Steps to Take When You Fail a Class


Matt Lance

Bausch stands tall as he preps for his next class.

Matt Lance

High school isn’t fun, and it isn’t necessarily easy, either. Whether you are dealing with bullies, too much homework, working an after school job, or some other type of stress, it’s not always easy to pass all your classes with flying colors.

So you failed a class and aren’t sure what to do. It happens to the best of us. No need to stress; you are here for four years, so you have plenty of time to get your mandatory credits.

You’re a senior, you say? Well, that is a stressful situation. I suggest turning in your work.

For those who haven’t been in high school for many years, or those who were homeschooled or whatever situation you were in, there is a certain number of credits that you need to graduate. There are also required classes that you must pass. If you fail one of those classes, you have to take it again.

If for some reason you can’t pass it, then you cannot graduate. Then you become a super senior, or you can drop out and take the High School Equivalency Test (HISET). This semester, a few students at Park High have chosen to earn their diploma through the HISET program, where they stay enrolled in PHS classes but also pass the HISET tests.

Let’s hypothetically say it was a flook, you simply didn’t turn in a few assignments and it royally screwed you over. Then you can free up one of your schedule spaces and take it again. That’s what I am doing. I failed the second semester of U.S History, taught by Chris Bausch, a history teacher at Park High. His class takes a lot of work and you really have to stay on top of it if you want to pass. Sadly for me, I did not and I failed, so here I am, a senior at Park High taking a class full of juniors, taking the same notes and studying for the same tests as last year. It’s quite a pain if I am going to be honest, but it is a required class so I have to pass it.

What happens if you don’t have any room on your schedule for a repeat class? Don’t worry, we have options for you, too. Some credits can be regained through taking an online class with Montana Digital Academy.   For the past few years Sarah Mussetter, now an art teacher at Park High school, would supervise while students tried to redeem themselves after failing. This year, this option was only offered the second semester due to staffing changes. Natalie Storey, an English teacher at Park High, is supervising one period where students can retake classes online. 

Now that you have your options, which should you choose? It all depends on personal preference and the class that you failed. For certain classes, like U.S History, it is so much better to be in the class to retake it. Bausch is very good at what he does and has a unique way of teaching. He tells history, not like a history teacher but like a storyteller. His storytelling is extremely good and probably the best way to learn history. I didn’t fail the class because I didn’t retain the information he taught me, I failed the class because I’m an idiot and decided not to take notes and do homework. So being in the class is a little weird because I remember everything he is re-teaching me, I just have to take the time to get the notes down and do my homework.

So don’t fret; failing is a part of life and it helps you learn lessons. If I could go back and do my work instead of sleep, though, I would. I could have graduated early and not have to be in school for seven-ish hours a day. That’s not how life works though; I failed and I have to own up to that and work harder. 

There are benefits to failing, believe it or not. It taught me to get my head out of the clouds and pay attention; it also taught me to have a better work ethic and better organization skills. That being said, don’t slack off, get your work done and work hard. It will all pay off in the end.