on their last semester grades unless they fail (Kelly, 2007). Students who have this attitude need to realize that many college applications require you to list your senior courses, including information about course levels and credit hours. It will be very obvious to the admission officers if you've decided to take the year off. Many colleges also include as part of the application a form called the mid-year grade report. Your counselor completes this form with first-half grades and sends it to the colleges to which you've applied. It then becomes a crucial part of the application folder (College Board,

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