How is middle school at FSMN different than lower school?
There’s more homework and you have a different teacher for every class, but you still go to MFW and specialists, and you’re still with people you know. I came to FSMN in fifth grade, which is the start of middle school. That’s two big changes all at once. First of all, it’s more homework, and you have seven or eight different teachers, that takes some time to get used to. Also, everyone already knows each other. The first day of school was terrifying, new kids, new teachers, more homework, new classes. There’s a lot of things to get used to, but once you get to know everyone, it’s not very scary.
It’s not super hard to find good friends at FSMN, you get to know everyone really fast, and everyone is super nice. Since FSMN is a small school, you get to know everyone pretty well, even people who are a few grades younger or older than you.
In middle school, you have more homework, and you get it from most of your classes. Things are all due on different days, which is why you get a planner. You go to a different place for every class, and you have a different teacher for each, which is weird at first. Planners help you figure out how to work on what you need to before everything piles up. Sometimes it helps to spread out one assignment on a few different nights, so you don’t get too overwhelmed.
Overnights are longer than in lower school, in fifth and sixth grade they’re two nights, and in seventh and eighth grade they’re four nights. You really bond with your classmates and become good friends with everyone. It might seem kind of scary, but you’re with your friends and it’s pretty fun. I was really scared to go on the overnight in fifth grade, it seemed impossible. But after we got there and started doing fun things, and getting to know each other, I felt better.
Conflict Resolution is still very much a thing in middle school, and although it’s used less often, it is still there to help in case middle schoolers come across a problem or conflict.
In middle school, you go to a different classroom for every class, but you still have a few of the same classes. You still go to MFW Wednesdays, and you still have all four specialists. The only difference class wise is you have Humanities and Science/Math in different rooms with different teachers.
You also have an advisory. Your advisory is a little like a homeroom. You go to advisory every day for the last 35 minutes at the end of school, and you are with three to four people from each middle school grade, as well as your advisor. Advisory seemed scary, and there were eighth graders there. Turns out, they’re not as old, or as scary as they seem. Looking back on it, I’m in eighth grade now, and the fifth graders are only three or four years younger than the people in my grade.
Middle school at Friends School of Minnesota is really fun, and there are lots of new things to learn and experience in middle school at FSMN, and you probably won’t forget about the friends you make here.
-Kaija wrote this article during a writing workshop in January.