Avoidance of Powerschool provides undiscovered benefits

Avoidance of Powerschool provides undiscovered benefits

Nick Moran, assistant a&e editor

“How did you do on the test?”

The phrase creeps its way around the room once the grades are posted online. For those satisfied with their grades, it’s a proud moment—an opportunity to display their success. The students unhappy with the results reply in honest but hushed voices. For many, the most shocking reply would be none at all.

“You don’t know?”

I grew accustomed to variations of the phrase all throughout the first half of the year, where I decided that for the first semester of my junior year, I would abstain from checking Powerschool. I received many odd looks when I didn’t know if I got an A on my AP Language paper; people questioned my sanity when I told them that I wouldn’t open my Chromebook to compare scores.

The experience was an experiment of sorts. I quickly realized how much a letter or number grade means to the majority of the student body. To people who check Powerschool daily, the concept of not knowing my grades seemed alien, with some peers even checking my grades for me, just so they knew how I did.

Regardless, I felt liberated. For many, including myself, school puts a burden on the mind. With it comes thoughts of college and your future, but you would be surprised by how much stress is relieved by not checking the gradebook.

The grade anxiety surrounding us puts more emphasis on the letter grade than on learning. When you attend school to learn rather than for a grade, your perspective changes. There is no need to ask your friend for the answers to a homework assignment, but instead, you ask the teacher to explain the content in a new way.

For the most part, it wasn’t hard to do either. With a bit of patience and confidence, waiting an extra day to get the physical copy of your grade isn’t an issue.

However, there are pitfalls. A common misconception people had about me during my experiment was that I didn’t care about my grades and academic success. Yes, there were nights when I considered acting like an infant and not doing homework, taking the zero with an “if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist” attitude.

Despite that, I recommend students try not checking their grades on Powerschool as often as they do. Even if you try it for a month and end up not liking it, the takeaways are valuable ones. It causes you to be confident and put forth more effort. You get to experience true learning, not the socially tainted version of education that the lust for a good grade at the cost of sanity has conceived.