Do Freshmen Ever Change?

Teachers Val Nafso and Matt Reimann agree that the maturity of freshmen change throughout their years of high school

Each year new students join the school. They have just come from the top of the food chain in middle school to the bottom in high school. Teachers do their best to look out for them as they age and become upperclassmen.
English teacher Val Nafso has seen freshmen develop as she has the opportunity to teach them again when they become juniors. Though they’re generally not as mature when they are freshmen, Nafso doesn’t see that as a bad thing.
“In class, they’re chatty,” Nafso said. “But I like that in an English class. I just need to make sure that the chatter is relevant to what we’re doing in class.”
Nafso sees that they’re just trying to figure out the norms of high school, and they can display silly behaviors like drawing or writing funny things on the whiteboard and chasing each other around the room before the bell rings.
“Since they’re new to high school, I usually keep an eye on them more just to make sure they’re adjusting to high school well, that they understand the flow of the day [and] that they become more independent,” Nafso said.
When Nafso gets the same students as juniors, she sees drastic changes in their behaviors.
“Conversations in class are much more in-depth with juniors,” Nafso said. “They get to the real world connections before I do. [Freshmen] are fun to teach because they just want to enjoy the class, so as long as I’m doing my part, they usually have the enthusiasm needed to make the classroom environment enjoyable. But the class of 2020 were probably the most mature group of freshmen I’ve had.”
Algebra teacher Matt Reimann thinks that the freshmen’s maturity over the years has been pretty consistent.
“Freshmen generally are a little unfocused and unorganized,” Reimann said. “But they have access to their phones, which makes it worse. It’s a bigger distraction that didn’t use to be there. Phones definitely cause a big distraction.”
While Reimann thinks freshmen may be more distracted at times, he reasons that they also engage more in class versus the seniors.
“They’re so energetic and eager to participate in class,” Reimann said. “It’s always good to see the big change in kids.”
Reimann and Nafso both love to see the kids grow as they go through their freshman year and drastically change their maturity as they become upperclassmen.
Junior Abby Smith thinks that it is a tradition for upperclassmen to automatically hate all freshmen.
“In the classes I have with them, they can just be really loud and annoying, and I don’t find any of their jokes funny,” Smith said.
Smith said that she doesn’t like how the freshmen always stand in the middle of the main hallway and talk.
“I feel like [most upperclassmen] like to think that they didn’t act that bad when they were freshmen,” Smith said. “But for me at least, I can admit that I really was that badly behaved.”