Constant Grading Causes Stress In Unnecessary Ways To Students


Sara Winnick

Student Connor Noone checks his grades in Aspen on a recent school day

Walking in the dimly-lighted room, one can see a teacher managing five international kids take a math test while also helping them understand it.

Mrs. Carla Wagner, an Academic Support teacher, helps kids manage their grades while also managing their stress levels. 

“It depends for different students, but I check Aspen for my students pretty much every day,” said Wagner.

Stress is a common occurrence among students. With new technology arising, schools have been trying to slowly implement it into the curriculum, to make it easier to teach and learn. But new tools and websites, such as Aspen- a program which most schools use to keep track of student’s grades- have seemed to cause a lot of stress among students.

Student Olivia McAllister agrees that Aspen can be a handful.

“I check aspen at least 50 times per week,” said McAllister. “ I am constantly stressed about my grades and it makes enjoying the time you’re supposed to spend away from school, not enjoyable.”

On the contrary, not all students find it stressful. 

“I’m not really stressed about my grades, but it’s annoying when teachers don’t update them on aspen,” said student Parker Barends.

“I check aspen at least 50 times per week,””

— Olivia McAllister

Wagner seems to agree that Aspen doesn’t work for every kid, but it can be helpful for those that do.

“I think it can work both ways. I think sometimes students can see their progress and see they’re doing well and that sets their mind at ease, and that they are on top of things and haven’t forgotten anything. But it can also cause stress if students are checking it constantly and the teachers aren’t updating it, that can be frustrating. But I think there is a healthy balance,” said Wagner.

 Aspen may not cause stress for students, but may cause stress to their parents, which can reflect on the students’ attitude.

 In an article called Pressure for good grades often leads to high stress, cheating, professors say by Barbara Palmer of Stanford News states, “Pressure by parents and schools to achieve top scores has created stress levels among students—beginning as early as elementary school—that are so high that some educators regard it as a health epidemic, said Denise Clark Pope, a lecturer in the School of Education and the author of Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic and Miseducated Students.”

Aspen is supposed to cause less stress for the students, however,  it’s just done the opposite where it has caused more stress and anxiety to them. If the students are able to manage their time on Aspen, and their teachers are up to date, Aspen can be a really helpful tool to use.

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