Fifth-graders take an early look at middle school
By Ivy Vogel
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Elementary fifth-graders buzzed about the gym Thursday morning while teacher Cory Scheffel gave out awards for fastest runner, student most likely to be the next American Idol and class clown.
The students were excited and had nothing but summer on their mind. Next year, when school starts and students don’t return to elementary school but start middle school, they might not be so carefree.
Making the transition from elementary school to middle school is a very emotional experience, Glenwood Elementary Principal Sonya Hemmen said.
Students get excited because they’re moving on to bigger and better things – such as lockers – but anxious because they don’t know what to expect
“Some things students are the most excited about, like getting a locker, are the things that bring them the most panic and fear,” Hemmen said.
Teachers and parents do several things to help ease anxieties about going to a new school.
To help students get familiar with the layout of the middle school, Hemmen and other staff took students on a day trip to the middle school.
They want students to understand what will be expected of them before they sit down in their new classrooms.
Teachers also invited parents to join in a question-and-answer session about the expectations of a middle school student.
“I still think of them as babies,” Hemmen said. “I know they hate to hear that, but they go through so many changes that I don’t really consider them sixth-graders until after Christmas.”
Fifth-graders also sat through a talk about puberty so they could understand the changes going on in their bodies.
The majority of fifth-graders are ready to move on, Hemmen said.
Teachers will miss their students but are excited to see them grow.
“I like working with fifth-graders because they don’t have that middle school thing going on yet,” Scheffel said. “They’re old enough to take care of themselves, and it’s fun watching them turn into young adults.”
Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. 534
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