Biology and Bible: The Semester Switch

Kiera S., Staff Writer

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In seventh grade, Biology and Bible classes are semester-long, non-exam courses, so students switch after the first semester. For some this transition was difficult, but others found it easy.

Sylvia B., a seventh grade girl who transitioned from Bible to Biology, said, “Switching was more difficult because it was just one more class to study for. But I adjusted faster on my own terms.”

Although the transition was hard, students are able to adjust with the help of teachers and peers. For the most part, the students in the class stay the same, so everyone already knows each other well.

Cole D., a seventh grade boy who transitioned from Bible to Biology, said, “I am happy that my class transitioned with me because I made a lot of friends in the class over the semester.”

Keeping the classes the same was a big part of making the students more comfortable. With friends in the class, students know who everyone is already and don’t feel alone through this big change in the middle of the year.

Another aspect of changing classes is getting to know a new teacher.

Brantley L., an eighth grade girl, said, “Switching is a lot like the start of the year; we get to know them and what the class is going to be about.”

When students switch from Biology to Bible or vice versa, teachers make them feel very comfortable as they get back into the swing of things. Changing to a completely different class could be very stressful, especially if that class requires another workload.

Alex W., an eighth grade boy, said, “I started in Biology, and it was very interesting. We did a lot of cool labs, and I learned a lot. Then I switched to Bible which was really fun, and I liked that we watched movies.”

The change was very refreshing for students that want to learn something new and different. The switching between semesters provided an opportunity to not continue to do the same exact classes over again.

Dana Notestine., a seventh grade Biology teacher, said, “We cover all of the same content in mostly the same order. However second semester kids are generally better at graphing and their study skills are usually stronger at that point. So I don’t usually have to spend as much time reviewing.”

The students in second semester have already been through a semester of the school year, so they will most likely be more advanced than the students in first semester. Mrs. Notestine’s observation could be because they have already been through a semester of seventh grade math.

The teachers try to make the students’ transition as easy as possible. Some students said it was difficult at first, but they adjusted quickly with the help of their teachers and peers.

Photo of the seventh grade biology classroom. Photo by Kiera S.