Sixth Graders Enjoy Transition to Middle School


Mr. Crisafi

Sixth grader Athena Lekkas gets used to opening her locker on the first day of school. Lekkas enjoys sixth grade thus far, especially having the opportunity to play volleyball.

Lockers, advisory, class periods, breaks, and study halls are all unfamiliar concepts for the largest group of those newest to the Middle School: the sixth graders. Sixth grade is a big leap from Lower School: there are block classes (90 minutes long), no recess, and different students in every class. Most sixth graders like the leap and think middle school is awesome. “Middle school is more fun because you have more responsibilities than Lower School,” said sixth-grade student Scott Noble.

“I don’t have a least favorite part of the middle school,” said sixth grader RJ Sahm, who is new to The Benjamin School altogether, but likes the sense of independence that TBS provides. “The main difference from my school is that Benjamin gives you more responsibilities and independence which I like,” he said.
While the workload may be heavier in Middle School, the administration prepares students for this by providing them a binder with dividers, a planner, and a spacious locker to help keep them organized.

“I think the [sixth grade] is doing well, and we are helping them get organized,” said sixth grade humanities teacher Mrs. Denise Ponchock. “They are figuring out how to work their lockers and when to go to them,” said Ponchock.

In addition, teachers help keep students organized by communicating with them effectively. “My favorite part of the middle school is that teachers give you time to prepare,” said sixth grader Hanna Soffan. “They tell you when your tests are at least one week in advance.”

Sixth grade is also when students get introduced to school sports. “In Lower School we really didn’t get to play sports, [so] when I heard we could play sports, I got really excited,” said sixth-grade volleyball player Athena Lekkas.” I love playing for the volleyball team because it’s very fun, and I am very excited for the upcoming games,” she said.

Sports also provides students a chance to connect with other classmates and be part of a team.

“I like school sports because you associate with teammates that are mostly your friends,“ said sixth-grade football player Chase Bennett. “[The football team] is fun, but I wish we had a sixth-grade team,” he said, referring to the fact that because the current sixth grade is a small class, it wasn’t able to field a football team this year. So any sixth graders that wanted to play football joined the seventh and eighth-grade football team.

Middle school also allows students more freedom, which many students enjoy.

“[Sixth grade] is harder because you have more work, but also more fun because you have more freedom,” said Noble, referring to the fact that in Lower School, students have to walk in lines led by teachers, but in middle school, students are allowed to walk around by themselves.

With great power (or freedom) comes great responsibility, but the sixth graders seem to be handling it just fine so far.